Dancing All Night: Takachiho’s Yokagura Festival

Miyazaki’s own Takachiho-cho is the birthplace of many Japanese myths and legends. These events are recreated in the form of yokagura (夜神楽), a traditional Shinto dance. The full traditional yokagura is comprised of 33 dances. Every night at 8pm, Takachiho Shrine (map) hosts an abbreviated version of yokagura which you can see for around 700円.

From November to February, however, each shrine in the village takes turns hosting all-night performances of the full yokagura! The revelry starts around sundown and doesn’t stop until the next morning, but the audience is free to wander in and out and drink shochu to stay warm (lots of layers are recommended).

To give you an inside look at this annual festival, former Takachiho JET Ellen Freeman has graciously allowed us to repost an article she wrote for the Kyushu Article Contest last year. Enjoy! Continue reading

Gokase Mountain Retreat

Autumn is upon us, and what better way to enjoy the season than by spending time in nature? While fall colors can be hard to find in Miyazaki, there are some truly gorgeous gems if you know where to look. Sometimes a bit of exploring is all you need to discover someplace magical.

Lucky for you, MAJET has already done the scouting, and we’ve planned an amazing brand new event! See some of Miyazaki’s beautiful autumn leaves from a kayak and then visit a secluded mountain village for an ancient festival. Nature and culture—how can you go wrong?
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