Takachiho Gorge 高千穂峡
Besides the shrines and temples, Takachiho Gorge is considered one of the most spectacular sights in all of Japan. Over a million yearly visitors come to the gorge to take a rowboat down the river and through the narrow, waterfall-ridden chasm, associated to the birthplace of the nation.
Location: 高千穂峡 (map)
Oshioi Mitai, 高千穂町 Nishiusuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1101
Takachiho has been without a railway since a monster typhoon wiped it out in 2005, but locals recently found a fun way to re-use parts of the track. Climb aboard the Super-Cart for a half-hour sightseeing ride which includes a stop on the old train bridge over the gorge–those with a fear of heights will want to sit this one out. The ride costs ¥1300 and leaves every 40 minutes between 10:00 and 4:00 PM, except on rainy days.
Location: 高千穂あまてらす鉄道株式会社 (map)
Takachiho Shrine 高千穂神社
You can see Kagura dances here every night at 8pm for 500円.
Location: 高千穂神社 (map)
〒882-1101 Miyazaki Prefecture, Nishiusuki District, 高千穂町大字三田井1037
Amano-Iwato Shrine 天岩戸神社
Honors the cave where the sun goddess Amaterasu hid in the ancient Japanese legends. After you toss in your coin, follow the path out of the shrine grounds and down to the river to the Celestial Rock Cave, where visitors have constructed rock cairns as far as the eye can see. The mysterious sight will help you feel just why Takachiho is celebrated as a Power Spot.
Location: 天岩戸神社 (map)
〒882-1621 Miyazaki Prefecture, Nishiusuki District, 高千穂町岩戸１０７３−１
Shonenji Temple 正念寺
Takachiho is home to a unique, four hundred year-old Buddhist temple. Aside from its age, what makes Shonenji temple unique is that the head priest, Junsho Yoshimura’s English wife, Victoria Yoshimura, is also herself an ordained and practicing Jodo Shinshu priest.
Location: 正念寺 (map)
2771 Kamino, Takachiho, Nishiusuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1411
From this mountain you’ll have spectacular views of the entire Takachiho basin as well as the surrounding mountain ranges. Kunimigaoka is also famous for its “sea of clouds.” This breathtaking view is only visible on cold mornings with partial cloud cover.
Location: 国見ケ丘 (map)
Oshikata, Takachiho, Nishiusuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture 882-1102
Tatsugaiwano Waterfall 竜ヶ岩の滝
It is believed that a dragon once lived above the waterfall. It the autumn, many visitors come to see the fall foliage.
Location: 竜ヶ岩の滝 (map)