One of the main highlights of this trip was to visit the beautiful 高千穂峡 Takachiho Gorge!
We had a hard time deciding if we wanted to do this as a day trip (might be too rushed), or to do an overnight stay and watch the cultural show at night (which we might not understand at all). Eventually, we decided to take it easy and stay one night at the gorge, as we would be travelling long distances often during this trip.
It took us a while to find the B&B 浮き雲 Ukigumo, where we would be staying for the night. The friendly owner spoke English very well, and directed us to a shortcut to get to the 高千穂峡 Takachiho Gorge 🙂
It was raining quite heavily, so we opted to go for lunch first.
There were a few options available, and we decided to have lunch near the gorge, at 千穂の家 (Chiho no Ie), where 流しそうめん (Nagashi Somen) floating noodles, was said to be born.
It was certainly a fun experience!
For ¥500, we got about 6 attempts to try catching our noodles in the flowing water. There was a bowl at the end of the stream to catch whatever we missed, and let’s just say the bowl was quite full in the end, haha 😛
We also shared a udon set (¥1200). Food was quite decent, and we enjoyed the thin somen very much.
It was still raining by the time we were done with lunch, and we decided to just proceed to the gorge.
We spent a lot of time exploring the trail, and got to see the gorge and the waterfall both in the rain and when the sun was out. The waterfall was really impressive in the rain! The gorge had a rather romantic feel to it while seeing it in the rain, but we soon realised it was not too romantic to be rowing the boat in such weather, as we watched a few couples attempt the rowing 😛 (click on the photos for a bigger view)
We had some time before dinner, so we decided to pop over the 高千穂神社 (Takachiho Jinja) Takachiho Shrine while there was still some light. We took the opportunity to walk around the “couple cedar” (with their trunks fused together) next to the shrine, three times, hand in hand, for marital blessings 🙂
We met a friendly Taiwanese mother-and-son duo at the gorge earlier on who highly recommended having a meal at 高千穂牛レストラン 和（なごみ） Takachihogyu Restaurant Nagomi (Tip: It was much cheaper to go there for lunch instead of dinner), a short walk from 高千穂神社 (Takachiho Jinja) Takachiho Shrine.
At the restaurant, we could either choose to do-it-ourselves at the BBQ grill, or have the chef do it for us. As we did not wish to worry about overcooking, we opted for the “beef steak at table”, with Loin Steak (¥3900) and Sirloin Steak (¥4400) options. Each set came with rice, side dish, salad, miso soup, pickles, dessert, and soft drink. We gotta say, we enjoyed Takachiho beef was as much as Miyazaki beef 😀 It was so melt-in-your-mouth, and we were very pleased that we decided to come here for dinner 🙂
With our bellies filled, we went back to the Yokagura performance hall (just next to Takachiho Shrine) to get the tickets (¥700 per adult) for the evening 夜神楽 Yokagura (night dances) performances. Some tourists came well-equipped with their own cushion placed on the floor to sit on, while the rest of us tried to relieve our cramped legs throughout the 1-hour show. A short leaflet (available in English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese) was given to us when we purchased the the tickets, so we knew the gist of the performance. However, we thought it might be better if you read up on the Japanese mythology prior to the performance, to have a better understanding.
If you come between mid-November to early February, you will be able to catch the 高千穂の夜神楽 Takachiho-no-Yokagura Festival. For tourists who visit outside of the festival period, 4 dances are selected from the 33 夜神楽 Night Kaguras and performed each night. There were some interaction between the performers and audience nearer to the end of the performance, and it was quite interesting to watch.
From the shrine, it was a short walk back to the B&B, where we had a comfortable night’s stay in a traditional tatami room.
Unfortunately, we did not have much time the next morning, as we had another adventure waiting for us. So, after a light snack, we packed our bags and bade farewell to Takachiho, as we took the bus back to 延岡 Nobeoka to transfer to our train ride.
There was quite a fair bit of waiting time for the train at Nobeoka, so we went hunting for breakfast near the station. Eventually, we found a breakfast place nearby. We shared a Japanese breakfast set (¥600), and the staff was very kind to offer a cup of coffee to hubby 🙂
Despite it being mostly rainy, we had a very enjoyable time at Takachiho. The beautiful gorge itself was well-worth the trip 🙂
- Since we would have both the JR Pass and Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass activated for our return ride, we actually left our big luggage with the hotel in Miyazaki, and only carried our backpacks with us to Takachiho (so that we could travel back to Miyazaki to retrieve the luggage before onward to Kagoshima without incurring additional transport cost). Do note that the bus to Takachiho (covered by the Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass) does not have a dedicated luggage area.
- We did a stopover at Miyazaki on our way back from Takachiho, before grabbing a 駅弁 (Ekiben) (¥700) for lunch during our onward train ride to 鹿児島 Kagoshima.
|千穂の家 (Chiho no Ie):|
|高千穂牛レストラン 和（なごみ）Takachihogyu Restaurant Nagomi:|