We woke up bright and early to catch the 8:19am bus to 鵜戸神宮 (Udo Jingu) Udo Shrine (dedicated to 鵜葺草葺不合命 Ugayafukiaezu no Mikoto “Unfinished Cormorant-Feather Thatching” , the father of 神武天皇 Jinmu-tennō Emperor Jimmu, the mythical first emperor of Japan).
It was a super cloudy day, but rain was expected later in the afternoon, as well as whole of tomorrow (due to a nearby typhoon), so today was the best day to go 日南 Nichinan area for 鵜戸神宮 Udo Jingu & 青島 Aoshima, and we had to make sure that we get up the first bus!
It was a pleasant morning ride with little traffic. We first passed by little houses and saw some farmers doing a bit of burning (perhaps to fertilise the soil?).
After 50 mins, we passed by 青島 Aoshima (which we would come back to later), and began to see the beautiful coastal view 😀 en route to 鵜戸神宮 Udo Jingu (another 40 mins).
We arrived at 9:50am, and first thing we did was to take a picture of the bus schedule. After a quick toilet break, we began our 15-minute walk to Udo Shrine. There were quite a fair bit of stone steps up and down, so do wear proper foot attire! It was also drizzling slightly, so we had to be more mindful when walking on the stone steps too.
The main 鵜戸神宮 Udo Shrine is located within a cave at a cliff side (you can see it on the left of the banner picture), and it was quite interesting to follow the route, and take a walk around it. The sea view was lovely too!
As we wanted to visit our next destination 青島 Aoshima during low tide today (lowest tide at 11:10am), we had to catch the 11:04am bus back, which meant that we had less than 30 mins at 鵜戸神宮 Udo Shrine, after factoring the walking time. The timing was a bit tight and we wished we had more time for a leisurely walk and to enjoy the scenery more. For a feel of the scenery and the shrine in the cave, do watch the Instagram post below.
There was also a 亀岩 (Kame Iwa) Turtle Rock below the cliff where a straw rope ring was placed. One can buy a 運玉 (Undama) Lucky Jade Clay Pebble (¥100 for 5) and try your luck at throwing at the ring (man uses the left hand, and woman uses the right). If the pebble lands in the ring, you will have good luck! We didn’t try though because we were too awed by the beauty of nature and the uniqueness of the shrine-in-a-cave.
The return bus came around 11:06am, 2 mins behind schedule. However, with buses, it is always better to wait at the bus stop before the scheduled time. It would be an hour’s wait if we had missed the bus 😮
Yet another comfortable 40-min ride, and we were both dozing off, haha! Luckily, there was a much longer announcement for 青島 Aoshima, and in different languages, plus a few other passengers were getting off too, so we managed to wake up and get off in time. After we got off the bus, all we had to do was the cross the road (there was an overhead bridge as well), and followed the rest 🙂
The reason we wanted to visit 青島 Aoshima during low tide, was because we wanted to see the 鬼の洗濯板 (Oni no Sentakuita) Devil’s Washboard. The soft parts of the rocks were eroded by the constant wave actions, resulting in all these parallel lines amongst the rocks, which was truly an amazing sight 😮 We even managed to go walk among the rocks, with proper footwear, of course. The rocks would be covered during high tide, so do plan your visit accordingly. It was also quite therapeutic watching the waves come splashing in 🙂
We then walked in further to visit 青島神社 Aoshima Jinjya, which was said to bring luck to married couples 🙂 Do remember to check out the smaller outlying shrine, by following a short path flanked by trees, on the right of the shrine’s main building. There, we watched some people have fun throwing clay disks into a designated area for luck.
Coming back, we got ourselves a delicious and popular local snack 宮崎肉卷 Meat Roll ( ¥300), before taking the 12:46pm bus back to 宮崎 Miyazaki for a late lunch.
- To take Bus #965 to 鵜戸神宮 Udo Jingu or 青島 Aoshima, look for Bus Stop 西3 just outside 宮崎駅 Miyazaki Station. The bus will stop at Bus Stop 西1 as well, but most people got up at 西3 to ensure that they will get a seat. Try to sit on the left side to get a better view of the coast during the ride towards Udo Shrine. You should start seeing the washboard rocks about 1 hour into the ride, if the tides are low enough, so do try to stay awake 🙂
- Here are the links for bus schedules from Miyazaki Station to Udo Jingu, and from Udo Jingu to Aoshima.
- We had bought the Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass (1-day unlimited travel on public buses with in Miyazaki City and 8 other sightseeing areas in the surrounding region for ¥1000) at the Miyazaki City Tourist Information Center in Miyazaki Station a day earlier, so that we could take a bus from our hotel to Miyazaki Station, and starting from day trip from there.
|鵜戸神宮 Udo Shrine:|
|青島神宮 Aoshima Shrine:|