5 (Not-So-Secret) Secrets of Miyazaki City

It’s Orientation C week, and you’ve got some time to kill in the evenings while you wait for the next day of demonstrations and workshops. If you’re looking for something to do, check out these great little gems!ONE: Bunkakoen 文化公園 (map)
Southwest of Miyazaki Jingu (宮崎神具), this park contains the Miyazaki Prefectural Library, and is also a great place to just sit around, have a picnic, relax, and enjoy. Miyazaki in general has some nice parks, but this one is one of the nicest. There is a great art gallery in the park as well. Across the road is one of Miyazaki City’s few vegetarian restaurants: “Chago” (map). If you’re a fun-loving vegetable-only consumer, or just a health nut, give this one a go.

TWO: Sun Beach Hitotsuba サンビーチ一ツ葉 (map)
Right against the eastern coastline of Miyazaki and leading down towards the Port is the Hitotsuba toll road, an idyllic and slightly faster drive down a nicely maintained highway flanked by palm trees. On this particular section, you’ll find Sun Beach, an artificial yet enjoyable spot to have a swim in the warm ocean waters. Granted, the white sand is all imported from Australia, but it doesn’t take away from the experience. This spot is open during Miyazaki’s swimming season, which is July and August. Year-round, enjoy playing basketball next to the ocean on their seaside courts, or pay a small fee to enjoy their sand volleyball courts.

THREE: The Muji 無印良品 (map)
Japan has excellent baseline standards for basically everything, but if you’re really into some quality furnishings and home wares, try the Muji, in the MRT building just opposite Bon Belta, on the northern side of Takachiho-Dori (高千穂通り). A Japan-wide chain, this store definitely caters to a grander style. Of course you’ll be paying a bit more, but if you’re picky about pillows, or after that elegant wooden table that is actually table height (and kind to your knees) then Muji is your go-to store.

FOUR: The unlocked doors to the roofs of Tachibana-dori Nishi 
As a disclaimer, MAJET does not endorse trespassing or breaking and entering, this is a sure way to get your self into hot water. We kid you not.
Tachibana-Dori Nishi, particularly the streets running off Ichibangai (一番街) in the entertainment district, is one of the densest parts of the city. Expect some pretty packed commercial high rises with bars and clubs in them. Many of the smaller grungier buildings are not secure, and you can take the fire stairs all the way to the rooftops. At night this gives you an unrivaled view of the skyline and a glimpse of a side of the city that few people ever see. Unsecured rooftops are dangerous however, so alternately you can head up to the roofs of the Bon Belta or Carino buildings. Both of these have beer gardens with some pretty unfettered views.

FIVE: The used video game section at Akae and Omiya GEO 
Arguably, most foreign folk who grace Japan profess to a love of all the Japanese delights they enjoyed when they were kids, tweens and teens: anime, manga, detailed Transformer-type plastic toys with the ability to go from buggy to badass in a few fast hand motions… yeah. And vintage games? Definitely! Enter GEO, a chain retailer of video games, DVDs and comic books. There is one in Omiya north of the Bunkakoen (map), and one in Akae north of the Starbucks in that area (map). The Akae and Omiya stores have great selections of old Nintendo cartridges for Famicon, Super Famicon, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and other assorted anachronistic systems. The Geek Age cometh…