Takachiho is located in the center of the Kyushu mountain area where about 40km away from
Aso and is steeped in Japanese mythology.
It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shrine Sun Goddess, disturbed by her
brother’s cruel pranks, hid herself in a cave, prompting the other gods and goddesses to try and
lure her out.
Where to explore
A narrow chasm cut through the rock by the Gokase River. The nearly sheer cliffs lining the
gorge are made of slow forming volcanic basalt columns which resemble the scales of a dragon
where the stone twisted and flowed as it formed.
Located just west of the town center, is nestled in a grove of tall cedars. During the day the shrine’s nondescript, unpainted buildings blend in naturally with the surrounding trees. In the evening, you can enjoy the Yokagura Dance
About ten kilometers outside of central Takachiho the 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.
Kagura is a sacred song and dance for god, and is a Japanese word referring to specific type of
Shinto theatrical dance with roots arguably predating those Noh. A massively shortened version
of Takachiho Yokagura is performed for tourists every night throughout the year at the Takachiho Shrine
Location of Takachiho
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