Takachiho, Miyazaki

Takachiho 高千穂, of Myths and Legend

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Departing from Miyazaki City Centre, we drove for about two hours to Takachiho. Takachiho is located in the northwestern part of Miyazaki Prefecture. A place that is steeped in myth and legend and has been known since ancient times as a sacred ground where the gods descended to earth.

Amano-Iwato Shrine 天岩戸神社

Upon arriving at Takachiho, we made our way to Amano-Iwato Shrine. There is a myth behind this Shrine. The Shinto Sun Goddess Amaterasu-omikami was upset with her brother, Susanoo-no-mikoto, and hid in a cave to avoid him. She refused to come out and deprived the world of her life-giving light. This is an interpretation of a solar eclipse by ancient Japanese. Tradition says that Amano Iwato Shrine is dedicated to the cave.

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Amano Yasukawara 天安河原

We took a short walk down the road from Amano-Iwato Shrine. There is a path that leads down to the river below. The water was clear and the flow was rapid. I stood there, watching the river flow, I felt relaxed as it exuded an air of calmness.

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We continued walking and saw neat little stacks of stones along the riverbed, stacked by visitors, making their pilgrimage. The path eventually leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as Amano Yasukawara 天安河原.

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Amano Yasukawara
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Stacked stones along the riverbed

After spending over an hour at the Shrine, we drove to the hotel where we were to put up for a night. Along the way, we saw an amazing view and could not help but stopped our car and took some pictures.

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Takachiho Gorge

Upon checking in at the hotel, we decided to check out the Gorge which is a couple of minutes drive from the hotel.

The Takachiho Gorge was designated a National Scenic and Natural Monument on November 10, 1934. Takachiho Gorge was formed from lava from Mount Aso which over time eroded to create 80~ 100m high cliffs of volcanic basalt columns. The Takachiho Gorge is a V-shaped gorge, created by the Gokase River, which eroded the Aso lava.

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After a brief tour at Takachiho Gorge, we made our way for dinner before the sky turned dark.

Stay tuned for my next post on how I spent my morning at Takachiho Gorge.

This trip was made in October 2017.

 

The Lowdown

Amano-Iwato Shrine

Address: Iwato, Takachiho-cho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan

Phone: 0982-73-1213 (Takachiho-Town Tourism Association)

Admission Fee: Free entry to the grounds

For more information, go to www.jnto.go.jp/eng/regional/miyazaki/takachiho.html

Takachiho Gorge

Address: Mukoyama, Takachiho, Nishiusuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1103, Japan

For more information, go to takachiho-kanko.info/en/sightseeing/.

 

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