Rising 257 meters above the pounding surf below and sculpted through millions of years of erosion, Matengai Cliff is peak viewing along the Kuniga coastline of Nishinoshima, an island in the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark. It is best to set aside an entire day to explore the islands and sights throughout the park.
Scenic walking paths run along the Kuniga coast
The cliff carpark is a popular sunset viewing point
The track from the clifftop to the shoreline below is a steep 2.5 kilometers
Matengai Cliff is nine kilometers from Beppu Port and three kilometers from Urago Port. Public transport is limited on Nishinoshima, making cycling or car rental the most convenient options.
Car ferries dock at Beppu Port while a smaller inter-island ferry docks at Urago Port. Your hotel or the tourist information offices at either Beppu or Urago ports can help with travel arrangements and advise on organized tours.
Matengai Cliff rises 257 meters above the surf below and offers fantastic views of the dramatic coastline. From here, you can see the 220-meter-high Akao Lookout a few kilometers down the coast and the many islands of the Oki Archipelago. This area is made up of grasslands where horses and cows graze peacefully, an unusual sight in Japan.
The coast between Matengai Cliff and Arao Lookout is called Tenjokai, or Heavenly World. It is made up of multi-colored rock spires, sea caves, and a natural arch called Tsutenkyo, or Heaven's Bridge. Many of the rock formations are named for their shape, like Elephant Trunk Rock, Frog Rock, and Kannon Rock. When the sea is calm it is safe to climb down to the small beaches and tide pools in these amazing grottos.
If you're not up for a hike, take a ride on one of the several tour boats that cruise the coastline. They operate out of both Beppu and Urago ports between April and October and offer an alternative but no less stunning view of the coastline.