Miyazaki Prefecture is located in the south-east part of the island of Kyushu in Japan.
Miyazaki Prefecture is best known for its coastal location with stunning beaches, surfing culture and scenic ocean drives that are not to be missed.
You will find that Miyazaki Prefecture is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in the south-east and shares a border with Oita Prefecture in the north and Kagoshima and Kumamoto prefectures in the west.
Miyazaki Prefecture has a warm climate all year round, making it a perfect location for nature to blossom and exotic foods to grow.
Miyazaki is also known as the mythical birthplace of Japan due to its many historical sites related to Japanese history and mythology.
Here is my travel guide to exploring Miyazaki Prefecture.
Getting to Miyazaki Prefecture
Miyazaki Prefecture has its airport in Miyazaki, making it easy to reach the city domestically with ANA from Tokyo Haneda airport from the domestic terminal.
You could also fly to Kumamoto city and drive down to Miyazaki city through Miyazaki Prefecture.
This makes for a tremendous one-way route, and you can collect and drop off your rental car at either airport.
The best way to get around Miyazaki Prefecture is to rent a car for the duration of your visit, which will also allow you more time to take in the scenery.
You can easily arrange to pick up and drop off your rental car at the airport.
UK drivers will need to ensure they have an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Luckily Japan also drives on the left so it should be easy to adjust to the Japanese style of driving.
Takachiho town and Gorge
Start your journey by visiting Takachiho, a charming town located north of Miyazaki Prefecture. It’s a perfect first stop for those who want to rent a car and go on a road trip towards Miyazaki city.
The main attraction of Takachiho has to be its breathtaking nature which can be explored on foot around Takachiho Gorge.
Here you can rent a boat and paddle through the gorge to reach Manaino Falls.
I highly recommend staying here for the night to discover the area.
Another attraction to experience in Takachiho is the Amaterasu Railway, which is a private railway that offers scenic train rides where you can enjoy the surrounding landscapes of the mountains, rice fields and valleys.
A satisfying trip, and you can even wear the train conductor outfit and feel like a train driver for the day.
Head out on a light and scenic walk along the riverbed which will bring you to Amanoyasu.
This shrine can be found within a cave.
It is told that Japanese gods gathered here and discussed Amaterasu (a Japanese deity) when she secluded herself in the cave.
This location is one of the many places that is designated as the Birthplace of Myths in Japan.
Dinner at Restaurant Nagomi Food
If you are a beef lover and visiting on Kyushu, you have to try some of the best beef on the island which can be found in Miyazaki Prefecture.
Head to Restaurant Nagomi which offers Miyazaki raised beef.
It’s a similar quality to the wagyu beef, raised locally in Takachiho. I’d recommend trying the loin cut; the meat served here at Nagomi is extremely tasty and delicious.
The fat melts in your mouth with every bite, and it’s a must-try if you’re in the area.
Takachiho Yokagura traditional dance
In the evening after dinner, you can head up to Takachiho shrine and watch a traditional Takachiho Yokagura dance performance which usually lasts for an hour.
It’s a Shinto dance which is performed all over Miyazaki Prefecture.
The dance performance is a selection of thirty-three parts, and in Takachiho the production tells the mythical story of the Ama-no-Iwato (the cave of the sun goddess) through dance.
The dance is unique to this part of Miyazaki and attracts many visitors who wish to enjoy the performance.
Kagura mask painting workshop
A fun experience to try in Takachiho is the Kagura mask painting workshop.
An essential part of the Takachiho Yokagura dance performance are the handmade masks that the dancers wear.
Here you can meet a local pottery shop owner who makes the masks by hand.
You get to finish them off and add the final part of the process which is painting the mask in a workshop.
You even get to take your mask home with you to remember your time in Miyazaki Prefecture.
The walk to the shrine is along a beautiful coastal pathway. The sanctuary is located within a cave.
It is dedicated to Yamasachihiko, the mythical father of the first Emperor of Japan, which is why many believe that Miyazaki is the birthplace of Japan.
Stairs of the Sea at Kanegahama Beach
For a moment, I thought I was in Hawaii instead of Miyazaki.
Watch surfers catch waves on the stunning beach of Kanegahama.
Here you can find a roadside cafe called Stairs of the Sea where you can park up your rental car for an enjoyable coffee break with a view of the surrounding beach.
Obi castle town
I went on a walking tour around Obi Castle town and quickly discovered the beautiful connection it has with its local community.
Explore the castle grounds and enjoy a spot of cosplay by dressing up as a local samurai.
You can also spend some time shopping and buying some local goods so you can bring a bit of Miyazaki craft products home with you on your return journey.
The old house – Tsurutomiyashiki House
Tsurutomiyashiki House is an old house located in the village of Shiiba.
You can also visit and spend some time at the Shiiba Folk entertainment museum and sumo ring which has its shrine.
Spend some time walking around Shiiba village and enjoy lunch at Yokoidokoro Shiiba where you can enjoy local Japanese style BBQ lunch on a roof tile.
End your trip to Miyazaki at Aoshima Shrine, which is located on its very own island. It’s also a perfect location to enjoy a pleasant walk during sunset.
Here you can walk on the beach and take in the fresh air and scenery along the way.
You will find a bridge that you can cross and then discover Aoshima Shrine.
Miyazaki ramen at Miyazaki airport
Before you fly home, be sure to stop off and try a local favourite, Miyazaki ramen at Miyazaki airport before departure.
It’s a delicious tasty bowl of ramen which you will be sure to enjoy.
Thank you for reading about Miyazaki Prefecture
Thank you for checking out my blog and reading my guide to Miyazaki Prefecture.
I hope you found it full of useful information and it helped to plan your next trip to Japan and the Kyushu island.
If you have any more questions about Miyazaki Prefecture, feel free to send me a message, and I will be more than happy to help.
Have an awesome trip to Japan!
this trip was supported by the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tokyo Metropolitan Government.