Shiiba (椎葉村)

A very traditional Japanese village full of the quintessential inaka (田舎, ‘countryside’) quaintness, Shiiba is a small village tucked into the mountains of Northwest Miyazaki. Only accessible via car, this tiny village has only about 3,000 inhabitants. Nevertheless, Shiiba sticks out for its proximity to the mountains, its lush forests and waterfalls. It’s about a 90-minute drive west from Hyuga City, if you take Highway 327.

Apart from the beautiful country and mountainside views, you can enjoy Shiiba’s cultural heritage and history at the Shiiba Museum of Folklore and Art, where the exhibits are on display in both English and Japanese. This village is also the residence of Princess Tsurutomi  (鶴富), a member of the Heike clan, who married a member from the rival Genji clan. Many Japanese histories will tell you the Heike clan was wiped out, but Shiiba proudly claims their heritage.

Wild boar and deer meat are local delicacies, and are often available each fall at Shiiba’s biggest event, the Heike Matsuri, which takes place every November and reenacts the story of Tsurutomi-hime and Daihachiro Nasu.

Village Website:

Nearby:  Gokase  |  Hinokage  |  Morotsuka  |  Takachiho


Heike Matsuri The Heike Matsuri celebrates a legendary tragic love affair that took place between two members of rival samurai families—the Heike clan’s Tsurutomi-hime and the Genji Clan’s Daihachiro Nasu—over 800 years ago (source). Here is the story according to Sumiko Enbutsu, a writer for the Japan Times: After their defeat in the battle of … Continue reading Festivals