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 🙂
We have always enjoyed the soup at 塚田農場 Tsukada Nojo in Singapore, and now we had the chance to try out at the 宮崎 Miyazaki outlet where it all started 🙂
Apparently, in 宮崎 Miyazaki, they use only free-range, home-bred domestic chicken. Only selected farms that have passed Miyazaki Prefecture’s stringent production conditions are allowed to breed this specific type of chicken, which produces leaner meat with well-marbled fat. Reading the description, we were more than ready to try all kinds of chicken cuisine 😀
We were feeling very excited today, as we would be visiting 霧島神宮 Kirishima Shrine (aka Jingu), which worships 天孫瓊瓊杵尊 (Ninigi-no-mikoto), the grandson of 天照大神 (Amaterasu-omikami), the Sun Goddess.
According to Japanese mythology, Kirishima is the place where Ninigi-no-mikoto arrived in Japan, in accordance to Amaterasu-omikami’s orders to reign over the ancient Japan, and subsequently, his descendants were the Emperors of Japan, first being 神武天皇 Jinmu-tennō Emperor Jimmu.
We visited 鵜戸神宮 (Udo Jingu) Udo Shrine (2 days ago) which worships 鵜葺草葺不合命 Ugayafukiaezu-no-mikoto, the father of 神武天皇 Jinmu-tennō Emperor Jimmu and son of Ninigi-no-mikoto. Miyazaki is truly the land of Japanese Mythology, and there are many more shrines dedicated to these mythological deities.
Other than beef (still drooling from the unforgettable 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef), Miyazaki is also famous for chicken; in particular, チキン南蛮 Chicken Nanban and 焼き鳥 Yakitori Chicken are the 2 must-try dishes here.
丸万 Maruman was one of the highly-recommended restaurants to try the 焼き鳥 Yakitori Chicken, and we went to the 本店 original store to check it out.
We were led to the rooms upstairs because it was full downstairs (which also meant we were not able to see the chef in action 😦 ), which involved removal of shoes, and while there was only Japanese menu available, an English-speaking staff pointed to us which was the most popular dish, and also tried to explain what certain dishes were when we enquired.
It was a cold day, and we were resting from our excursion yesterday while craving for something soupy. A hot bowl of udon definitely seemed like an excellent idea for lunch 🙂
きっちょううどん Kitchou Udon is a chain of udon restaurants all over 宮崎 Miyazaki and one happened to be near our hotel along 橘通 Tachibanadori.
English pictorial menu was available, so ordering of udon was not an issue, but there were also some fried items available at the ordering counter, with only description in katakana. No worries, you can just pick whatever that looked interesting 😛
We opted for the 肉スぺシャル Niku-Special Udon (¥750), and added メンチカツ Menchi Katsu (¥120), which is ground meat with chopped onions breaded and deep-fried, イカ天 Ika Tempura (¥100), which is squid deep-fried with tempura batter.
The squid had a really addictive chewy texture, and the meat katsu was quite juicy. While the udon was slightly too soft for our preference, the entire bowl was filled with delicious ingredients (and lots of spring onion!). It was a meal that definitely warmed us up 🙂
- Location: 〒880-0001 宮崎県 宮崎市 橘通西3-3-27 宮崎アートセンタービル1階Miyazaki Art Centre Ground Floor, 3 Chome-3-27 Tachibanadori-nishi, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki-ken 880-0001, Japan (Google Maps)
- Directions: 13 min walk from West Exit of 宮崎駅 Miyazaki Station
- Website: www.kitchouudon.com/shop/03/ (Unofficial Facebook)
- Hrs: 6am – 3am
Other than chicken, Miyazaki is also famous for its high quality 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef, and we really really wanted to try it!
We had read about the dinner buffet at 焼肉レストランAPAS Yakiniku Restaurant APAS (a very popular chain of restaurants specializing in 宮崎牛 Miyazaki Beef), which required reservations to be made in advance. Hence, we had popped over here the night before to make enquiries and to make reservations.
The 120-min 食べ飲み放題 Eat-And-Drink-All-You-Can dinner buffet was ¥6,000 (~S$70) for men and ¥5,500 (~S$65) for ladies, and would be even more value-for-money if you could drink a lot; shochu, wine, whiskey, beer, etc, were all part of the free-flow drinks menu.
We had some time left in the afternoon after visiting the Nichinan Coastal area, and decided to visit another place of interest to fully utilise our 1-day Visit Miyazaki Bus Pass.
平和台公園 Heiwadai Park seemed interesting, and after checking the bus schedule at the Tourist Information Centre within Miyazaki Station, we went to the bus stop to wait for Bus #8.
The bus arrived earlier, so we could go up and have a seat while waiting for its scheduled departure. This was a good thing, for it started raining all of a sudden, and we were startled by the sudden jumping up movements by the passengers sitting at the bus stop. That was when we realised that the mini bus stop shelter did not cover the seating area 😮
Categories: Japan, Miyazaki, Travel
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).
It is said that チキン南蛮 Chicken Nanban, originated from 延岡市 Nobeoka City in 宮崎県 Miyazaki Prefecture. More precisely, it all started from 直ちゃん Naochan, a small restaurant which serves its fried chicken breast marinated with Nanban vinegar, without tartar sauce. Nowadays, there are also restaurants that use chicken thigh meat instead, as it is more juicy and tender.
The first restaurant that started serving this dish with tartar sauce was said to be おぐら Ogura, within 宮崎市 Miyazaki City. So it seemed fitting that our first dinner in Miyazaki would be here 🙂
We headed for おぐら本店 Ogura Honten, which was located in a little alley. The restaurant looked like a little cottage, and it was fairly quiet at 6.30pm on a Sunday (and soon we realised that Miyazaki was basically rather quiet all the time throughout our stay :P)