I went to Takachiho in Miyazaki Prefecture on Kyushu Island last Sunday. Takachiho is popular for its nature beauty and old mythological history.
One of the best view in Takachiho is ‘Takachiho Gorge’. It has a spectacular gorge with waterfalls and volcanic rock formations. We could walk along the gorge, a 20- minute stroll before the big earthquake in Kumamoto. There are also rowing boats for hire but I could not rent the boat because of high water level of the river after the heavy rain. Anyhow I enjoyed the great view of the gorge.
The Amano-Iwato Shrine in the Iwato village area of Takachiho has a wonderful walk down into a gorge and along to the cave where Amaterasu sun goddess was said to have hidden. This beautiful and mysterious place has thousands of little rock towers which visitors have made as offerings to the gods, hoping for good luck.
The main Takachiho Shrine has many old trees and also hosts the nightly Yokagura dancing for tourists.
The Yokagura dancing is perhaps one of Takachiho’s most popular attractions and the set of 33 dances have become a designated cultural asset. The dances traditionally take place between November and February. Starting at the end of the afternoon and continuing on to the next morning, the 33 dances are performed by villagers, the techniques passed on from generation to generation. The dances are the villagers way of saying thank you to the Gods for a good harvest and to make sure the Gods look after them through the long cold Takachiho winter.