Coastal drives, castle visits, seaside shrines and ocean views
Very often when you're traveling, getting to places is the hard, boring part. Not so when you're going to Nichinan. Whether you're heading north from Kagoshima or south from Miyazaki City , the coastal drive rivals any other in Japan. Throw in a seaside shrine, replica Moai statues, an old historic castle and some great surfing, and Nichinan has plenty to offer for the whole family.
- The ocean views from Udo-jingu Shrine
- Obi Town—the Kyoto of Kyushu
How to Get There
Located in the southern part of Miyazaki Prefecture, Nichinan is accessible via car or train.
By car, drive south along the main Route 220 from Miyazaki City . The drive takes about an hour. By train from Miyazaki Station, take the Nichinan Line toward Shibushi.
A shrine with great views and a cave with mystic powers
Udo-jingu Shrine is perhaps Miyazaki's most spectacular seaside shrine. One of only a very few shrines built inside a cave in Japan, this shrine has amazing views of the water below.
As you leave the shrine, there is a large rock on the shore into which people throw stones for good luck. Make sure you buy some little stones and throw them into the hole below (men with their left hand, women with their right). If they go in, your wishes will come true. This is a lot harder than it sounds!
Replica Moai statues and sweeping ocean views
Sunmesse Nichinan , about a five minutes-drive north of Miyazaki, is a small theme park with seven huge replica Moai statues. Touching different statues brings different kinds of luck.
Take a step back in time in Obi Town
Obi Town is an old castle town that used to be home to some of Japan's most powerful figures when Miyazaki was a big player in Japan.
The old town would not look out of place in any samurai period drama, and is particularly atmospheric at night. Take a stroll along the cobblestoned streets to appreciate its beauty.
Much of the original castle still stands today, and some of the lost sections have been restored in recent years.
Surf some of Miyazaki's wildest waves
The stretch of coast along Nichinan Kaigan is wild and full of volcanic rock formations. That makes it popular with surfing enthusiasts. One of the most popular breaks is Umegahama, just on the left side of Route 220 as you head south into Nichinan City.
Encounter the cute horses at Cape Toi
Misaki horses, a type of horse native to Japan, inhabit Cape Toi, near Kushima City. All 550 hectares of Cape Toi are home to horses, and if your timing is right, you may encounter them on the road. At the Cape Toi Exchange Center Pakarapaka, visitors can enjoy specially prepared food and drinks and purchase local products while enjoying the panoramic view from the cape.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.