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Takachiho shrine

 

Takachiho Shrine is 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
The light that filters through, brings with it an air of calm, peaceful reverence.

Today this legend is reenacted as Yokagura in a series of 33 episodes depicting the divine quarrel as

well as other deeds of the gods.  On winter weekends, people gather to watch all-night performances of

these episodes at different locations each week, sometimes at private homes

The performances are held on Saturday evenings from mid November to mid February.

 


 

Kagura

A massively shortened version of Takachiho Yokagura is performed for tourists every night throughout

the year at the Takachiho Shrine. The one-hour show consists of just a few scenes of the story,

performed by masked dancers and accompanied by traditional instrument. It is held at the Yokagura

performance hall, just a few steps from the shrine’s main building.

 

 


 

Featured tours related to Takachiho

11 days Kyushu tour

8 days Southern Kyushu tour

6 days Central Kyushu tour

 


 

 

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.

 

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”. Farther 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. 

 

 


 

Featured tours related to Takachiho

11 days Kyushu tour

8 days Southern Kyushu tour

6 days Central Kyushu tour

 


 

 

Takachiho

 

Takachiho offers dynamic and powerful Takachiho Gorge and

here is the birthplace of 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 


Takachiho Gorge 

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.

 


 

Takachiho shrine   

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


 

Amano Iwato shrine 

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.


 

Highlight 

 

Kagura

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

       

 

 


 

Featured tours related to Takachiho

11 days Kyushu tour

8 days Southern Kyushu tour

6 days Central Kyushu tour

 


 

 

Takachiho Gorge

 

Takachiho Gorge, the 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. 
There are two perspectives from which to enjoy the gorge.
The first is from below which is done by 

rowing down the river. Rental boats are available at the south end of the gorge, and the water is calm

and easy to navigate. 

 

There are two perspectives from which to enjoy the gorge. The first is from below which is done by

rowing down the river. Rental boats are available at the south end of the gorge, and the water is calm

and easy to navigate.  This highly recommended route offers a close up view of the cliffs and waterfall. 

 

Exploring Takachiho Gorge

 

 


 

Featured tours related to Takachiho

11 days Kyushu tour

8 days Southern Kyushu tour

6 days Central Kyushu tour