Amano Iwato Shrine
Amano Iwato Shrine
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.
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.
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
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
Kyushu Round tours
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