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Kyushu Travel Guide

Amano Iwato Shrine


Amano Iwato Shrine 

Takachiho is a birth place of Japanese indigenouse religion, Shinto

Takachiho is the site of one of the best known legends of Japanese mythology. In the story, Amaterasu,

the Shito sun goddess, became so outraged by her brother’s cruel pranks that she hid herself in a cave,

refusing to come out and depriving the world of her life-giving light. 

All of the other gods and goddesses gathered to lure her out. They tried everything they could think

of to no avail until one goddess performed an outrageously ribald dance that caused the other gods to

roar with laughter. Amaterasu left the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she

returned her light to the world.



Amano Iwato Shrine

About ten kilometers outside of central Takachiho, Amano Iwato Shrine was built near the cave where

Amaterasu is said to have hid herself away.

The cave cannot be approached, however, there is an observation deck behind the shrine’s main 

building from where you can gaze across the river. 

In order to access the observation deck, you need to inquire at the shrine entrance, and a priest will

give you a quick guided tour.



Amano Yasukawara

A short walk down the road from Amano Iwato Shrine is a path that leads down to the river below. 
After a few minutes on this path you will see neat little piles of stones stacked along the river by
previous visitors to mark their pilgrimage to this “power spot”.
arther along, the stacks become more numerous until you are surrounded by literally thousands of
them as far as you can see. Eventually the path leads to a simple shrine inside a cave known as
Amano Yasukawara

This is said to be the cave where the gods and goddesses met to discuss their strategy of luring

Amaterasu out of hiding. The natural beauty of the cave and river lined by countless stacks of

stones make Amano Yasukawara a place not to miss. 



 Location of Takachiho




 General information  



1073-1 Amano-iwato, Takachiho-cho, Nishi-Usuki-gun, Miyazaki-prefecture


120 minutes by a vehicle from Kumamoto IC

150 minutes by a vehicle from Oita IC

150 minutes by a vehicle from Miyazaki


Featured tours  

Miyazaki-prefecture  & Kumamoto-prefecture  

・ Kumamoto, Aso and Takachiho 3 days tour

Aso and Takachiho / Dynamic nature 2 days tour    

・ Takachiho one-day tour

Amakusa / UNESCO Hidden Christian sites 2 days tour

Kyushu Round tours

・ 11 days Kyushu tour

・ 8 days Northern & Central Kyushu tour

・ 8 days Southern Kyushu tour

・ 6 days North-West Kyushu tour

・ 7 days Central Kyushu tour

・ 6 days North-Eest Kyushu tour




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