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Rediscover the Beauty of Kyushu! Top 5 Spots to Visit in Southern Kyushu

There are many sightseeing spots you must visit in southern Kyushu such as Miyazaki, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima. This article introduces 5 of these places you must definitely give a try.

1. Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Gorge is a valley located in northern Miyazaki Prefecture, and was created long ago when the pyroclastic flow from when Mt. Aso erupted made its way into the Gokasekawa River and hardened. From the 80m bluff, you may have an approximately 7km view, and from the middle of the cliff till the surface of the river, you may find the Manai Waterfalls. You may gaze upon the river from the approximately 1km promenade, but it would be worth renting the rowboat (2,000 JPY for 30 minutes, accommodates 3 people), from where you can gaze at the cliff from the water.

1. Takachiho Gorge

Oshioi Oaza-Mitai, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki

2. Kirishima Onsen Village

Mt. Kirishima, which can be found among the volcanic group in the northeast of Kagoshima Prefecture, got its name from the Japanese mythology, where the gods from the heavens added a halberd as a sign to the mountain, that seemed like an island among the fog ("kiri" = fog, "shima" = island). One of the 9 hot springs that sprouted from Mt. Kirishima can be found at the Kirishima Onsen Village, where you can find a number of inns and hotels, and also serves as one of the sightseeing spots in Kirishima. You may access other hot spring villages such as the Kirishima Jingu, Myoken Anraku, and Hinatayama.

Kirishima Onsen Village

Kirishima Onsen Village, Maruo Waterfall

2. Kirishima Onsen Village

3878-114 Takachiho Makizono-cho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima

3. Kirishima Jingu

Mt. Takachihonomine, which comes in second in the Kirishima mountain range, is believed to be the place where Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the wolf grandchild of Japan's supreme deity, Amaterasu, descended. Kirishima Jingu serves at the shrine venerating Ninigi-no-Mikoto. The beautiful vermillion shrine resting among the greenery is mystical and is adorned by a sacred tree near it that is believed to be around 800 years old. Here you may enjoy the cherry blossoms and fresh greenery in the spring, the leaves in fall, and the view of the snow in winter. All in all, Kirishima Jingu will let you on the different aspects of Japan by the season.

3. Kirishima Jingu

2608-5 Kirishima Taguchi, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima

4. Sengan-en (Isoteien)

Sengan-en is located by the sea shore in Satsuma Peninsula in southern Kagoshima Prefecture. The garden was built on the ruins of the villa the feudal lord in 1658 used to live in and offers a frontal view of Mt. Tsuki in Sakura Island and a "borrowing landscape" of the Kinko pond. The garden served as the State Guesthouse during the modernization of Japan as well as a place for interaction between Japanese and foreigners. Sengan-en makes up one of the industrial revolutionary heritage sites during the Meiji era in Japan and is registered as a World Cultural Heritage, as well.
Entrance Fee: 1,000 JPY

4. Sengan-en (Isoteien)

9700-1 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima

5. Obi Castle

This district is located in the southern part of Miyazaki Prefecture and is called "Kyushu's Little Kyoto". Here you can enjoy streets resembling that of the Edo period (1603 to 1868), from the samurai residences, shops, the aesthetical mortars (coating material made with a mixture of ordinary plaster and hydrated lime), fences, canals (water channels), to many others. The Otemon gate at the remains of the Obi Castle, where you may find wide stone steps and stone walls, have been restored. You may furthermore visit the Obi Castle Historical Museum by the donjon (Entrance Fee (applicable to other facilities): 610 JPY). Please also try the popular Obi tempura.

Otemon Gate at Obi Castle

The castle town canals where carps swim

5. Obi Castle

4-2-20-1 Obi, Nichinan-shi, Miyazaki

What do you think? There are many fascinating places to visit in southern Kyushu. Please use this article as reference when you visit.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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