After a year of living on the island of Kyushu, I finally made it to Miyazaki-ken known for its beaches, surfing, and chicken nanban. I now find myself asking, "what took so damn long?" Everyone has their little bit of heaven on earth, and I think I just found mine.
The plan had me and some friends camping on Shimoaso beach （下阿蘇ビーチ） just north of Nobeoka （延岡） which is located in the northern part of the prefecture. We armed ourselves with newly bought tents, an ￥８００ BBQ grill, and MEAT. But you live in Japan, isn't meat expensive? Well if you have a friend who lives near Costco in Fukuoka, two giant steaks, pork chops, shrimp, chicken wings, and bratwursts are no problem. Yes, we did consume all that in one meal and we even threw in some eggplant, shitake mushrooms, and green peppers to boot.
Our camping spot was surrounded with palm trees and a nice sand beach stretched out to our left and right. The facilities were great; shower, bathroom, power outlets, and tables all within reach. After the rained stopped around 4pm, it was smooth sailing and the camping out experience really enhanced our trip. A stay in a local hotel or even a cabin wouldn't have improved the trip. Conversely, I would say it would have detracted from it.
On the second day, we went for a morning swim out to a chain of rocks off the shore and relaxed listening to the sound of waves lap against the shore. Afterward, we forwent the local showers and found our way to a nice お風呂 and soaked in some hot water. What better way to follow that up then with some sushi.
We packed up and left our little haven to check out Takachiho Gorge （高千穂峡）, which was formed by the lava flows of Mt. Aso, in neighboring Kumamoto-ken. It was stunning. See the pictures below for yourself.
Not bad for a weekend trip and to think it is all under a 90 minute drive from my house. I will definitely head back. In fact, I will be heading to southern Miyazaki in about a months time. I wish you could see the smile on my face.