Journeys through Japanese legends


The land of Takachiho wrapped in a sea of clouds. Once upon a time, Amaterasu-ōmikami, the sun goddess, sent her grandchild Niniginomikoto from the heavenly Takamanohara to this place in order to rule the disorderly terrestrial world. Takachiho is "the land of the descent" where Niniginomikoto is said to have descended from heaven. This area is dotted with various historical sites associated with Japan’s epic mythical romance and that appear in Japan’s Kojiki (Japan’s oldest extant chronicle) and the Nihon Shoki (Japan’s second oldest chronicle).

The Takachiho Gorge and the Manai no Taki Waterfall in glorious autumn

The Manai no Taki Waterfall, a symbol of the Takachiho Gorge, which is popular as a power spot, was also selected as one of “Japan’s 100 greatest waterfalls”. Legend says that the water that sprang forth from the Amenomanai well, to which the waters of Takamanohara were diverted by Amenomurakumonomikoto, the god of water, at the time of the descent of Niniginomikoto, supplied this waterfall. The sight of the fall dropping 17 meters into the Takachiho Gorge in autumn is of divine beauty.

The Amanoiwato Shrine, closely associated with the Iwatogakure myth

The Amanoiwato (Cave of Heaven) legend, which is said to be at the origin of the kagura sacred dances, is very famous. The sun goddess Amaterasu, angry with the rough behavior of her younger brother Susanoonomikoto, crawled into a cave, plunging the world into darkness. The Amanoiwato Shrine is where the Amanoiwato cave that became the stage of the Iwatogakure myth is enshrined. Ama no Yasugawara, which itself is located on the grounds of this shrine, is said to be the cave where eight million gods gathered to discuss how to get Amaterasu to come out. The pile of stones left by the people who come to visit is impressive.

Chicken Namban, a gourmet dish of Miyazaki

Chicken Namban is a gourmet dish of Miyazaki that is said to have originated from a dish served at Western-style restaurants. It consists of deep-fried chicken flavored with sweetened vinegar and topped with tartar sauce.

Stroll around Kurokawa-Onsen Hot Springs

Easy to reach from Takachiho, this is the most popular hot spring resort in Kumamoto. There are seven sources and you can enjoy strolling around the hot springs while wearing a yukata (informal kimono).


Location Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki
About 2 hours and 20 minutes by express bus from Kumamoto Airport (Takachiho Bus Center)
Inquiries Takachiho Tourist Association 
Tel: 0982-73-1213

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