Things to do Nature & Parks Japan > miyazaki > takachiho

Energy spots with picturesque scenery steeped in myths! Miyazaki's Takachiho and Amano Yasukawara

Tomome
Updated Sep 23, 2015

Would you try riding a boat near Takachiho gorge’s Manai waterfall and being surrounded by the natural ions of the prominent picturesque scenery that attracts 1,5 million people every year? You’ll enjoy the ducks swarming around the boat waiting to be feed! After that you can visit the mythological energy spot of Amano Yasukawara and feel the power of all the wishes made on the piles of stones stacked along the river.

Splendid waterfall! Manai Fall is full of natural ions

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Takachiho gorge is one of the best picturesque sceneries in Japan, part of Takachiho town, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki prefecture. It is designated as a national scenic beauty spot and a natural monument, welcoming 1,5 million visitors every year. The most beautiful thing to see at Takachiho gorge is undoubtedly Manai waterfall! It is truly impressive to see the 17-meter high waterfall against a backdrop of surrounding gorge cliffs.

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Unrivalled beauty! See the waterfull closely! Boating experience and feeding ducks

Have you seen advertising posters which depict Takachiho’s Manai Fall together with floating boats? There are really rental boats at the gorge and you can explore the waterfall from short distance. Near Manai Fall the river basin is narrow, there is no division with the waterfall and it can get really crowded with other clumsy boats. Therefore be careful not to get into the basin right under the waterfall and enjoy your exciting time! Entering the basin under the waterfall can be dangerous, so you better practice rowing the boat properly before you approach closer. There are life jackets in the boats, but during rainy days operation is ceased due to increased water level. A 30-minute boat ride costs 2000 JPY, but you can extend with 300 JPY per 10 minutes. No more than 3 people can ride a boat. The working hours of the rental service are 8:30~ 16:30, but expect waiting lines on crowded weekends and national holidays. You can also buy egg biscuits to feed the ducks in the river. It’s fun watching the ducks gather around your boat while you’re feeding them.

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The legend of Amano Iwato! Touring the energy spots of this mythological place

After enjoying Takachiho gorge, you would want to explore the mythological spots of Takachiho town and feel the spiritual energy emitted from them. In about 10,4 kilometers from the gorge or in 10 minutes by car you will reach Amano Iwato shrine, the place of the famous Amano Iwato myth.

According to Japanese mythology (as explained in Kojiki and Nihon-shoki anthologies), Amaterasu is the sun goddess who stands above all eight million Shinto deities. Once she got outraged by the behavior of her brother Susanoo no Mikoto, the ruler of sea, and hid in the Amano Iwato cave, depriving the world of sunlight.

In fact, there are several places in Japan called Amano Iwato or Iwato. But in Takachiho there are other spots related to Japanese mythology, such as Amano Yasukawara, and the spiritual energy felt around is stronger, therefore you cannot help thinking that this is the actual place described in the myths. Amano Iwato cave is located on the opposite side of Iwato river, behind the western building of Amano Iwato shrine. Purify yourself and ask the priests to guide you to the place in the shrine from where you can see the cave.

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Beautiful valley! The path to Amano Yasukawara

In about 500 meters (or in a 10 minute walk) from the western shrine building you will descend to Iwato river, from where a path begins through the beautiful valley leading to Amano Yasukawara. Walk while enjoying the moss-covered stones and the river stream, and you will feel refreshed from absorbing nature’s air. Cross Taiko bridge and you’re there! The landscape changes completely once you start seeing the piles of stones stacked along the path!

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Thousands of piled stones everywhere! Amano Yasukawara feels somewhat scary!

You will reach Amano Yasukawara’s 25-meter deep and 30-meter wide cave with a simple shrine and gates installed. The view of thousands of piled stones stacked everywhere around you is mystical and truly impressive. This is the cave where all the eight million deities gathered to discuss how to get Amaterasu out of her cave, hence it is also known as “Gyobogaiwa”.

After the world war visitors gradually began to pile up the stones while saying their prayers, and that resulted in today’s mystical atmosphere of this place. While impressive and mysterious, the view of all the piled stones can be also a little scary. Undoubtedly a strong spiritual energy spot!

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Conclusion

The origin of Japan’s myths, Takachicho, is located in the wild nature of Miyazaki prefecture. Will you experience rowing a boat under the natural ions of the splendid waterfall and then sensing the power of unknown before spiritual energy spots? This trip will definitely provide you with rich experience.

This article was originally published on Sep 23, 2015

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