Miyazaki prefecture is located in the southeastern reaches of Kyushu. It hardly snows in Miyazaki in winter because of Kyushu's temperate climate, so visitors can enjoy sightseeing without having to worry about extreme cold or snowstorms.
This time, we will introduce you to sightseeing spots you will not want to miss when you are in Miyazaki, such as Takachiho, a designated natural monument and mythical land of scenic beauty, Yokagura, the traditional winter performance art, or the ocean views from the Devil’s Washboard.
Takachiho gorge is the face of Miyazaki’s scenic beauty and is known as a place of spiritual power and legendary tales. Every year from mid-November to early February of the following year, the hamlet of Takachiho nestled between Takachiho gorge holds its traditional ritual—Yokagura.Yokagura is a traditional ritual to invite the gods of the town with the 33 kaguras of the night—songs and dances to worship the local gods, give thanks for a plentiful harvest in the current year, and pray for another plentiful harvest in the next. This tradition has continued for over 800 years and has been designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset. Takachiho Shrine, which is the “soja” or culmination of all the gods of the 88 shrines in the area, hosts a one-hour performance of Yokagura number 4, the most prominent of all Yokagura that there is 33, every evening from 8:00 p.m.
Udo-jingu is a shrine located right in the center of the caves of cape Udosaki which protrude out into the Pacific Ocean. The cape area is surrounded by jagged rock formations and continuously pummeled by raging waves; a considerably rare location for a shrine in Japan. There is a legend that says if, while reciting a wish in their minds, a man throws a lucky stone with his left hand and a woman her right and it lands in the square-shaped boulder called the “kameishi” (turtle rock), their wishes will come true.
Aoshima is an island connected to the southeastern reaches of Miyazaki City. The approximately 8-kilometre stretch of shore extending from Aoshima to Kinchaku Island to the south is where you will find the undulating rock formation known as “Oni no Sentakuita,” or “The Devil’s Washboard”.Long, long ago, The Devil’s Washboard was originally a bed of hard sandstone layered on soft mudstone below the surface of the sea that, due to geological changes, rose above sea level, causing it to be eroded by ocean waves crafting it into the rock formation it is today.
The formation’s shape resembles a washboard, one so big a giant devil might use it to do its washing, and thus became known as “The Devil’s Washboard.” When the tide recedes, the formation’s rough rocky surface is exposed and makes for a great spot for a stroll or playing in the water puddles around the rocky beach shore.
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