Day 3: Takachiho Gorge
Our last day in Miyazaki starts early. There’s a place I’ve wanted to visit since looking into our travels in Miyazaki. Takachiho Gorge is famous for its gorgeous ravines. There are turquoise blue boats you can rent for a unique perspective of the gorge. The previous night, we learn on the news that the Gorge was, unsurprisingly, packed with Golden Week visitors. The boat rental shop was shut down before 11:00 am due to high demand. With that in mind, we leave briskly at 5:30 am to make way to the Gorge.
After a 2 and a half hour drive inland, we arrive. There are already a long line of cars desperately searching for parking. After an hour of searching, we are eventually directed to a make-shift lot next to an old rice processing plant. It’s a beautiful, hot day, so we don’t mind the 15 minute walk to the next parking lot, where we line up for the shuttle bus that takes us to the main attraction.
After a 15 minute shuttle ride, we arrive. We first check the line for the boats– it is long. We stop for washroom breaks and load up on snacks and water. When we go back outside, we see that the line has not budged an inch.
We decide to shelve the boat ride, and check out the views instead.
The view is spectacular! With greenery dripping from the ravines and waters sparkling a sea foam blue, it looks better than the photos I’ve seen. After a good look around, we make our trek up to Takachiho Shrine, passing some wonderful scenery along the way.
The climb up to the shrine takes about 30 minutes, and we pass several people taking breaks on the steep steps. The path is lined with tall cedar trees, and the shade eases the heat a bit.
For lunch, we stop at small rest stop serving simple dishes of soba noodles, salted rice balls and pickles. There’s seating outside, so find a spot to take in the gorgeous view.
After lunch, we return to our shuttle spot. Out of curiosity, I check the boat rentals. A sign shows that the shop has shut down at 11:40 am, with close to a 6 hour waiting list. 😬
It’s been a wonderful 3 days of Miyazaki sightseeing!