Takachiho - Japan Travel Guide - Japanspecialist


The playground of the gods.

About Takachiho
In the heart of the southern island of Kyushu lies the small, but spiritually important town of Takachiho. The area is said to be a power spot with particularly great spiritual energy. The scenery here is nothing short of overwhelming - majestic waterfalls and wooded mountains.

Magical places and divine nature
According to popular Japanese belief, this area was the playground of the gods back in the time of legends. The sun goddess Amaterasu, whom the Japanese emperor is said to descend from, came to quarrel with her brother and hid in a cave here. This created everlasting night in Japan. The other gods did what they could to get her out again, but it was only when they hung a mirror in front of the cave that they succeeded. Amaterasu was fascinated by her own reflection and, without noticing, came out of the cave that the other gods then closed off behind her! At the Amano Iwato Shrine you can see, but not enter, the cave. An absolute highlight, however, is the breath-taking Takachiho Gorge. Here you can rent a rowboat and sail down the river along high cliffs and waterfalls of unearthly beauty - however, it is best done in calm weather. You can also take a hike on the path that runs along the gorge. The trail is about 1km long with beautiful views all the way. At the end of the trail is the Takachiho Shrine, which also marks the start of the town centre.

Other attractions in Takachiho
Every night at 20:00 there is an hour's performance in the Yokagura performance hall, right by the Takachiho Shrine's main building. Yokagura means "night dance" and it is a traditional and sacred dance that shows the deeds of the gods. The dancers make use of colourful masks, wigs and costumes, and it is a very unique experience.

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