1. Culture of Miyazaki
We get an incredible tour of some of the most beautiful traditions of Miyazaki, starting simply with images of daikon yagura (technically "towers," but actually just scaffolding holding up daikon to take in the cool winter air), followed by a glide through a shochu distillery, where we see workers preparing one of Kyushu's signature liquors.
Watch an artisan craft masks for kagura, one of Japan’s oldest traditional arts, performed for blessing and to recount ancient stories of the Shinto gods. We even get a glimpse of this traditional dance at Takachiho Shrine, where you can see a brief, one-hour performance of yokagura (night kagura) every night at 8 p.m.
Watch the beautiful, all-natural dyeing techniques still carried on in the town of Aya, just northwest of Miyazaki City, then see an artisan in the southern city of Miyakonojo prepare a bow, or Miyakonojo Daikyu, following a tradition that was once a heavily guarded secret, and was designated a National Traditional Craft in 1994.
2. Leisure Activities in Miyazaki
With its long Pacific coast, Miyazaki is well known for its surfing and windsurfing, which, thanks to the relatively warm climate, can be enjoyed year-round. The Nichinan Coast, Japan's southernmost saw-toothed coastline, also presents a brilliant route for driving and motorcycle touring. Be sure to stop at Udo Shrine, which is set within a seaside cave along the route!
Kayak along the region's plentiful streams and rivers, or head out for some horseback riding. Dangle 142 meters (466 ft) above the forest on Teruha Suspension Bridge in the town of Aya, or hike through the picturesque Kirishima Mountain Range on the border with Kagoshima Prefecture. And of course, there's always boating in lovely Takachiho Gorge.
3. Food in Miyazaki
When you travel, you need to eat! Miyazaki doesn’t disappoint, with charcoal grilled chicken (jidori no sumibiyaki) made with locally raised Jidokko chicken. Try raw Ise lobster, charcoal-grilled bonito (katsuo) or splurge on some of Miyazaki’s succulent Miyazakigyu beef!
4. Scenery in Miyazaki
After a brief glimpse of lava-formed Takachiho Gorge, we sweep to Aoshima, a picturesque island surrounded with wave-shaped rock formations called the Devil’s Washboard (Oni no Sentaku-ita). Visit Obi, a historic town where some of the original buildings from Obi Castle still remain, and then hunker down in Amanoiwato Cave, where the sun goddess Amaterasu was said to have once hidden herself away, depriving the world of light.
The old port town of Mimitsu presents machiya-style townhouses that give a glimpse of the town's appearance during the Edo Period (1603-1868). You can see Mount Sobo, Mount Aso and Mount Kuju from Gokasho Plateau—also known as Sanshudai for the three superlative peaks that can be seen there.
See beautiful rock formations along Cape Hyuga, including the Sea Cross (Kurusu no Umi, literally the Sea of Cross) and Umagase, a precipitous, columnar cliff said to be reminiscent of a horse’s back (uma means horse). There's also the Iwato Terraced Rice Field (Iwato Tanada), part of the Takachihogo-Shiibayama Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry System, recognized as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Dozens of wild horses wander Cape Toi, the southernmost point in Miyazaki. The horses are said to be the descendants of army horses left grazing there some three centuries ago.
The Saitobaru Burial Mounds, or Saitobaru Kofungun, are said to include the grave of Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the grandson of Amaterasu and bearer of the three celestial gifts, now known as the Imperial Regalia of Japan. Representing a regal burial style particular to Japan’s early history, the site includes 311 mounds, including the largest scallop-shaped mound in Japan.
After a brief stop at Udo Shrine, we enjoy the night view from Mount Atago in Nobeoka City in northern Miyazaki, then finish with a view of the sunrise over the Pacific from the Nichinan Coast’s Horikiri Pass. If you haven't booked your ticket to Miyazaki yet, it can only mean you already live there!
5. Golf in Miyazaki
There are more than 20 golf courses within an hour’s drive of Miyazaki Airport. Glide over Phoneix Country Club, which offers green turf even in winter; Miyazaki Country Club, which is just a five-minute drive from Miyazaki airport; and Tom Watson Golf Course, where you can play even at night. These incredible scenes will make you want to break out your clubs—or take up the sport from scratch!
6. Miyazaki: In Search of a Sanctuary
And if those are all too many videos to watch, just check out a summary here—in 4K Ultra HD!
If you haven't had enough, you can also see some incredible drone footage of islands in Kagoshima from the same channel here.