Sangasho Shrine located in Gokase-cho in the northwest part of Miyazaki Pref. in central Kyushu is a shrine famous for seasonal flowers. The shrine originates in the hokora (small shrine) at the top of Mt. Futagami, which is believed to be the place of Tenson Korin (the Sun goddess’ descent to earth). Later during the Shotai era (898-901) the hokora was moved to the foot of the mountain and Sangasho Shrine was founded. It enshrines the deities of Izanagi and Izanami. The shrine was rebuilt in 1571. The present Honden (main hall) built in 1817 is made of one zelkova tree and the excellent Nagare-zukuri style is employed there. Exquisite wood carvings by master craftsmen of the time are especially beautiful. From the middle of April through the end of May, when the annual spring is festival is held, 12,000 stocks of alpine roses burst out in the precinct. Camellia and weeping cherry blossoms are also splendid when they are in full bloom. The gallant Araodori Dance by male dancers in warrior costume is a nationally designated Important Intangible Cultural Property. It is dedicated to the deities of this shrine on the last Saturday of September every year.
Mt. Kirishima is a generic name for the volcanoes in the border of Kirishima City in Kagoshima Prefecture and Ebino City and Kobayashi City in Miyazaki Prefecture. It is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Mountains. It is presumed to be a post-caldera volcano formed in the southern rim of Kakuto caldera basin.
Mt. Kirishima is composed of many peaks including the highest peak of Karakuni-dake (1,700 m), Takachiho-no-mine, Naka-dake, Ohata-yama, and Ohachi. There are a lot of crater lakes such as Onami-ike, Ohata-ike, and Rokukannon-ike. The mountain area is a part of Kirishima- Yaku National Park. The communities of Kyushu azalea can be seen in the highlands.
Mt. Kirishima is the land of Japanese mythology concerning its creation. “Amano Sakahoko,” the three teeth fork-shaped weapon is staked upside down at the top of Mt. Takachiho-no-mine, which is believed to be where the Heavenly Descendant Ninigi no Mikoto descended from Takamagahara Field (Heavenly Hill Field).
Takachiho-gawara in the Kirishima mountain range (Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture) is where Kirishima Jungu Shrine used to be located. It was originally built between Mt. Takachiho-no-mine and Mt. Ohachi but was destroyed by a volcanic eruption about 1,400 years ago and rebuilt at this place. However, it was again burnt down by the second eruption about 1,000 years ago and relocated to the town at the foot of the mountain. Presently only the remains have been preserved.
Located near the western starting point for climbing Mt. Takachiho-no-mine, the site is surrounded with the forest of red pine and the communities of Kyushu azalea. Seen from this point, Mt. Takachiho-no-mine protrudes into the sky, making a sharp angle. Its exquisite appearance deserves the name of “Holy Mountain.”
The summit of Mt. Takachiho-no-mine is believed to be where the Heavenly Descendant Ninigi no Mikoto descended from Takamagahara Field (Heavenly Hill Field). On November 11th every year, “the Fire of the Gods” festival is held here to commemorate Ninigi no Mikoto.
The Manai Waterfall in Takachiho Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, is an impressive waterfall, which symbolizes Takachiho, the land of myths and legends. It is selected as one of Japan’s 100 Fine Waterfalls.
Takachiho, a small mountain town situated in the center of Kyushu, in northern Miyazaki is one of the most sacred places in Japan, where the grandchild of Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, descended from the High Plain of Heaven. Takachiho is full of fascination for tourists, such as the sea of clouds floating over mountain villages, Takachiho Gorge with mystic atmosphere, simple and old-fashioned farm houses with chigi (ornamental crossbeams on the gable, mostly seen in a Shinto shrine) on the roofs and glorious mountains covered with tender green in spring and crimson foliage in fall.
The Manai Waterfall flows down the 17-meter perpendicular cliff made of columnar basalt in Takachiho Gorge. The waterfall gently flows down into the deep green water between the towering cliffs lit by the gentle sunlight. It is a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. The boats are available for rent and visitors can get right close to the waterfall.
Takamahiko Shrine is located on the hillside of Mt Kongo of Gose in Nara Prefecture. It enshrines the deity Takamisubi no Mikoto (also called Takamahiko no Kami), which is known as the ancient god of the Katsuragi clan.
Mt Shirakumonomine (694m) is worshiped as a sacred mountain. In legend, it is a place where gods descend.
Beside the pathway to the shrine, there are many gigantic cedars that give the atmosphere of old Japan. One of the trees along the pathway is named Oshukubai Tree after a story about a priest. The priest was grieving over the death of a young child, when a falconine flew onto the tree and sang a song for the priest. In spring the tree bursts into beautiful bloom.