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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Address: Mukoyama, Takachiho, Nishiusuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1103, Japan
For more information, go to takachiho-kanko.info/en/sightseeing/.
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