Umagase is a must see for any visitors to Kyushu and any nature lovers who happen to be anywhere near Miyazaki prefecture. Feel free to Follow my Instagram @redheadkid
I packed up my international drivers license, a big bottle of water and a couple onigiris to head off and explore this beautiful jewel nestled off the cliffs in Hyuga. I started in Beppu, Oita so I had to take the toll roads which ended up costing me about 3000yen (27$) total. The toll roads make for a safer and faster drive but can end up being quite costly. However, if you take the regular roads you’ll end up having to go over some pretty gnarly mountain passes. These roads are supposed to be two ways but THEY AIN’T. I always am afraid I’m gonna get in a head on collision with a speed demon Ojisan.
I passed through Utsuki and Saki cities both of which were fairly prominent locations for the Otomo Samurai clan see my other posts hereHistory of Japan: Christians in Oita and Nagasaki for information about Otomo. I also couldn’t help but to wonder how the heck samurais used to march armies around up all these dang mountainous! Miyazaki’s geography is situated so that every town is basically sitting on an inlet/bay between two huge mountains on either side. This also happens to make for very picturesque scenery I’m sure it makes the local fishermen’s lives more convenient as well. The way the cities and villages blend in to the mountains and blue water are really quite serene.
if your looking for Hawaii in Japan you’ve found it! This area also really reminded me of Okinawa but it has it’s own unique personality. The scenery suddenly changes from pine trees to a more tropical feel. You can park your car at the top of Umagase overlook (馬ケがせ) which means horse rocks. You then go for a quick 10 minute hike to be stunned by the magnificent views. This is also the highest “precipitous cliffs in Japan” meaning cliffs that fall in the ocean. The sign read “this place reminds visitors that the earth is spherical”. I wasn’t quite sure what they meant by that, but when I looked off in the distance into the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean I could almost see the curve of the earth. You can see and hear the powerful bright blue waves pounding away at the volcanic rocks. I highly recommend this spot if you need to clear your head and need some natural zen. Or maybe you are more into the thrill of seeing stunning landscapes either way Cape Hyuga is an unforgettable experience. BTW On the way back you can hike up to the white lighthouse for an even better view! I had a smile on my face as soon as I saw the beautiful water and felt the fresh air. there is also a little souvenir shop near the parking lot where you can pick up omiyages and a delicious vanilla ice cream.
If your looking for pristine beaches I also think Miyazaki is a great prefecture it can be a-little chilly but the water quality, wave quality and sand quality can even surpass Okinawa (in my opinion). ぜひヒュが行きって下さい！