Aya is a small town tucked away at the foot of the western mountains of Miyazaki prefecture. You can reach Aya by bus or by driving northwest from Miyazaki City along route 26. There is also a popular cycling route, with resplendent scenery along the way. While getting to Aya can be difficult as there are no trains that run there, it is well worth a day trip to experience this hidden Miyazaki gem. It’s made the cut for the well-reputed guide to The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan.
The oak, castanopsis, and beech forest that spreads across the north west of Aya Town is Japan’s largest evergreen forest area. Aya is sometimes referred to as “Craft Town Aya” and people from all over the prefecture and Japan visit to buy woodwork, ceramics, glasswork and textiles. While the main attraction is the restored castle (jyou 城), there is plenty to see and do in the town itself. Think organic food stores and arts and crafts centers showcasing some of the local area’s best and brightest talent.
Aya Suspension Bridge Following the road west for a ways will lead you to the Aya Suspension Bridge that spans the valley. Built in March,1984, it’s 250 meters long, and 142 meters high, making it the second highest pedestrian suspension bridge in Japan. The views are breathtaking, especially in late March when the mountains are filled … Continue reading Outdoors
The Hina Matsuri (March 3) Also known as the “Doll Festival,” Hina Matsuri celebrates young girls. In Aya, you can see grand displays of small dolls erected in honor of this festival.
Being an organic agricultural hub, there is no shortage of places to eat in Aya Town! You can acquire a map from the Honmono Center which lists all the current restaurants in the town area. The restaurants featured here are based on this writer’s experience from dining out in the town and make up their personal recommendations since … Continue reading Food & Drinks
Honmono Center Located in the center of town, this is the one-stop shop for all things delicious and organic from Aya. From dragonfruits to mangoes, to vegetables, and even live plants you can take home to your garden, it’s all here. This is also the toursim information hub for the town; grab maps, a soft-serve … Continue reading Shopping
Aya Castle Believed to have been built in the 14th century, it was once abondoned, but the present three-story castle was reconstructed in 1985. It houses a museum for Samurai armour, swords, and ancient documents. The castle grounds also house an International Craft Castle, which displays the town’s traditional handicrafts and products, pottery, glasswares, silk woven products, and much … Continue reading Sights & Attractions