July 16, 2009

A Little Slice of Heaven in Miyazaki


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.


sixmats said...

That's a nice looking gorge. I would definitely get back there if I were you. And next time, bring your canoe.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Amazing pics...I'm sold. It made my list of ikitaibasyo...thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

wow! nice. so wanna go there now.

McAlpine said...

Nice pics you got here. Lovely country we our living in.

Anonymous said...

fucking awesome.....

David said...

Back in my Japanese 201 class in Arizona I had a picture of Aojima in my binder. It was my "goal". I knew if I made it to Japan on an exchange program I would go there. It would be the first thing I would do. Well I ended up going to Amanohashidate instead. Four years later I still haven't made it to Miyazaki.

But not for long.

I'm heading down there next month. There will be more trains, buses and sento in my route however. Perhaps some pre-war propaganda statues too!

I can't wait to go and those photos are making me loose even more sleep!

Nice post.

Rouge.Firefly said...

I live in Miyazaki and I thought your post was great. I hope it encourages more people to visit the prefecture. I didn't know anything about Miyazaki until I moved down here and now I love it.