After a few days of natural beauty in Aso during Golden Week 2018, we decided to hit the road and head to Miyazaki. We had an airbnb booked in the city, and were excited for real walls and city sights for a few days. The drive down showed Miyazaki prefecture to be beautiful, with lush vegetation and great ocean views.
The trip started off wobbly, as the rain was falling, and it turned out we checked in a day early…no idea how we managed it. I guess all that sulfur air had gone to our heads! Fortunately, we had a great host and no one had booked it the night we checked in, so we could enjoy and extra night in Miyazaki.
The following day, in the sunniest city in Japan, the heavens opened in a way I haven’t seen outside monsoon season in Vietnam. This meant a day exploring coffee shops by car, which wasn’t really a bad thing…We found some lovely coffee again and enjoyed the chance to relax after some active days in Aso. It also encouraged us to check out some films in the cinema. I very much enjoyed the Jumanji remake! Very funny action adventure, loved it.
The following day the sun was shining. We took a day trip down the coast to enjoy the dramatic coastline, formed by lava, and several tourist sites on the way. As usual, we managed to find a place to eat that involved getting to also feed a tortoise, in honour of our lovely tortoises, Eva and Rosie, in the UK.
The coastline also boasts some unique temples. Japan is full of temples, so it is pretty hard to find one that makes you go ‘wow’ once you have been here a while. However, we managed it with this trip and a visit to Udo Jingu Shrine. The mythical birthplace of Emperor Jimmu’s (660 BC) father, the shrine boasts impressive ocean views and is build in a cave. It also offers the chance to gamble for luck, which paid off for me! You have to throw five small clay pieces towards the ocean, to be caught in the small crater of a sacred rock. You are pretty unlikely to hit your target, but I succeeded. Yay for the luck, thanks to my unusually solid aim.
The drive back into the city was slow, thanks mostly to very old people driving very slowly. That was pretty standard for this road trip. Still, we enjoyed the sunshine and ocean views and we were grateful to be somewhere we would never have visited if it were not for living in Japan.