Back to Kyushu this time for Exploring Japan with Miyazaki Prefecture.
Miyazaki Prefecture is located on the southeastern part of Kyushu, facing the Pacific Ocean. It has a population of 1,128,412. The capital city is Miyazaki. The 5 largest cities are:
- Miyazaki (399,834)
- Miyakonojo (168,072)
- Nobeoka (131,182)
- Hyuga (63,223)
- Nichinan (57,689)
The population of the prefecture and most of the cities are in a decline due to the low birth rate. However, Miyazaki city is growing as many people move to the city.
Aya Castle in the small town of Aya is a reconstruction from 1985. However, it’s design is based on pictures of other castles that were built around the same time Aya Castle was.
Obi Castle in Nichinan is mainly ruins, though the main gate has been reconstructed. There are a few other buildings on the grounds, including a museum.
Nobeoka Castle in Nobeoka consists of ruins. There weren’t many buildings at this castle in the first place, and no main keep.
Things to see and do
My impression of Miyazaki originally was fruit and surfing. Miyazaki does attract a lot of surfers to its beaches, but Miyazaki is very well known for growing many kinds of fruits and vegetables.
Miyazaki, the capital, is a popular tourist and resort city. Aoshima Beach is a major attraction. It’s great for surfing and Aoshima island is also popular with its shrine and interesting geological features. The Aoshima Subtropical Botanical Garden should be nice to see. Miyazaki-jingu shrine is dedicated to Japan’s first emperor, Jinmu. You can visit the Heiwadai Tower in Heiwadai Garden. The city has a zoo, the Miyazaki-city Phoenix Zoo. Tom Watson Golf Course is also in the city and is one of Japan’s most famous and popular golf courses.
Ebino city doesn’t have much to see, but I found a couple of events that seem interesting. In late July, there’s the Cow Jumping Festival. Cows jump logs to celebrate the health of livestock. August sees the Taiko Festival and Odaiko Odori, both Taiko drum festivals.
Hyuga has an interesting sight. The Mimitsu area has a lot of traditional, historic buildings from the 19th century.
Kobayashi city has several things to see and do. Ikoma Plateau provides a great view of the city from its flower garden. Idenoyama Park has an aquarium, restaurants, and a lake. It also hosts the Firefly Festival. Sannomiya Gorge would be great to see. Cross the Suki Suspension Bridge, and you can visit the Mamako Falls. Inyoseki is a fertility shrine with a rock shaped like a phallus.
Nichinan seems like a very interesting city. Apart from the Obi Castle ruins, there’s plenty to see. I’m interested in Udo Shrine, which was built into the side of a seaside cliff. Horikawa Canal District features a restored canal. Tsu no Mine is a mountain with a good view of the port area. Sun Messe Nichinan features replicas of 7 Moai Statues of Easter Island. Aburatsu Port Festival has rowing and bow and arrow competitions. The Obi Castle Festival has an interesting looking parade procession.
Saito city has a few interesting places to see. Saitobaru is a National Special Historic site with a historical research facility. It features 311 burial mounds in 9 clusters. The Tonokori Castle ruins are also in Saito. Tsuma Temple seems interesting, as well.
Takachiho is a small town that has some historic sites. The Takachiho Gorge and the Minai Waterfall are great to see from a boat. The Ama-no-iwato shrine is situated above the gorge. There’s plenty to see at Shonenji temple, as well. You can also see Takachiho Shrine and the Takachiho Onsen (hot springs). At the base of the gorge, there are a couple teahouses that serve nagashi somen, which are noodles that flow down bamboo chutes.
Miyazaki is famous for its fruit, of course. But something that looks really good to me is the chicken. Specifically, sumibiyaki, which is chicken meat cut into small pieces and charbroiled. Chicken Nanban is marinated in sweet and sour sauce, then deep fried. Sounds good!
Have you been to Miyazaki? What would you recommend? Please leave a comment!