Despite its small size, Takachiho does afford quite a few gastronomic delights. There are numerous restaurants available that offer both great food and great atmosphere.
A typical Japanese izakaya (, ‘tavern/pub-eatery’) hides its grand appeal in a tricky location in town. Authentically Japanese, you can enjoy fried eggplant, cheese balls, the prefectural specialty ‘chicken nanban’ (チキン南蛮) and some gyouza (餃子). When you’re done, be prepared to pay the bill to a… rabbit.
Location: てんつくてん (map)
Named for its owner, this izakaya really excels at the chicken nanban, and you can have a blast with Miyazaki prefecture’s very own alcoholic delight, shochu (書中). You can’t really miss this one; it has some pretty kowai (怖い, ‘scary-looking’) masks hanging right outside the establishment.
Location: けんちゃん (map)
A charming little udon/soba joint (with an English menu!) next to the Cosmos across the street from Takachiho Shrine, run by a welcoming ex-marathon champ, his wife, and her lookalike sister. Huge sets for cheap, and walls covered in marathon memorabilia.
Location: まらそん亭 (map)
Saizen Restaurant 山の学校レストラン
Make a lunch reservation at this tiny restaurant in an abandoned elementary school if you want to try traditional plant-based Japanese cuisine. The ¥1200 lunch set (your only option) includes seasonal foraged ingredients like dandelion tempura and sakura soup. The staff will happily accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free eaters.
Location: 山の学校レストラン (map)
Got a wait at the bus center? Kill time at this retro kissaten which is stuffed to the gills with vintage manga.The syphon cafe au lait is the best coffee in town, and their teshouku prices can’t be beat.
Location: カリンカ (map)