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Takachiho Gorge 高千穂峡

Takachiho Kyou Gorge Takachiho Kyou Gorge
Takachiho Kyou Gorge Takachiho Kyou Gorge

Rowing in a volcanic canyon by a waterfall, and a trek through nature, culture and history

Imagine lazily cruising through a deep volcanic gorge in a rowboat while a waterfall forms rainbows in the mist around you.

If that appeals to you, put Takachiho Gorge in Miyazaki Prefecture on your Kyushu itinerary. The gorge is formed by columnar jointing, the result of the rapid cooling of an ancient lava flow. The view from a boat directly up the 17-meter Manai Falls is truly thrilling.

The Takachiho area also offers some wonderful shrines and inns near the gorge. You can see the gorge and more nature, culture and history on the Takachiho Course.

Don't Miss

  • Rowing a boat through the gorge
  • Side trips to Takachiho Shrine and Amano-Iwato Shrine
  • Trekking the 12.3-kilometer Takachiho Course if you've got the day

How to Get There

You can get to the closest large transportation hubs, Kumamoto and Miyazaki, via shinkansen or plane. There are direct buses from there to the Takachiho area.

Cars are another option. It's 140 kilometers from Miyazaki and takes about 2.5 hours if you use the toll road. Get onto the Higashi Kyushu Express (Miyazaki Route) and head north toward Nobeoka. After about 90 km take the exit toward Kumamoto just after the Kadogawa IC. Stay on Route 10 until it becomes Route 218. Stay on Route 218 for another 25 km and then follow the Takachiho signs. They're clearly marked.

Visit the fall in fall

The gorgeous shots you typically see of Takachiho Gorge are taken when the leaves are green, from April to October. Once the fall season begins, the gorge is filled with orange and red leaves. Plan your autumnal visit from mid-November to early December.

Climb to the perfect vantage spot

There's a little wooden observation deck perched nicely on top of the rocks that gives you a perfect vantage point to capture the flow of the falls and the rowboats meandering down below.

Looking down at the curtain of water down into the gorge

A paved path runs along the edge of the gorge for a kilometer. At some points on the trail, you can look practically straight down to the Gokase River below.

Walk along the riverside

You can also walk along the water's edge. It's rocky and slippery in spots, so make sure you've got appropriate footwear. You won't be able to go directly under the falls without riding in one of the boats, but you will be able to see the mossy cavern.

The southern end of the gorge offers a freshwater aquarium, a stocked fishing pond and restaurants and souvenir shops.

Staying for the night

Staying overnight is a possibility. There are traditional Japanese inns, ryokan, and hotels close to the gorge.

One reason to do so in summer is that the gorge is illuminated. You should also make the trip to Takachiho Shrine and the Kagura Night Festival dance performance. You might even squeeze in a side trip to Amano-Iwato Shrine to get a full cultural experience.

A trail for serious trekkers

If you're a dedicated hiker, consider a trek along the Takachiho Course, which offers an extensive look at the natural and cultural high points of the Takachiho area.

The 12.3-kilometer course begins at the Information Center in town and goes past Takachiho Shrine, the gorge, Mukoyama Shrine and Maruono Tea Garden, finishing up at the Gamataze Market.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

Near Takachiho Gorge

Takachiho Kyou Gorge Nature
Takachiho Gorge Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken
Manai Falls Nature
Manai Falls Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken
Takachiho Night Kagura Festival Festivals & Events
Takachiho Evening Kagura Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken
Takachiho Shrine History
Takachiho-Jinja Shrine Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken
Amano-iwato Shrine History
Amano Iwato-Jinja Shrine Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken
Takachiho Night Kagura Festival Festivals & Events
Amano Iwato Kagura Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki-ken

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