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Visit the Takachiho Gorge and Shrines! One-Day Bus Tour from Fukuoka
This one-day bus tour from Fukuoka is the best choice for those who wish to visit historical shrines and sacred locations mentioned in Japan's creation myths: Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine in Kumamoto and the Takachiho Gorge and Amano Iwato Shrine in Miyazaki.
Discover the Charms of Miyazaki on a Bus Day Tour
Miyazaki, a picturesque prefecture in southeastern Kyushu, Japan, is renowned for its expansive and diverse natural landscapes, as well as its captivating myths and legends.
While transportation within the prefecture may not be very convenient, traveling from Fukuoka by train can also prove time-consuming. For those without access to a car, a convenient alternative is to join a bus day tour from Fukuoka.
Itinerary Stop 1: Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine - A Popular Photo Spot
Kamishikimi Kumanoimasu Shrine, dedicated to the deities Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto who created the Japanese archipelago and the other gods from Japanese mythology, is situated in the town of Takamori, Kumamoto Prefecture, near the border with Miyazaki Prefecture.
While the shrine's exact founding date remains a mystery, it holds a rich and ancient history, with reverence paid to the distinctive rock formation Ugedo since time immemorial. According to legend, this rock was struck by the demon Kihachi while being chased by Takeiwatatsu no Mikoto, the mythical founder of Aso.
The allure of this spot lies in the enchanting row of torii gates perched upon a forested slope, accompanied by rows of moss-covered stone lanterns. The ethereal mist that permeates the forest adds an aura of mystery to the surroundings, captivating photographers far and wide.
Moreover, the shrine's popularity has surged even further in recent years with its feature in renowned Japanese films, including The Sword of Doom and Grave of the Fireflies.
While it is possible to come here by local bus, there is a very limited number of buses operating daily. This means that missing a bus often entails hours of waiting. We suggest visiting as part of this day tour to Miyazaki from Fukuoka.
Itinerary Stop 2: Takachiho Gorge - The Land of Japanese Mythology
Takachiho Gorge is a renowned and picturesque location in Japan, formed over hundreds of thousands of years through the erosive forces of rivers. This natural wonder manifests as a striking V-shaped gorge, standing approximately 80 to 100 meters tall and stretching an impressive 7 kilometers in length.
The awe-inspiring Manai Waterfall, cascading a magnificent 17 meters from top to bottom, adds to the mystical beauty of the scene.
While the gorge typically displays lush greenery, it undergoes a breathtaking transformation during the autumn, showcasing vibrant hues of yellow and red. This season proves to be an ideal time to visit.
Additionally, the area holds significant cultural and mythological value, with the presence of the nearby Takachiho Shrine and Amano Iwato Shrine.
Itinerary Stop 3: Amano Iwato Shrine - The Descent of Amaterasu
According to ancient Japanese chronicles such as the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, Amano Iwato is described as the cave where Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and a pivotal figure in Japanese mythology, sought refuge when she got upset by her younger brother, Susanoo no Mikoto.
The Amano Iwato Shrine is said to be located right at this sacred cave. The shrine's "Takachiho Yomi Kagura" performance, which recreates the dance that intrigued Amaterasu and lured her out of the cave, has been designated as an important intangible folk cultural asset in Japan.
These compelling ritual performances take place on weekends from mid-November to mid-December, and if you have the opportunity, attending them is highly recommended.
Close to the shrine, visitors will find numerous mythological landmarks, including the Amano Iwato Riverbank, the scenic Grotto of Admiration, and the ethereal Heavenly Floating Bridge. If you have the chance, exploring these sites is well worth it!
Experience the World of Japanese Mythology in Miyazaki
Whether you are acquainted with Japanese mythology or not, the natural beauty of these three locations is certain to captivate your senses. With a convenient day trip from Fukuoka, the Miyazaki bus tour offers a packed itinerary complete with a Japanese beef lunch.
Join this day tour from Fukuoka to explore and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Japanese mythology!
All pictures from Pixta