Takachiho is a town in the northernmost part of Miyazaki Prefecture, about 120 km northwest of the Miyazaki Prefectural capital and about 80 km southeast of Kumamoto City. The Takachiho Gorge, located in the southern part of the city, is quite famous as a tourist attraction.
The turquoise waters combined with the waterfalls are a sight to behold. The Minainotaki Fall, 17 meters high, is undoubtedly the most impressive. On a boat ride along the river, you can appreciate the waterfall from up close and let yourself be encapsulated by the mist it generates when it falls. You will float along the river that flows between narrow walls, resulting in a vibrant experience.
Takachiho is known as a place of mythology. There is a very important and interesting story that revolves around the shrine. A cave called Amano Iwato is where Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, hid when she got angry at her brother and the world became dark. The sun recovered when the other gods performed a funny dance.
Amano Yasugawara is another cave, but you can feel as if you are in a mythological world.
Yokagura is a traditional dance performed by local men, its secrets passed down from generation to generation. It’s a 33-dance act that shows various episodes from Japanese myths, the most famous of which is when the sun goddess Amaterasu hides in a cave as explained above. Takachiho Kagura is a shortened version that consists of 4 out of 33 acts and is played every night at Takachiho Shrine.
The abundant vegetation creates an environment that contributes to the peace and beauty of the area. Cherry trees and azaleas are very beautiful in the spring. To appreciate these flowers, you can go trekking in this area. The most impressive views are obtained from the Kunimigaoka viewpoint, which is located 513 meters above sea level.
Access: There are direct express buses to Takachiho from the major train stations in Kyushu. From Hakata, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Nobeoka.