Learn about the Mytholody of Japan in Miyazaki
Miyazaki, located on the island of Kyushu in Japan, is a city rich in history and mythology. Visitors to Miyazaki have the opportunity to explore ancient shrines that tell the story of the gods and goddesses of Japanese mythology, including the sun goddess Amaterasu.
One of the must-see shrines in Miyazaki is the Eda Shrine, where the parents of Amaterasu, the moon deity Tsukuyomi, and the storm god Susanoo are enshrined. According to mythology, the gods were born in a purification ritual performed by their father, Izanagi, in nearby Misogi Pond.
Another interesting shrine is the Amano Iwato Shrine located about 10 km outside of Takachiho, located near a cave where legend says Amaterasu hid away, bringing darkness to heaven and Earth. Visitors can view the cave from an observation deck and learn more about the mythology surrounding it.
In addition to visiting shrines, visitors to Miyazaki can also take a trip back in time by strolling through Obi Town, an ancient Samurai-era town. In Obi Town, visitors can visit the ruins of Obi Castle and taste the traditional food of Miyazaki at Hattoritei and Itotei.
Miyazaki is also a great destination for surfers, with its warm waters and beautiful beaches. Surfing enthusiasts can enjoy the waves in Hyuga, Aoshima Beach, and many other spots along the coast.
Overall, Miyazaki offers a unique blend of history, mythology, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in experiencing the best of Japan.
Hyuga: “Exploring the Dragons of the Omi-jinja Shrine”
The Omi-jinja Shrine is a religious site dedicated to the goddess Amaterasu, also known as the “Ise Shrine of Hyuga.” Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, this shrine offers a beautiful view and the chance to see several depictions of dragons. One such depiction can be found in a cave near the shrine, where a crack in the rock appears to show a dragon ascending. Another dragon can be found in the form of a giant boulder made of conglomerate rock, which has a bowl-shaped hole with spiraling lines carved into it. In the center of this bowl sits a small, egg-shaped stone, which is believed to represent a dragon’s egg. Visitors to the Omi-jinja Shrine can appreciate these unique dragon-themed features while paying tribute to the deity Amaterasu.
Nichinan: The Legend of Emperor Jimmu and the Nourishing Water at Udo Shrine
The Udo Shrine, also known as Udo Jingū, is a spiritual site known for its connection to the mythical first emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu. According to legend, Emperor Jimmu’s father, Yamasachihiko, was nourished by water that dripped from breast-shaped rocks in a cave at the shrine. Today, pregnant women and those hoping to become pregnant visit the shrine to drink the water in the hopes of good fortune. The shrine also offers a fun activity for visitors: the chance to purchase a small ceramic ball and try to hit a target over the cliff edge. If you succeed, it is believed that good luck will come your way.
Miyazaki City: The Eda Shrine: A Holy Site for the Gods Izanagi and Izanami
The Eda Shrine is a sacred place that is associated with several important deities in Japanese mythology. According to tradition, this shrine is where the parents of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, the Moon Deity Tsukuyomi, and the Storm God Susanoo are enshrined. These gods were born from a purification ritual performed by their father, Izanagi, in the nearby Misogi Pond. The ritual was undertaken in an attempt to free his wife, Izanami, who had become trapped in the underworld. The Eda Shrine is located in Shimin-no-Mori in the northern part of Miyazaki City and can be reached by taking the Miyazakikuko Line from the Miyazaki Airport to Miyazaki Station, followed by a short bus ride to the Yamasaki stop. From there, it is a few minutes’ walk to the shrine. The address of the Eda Shrine is 127 Yabo, Awakigahara-cho, Miyazaki City, Miyazaki Prefecture 880-0835.
Miyazaki City: Miyazaki Shrine
Located in the middle of the City, Miyazaki Shrine is an easy to reach place to relax.
Takachiho: The Amano Iwato Shrine: A Mystical Cave and Observation Deck”
The Amano Iwato Shrine is a spiritual site located near a cave about 10 km outside of Takachiho. According to legend, this cave is where the goddess Amaterasu hid away, causing darkness to fall on heaven and earth until the other gods of Japan performed a special ceremony to coax her out. Visitors can view the cave from an observation deck, but only as part of a guided tour led by a priest. To get to the Amano Iwato Shrine, take the Limited express Nichirin from the Miyazaki Airport to Nobeoka Station, then catch Bus 71 to the Takachko Bus Center. From there, take the Iwato bus ten stops to Iwato, which is just a two-minute walk from the shrine. The address of the Amano Iwato Shrine is 1073-1 Iwato, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1621.
Takachiho: Exploring the Amano Yasukawara Shrine: A Site for Divine Discussions”
The Amano Yasukawara is a simple, yet significant shrine that is believed to be the place where gods and goddesses gathered to discuss how to persuade Amaterasu to leave her hiding place in the cave. A highlight of this shrine is the numerous stone piles left by visitors. The Amano Yasukawara shrine is just a short, 10-minute walk down the path from the Amano Iwato Shrine.
The Takachiho Shrine: Home of the Sacred Kagura Dance”
The Takachiho Shrine is known for its performances of the Kagura dance, a sacred ceremony with roots in shamanism that is said to have convinced Amaterasu to leave her cave. Kagura celebrates the Shinto gods and is performed at the Takachiho Shrine on a daily basis at 8 PM. There is also an all-night performance of Takachiho Kagura on November 22 and 23 each year, which includes dancing, music, and plenty of sake and shochu. To get to the Takachiho Shrine, take the Sonic-Nichirin Limited Express Oita from the Miyazaki Airport to Nobeoka Station, then catch Bus 72 to the Miyakoh Bus Center. The shrine is just a 10-minute walk from the bus center. The address of the Takachiho Shrine is 1037 Mitai, Oaza Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1101.