Sakura trees with mountains in the background

After going to Japan for a few days, I have enough photos for a small photo journal. A chronological blog of the trip is in order…

Click images to enlarge

Click here for Part 2

Miyazaki- 宮崎 “Mountainous Palace”


Gundam statue at airport

Plane food

The plane


Miyazaki City

Golf course



River through the city

Hotel room

Street-side shops


City hall

Lakefront view


I originally planned to go to Kyoto, but it was near impossible to book a flight, so instead headed to Kyushu. Even then, I had to upgrade to business class to get a seat; the service is definitely a step up from economy, so I’m not complaining.

Short flight to Japan landed in the fairly quiet seaside town of Miyazaki (宮崎). The place used to be quite a bustling city, but after the two decades of Japanese economic decline, it turned into a sleepy suburban town with a few rural areas mixed in. Many shops have closed, and the remaining tourist industry largely lies in the golf resorts lying around. On the bright side, I found it a nice reprise from hectic downtown life.

The weather was beautiful during the few days; the climate there is relatively mild year round, with only an occasional snow and a lack of extreme temperatures. I spent the first night in a nice riverfront hotel with very fancy meals.


鬼の洗濯板- “Devil’s Washboards”

Shrine entrance



青島- “Blue Island”

Devil’s Washboards

More formations along shore

Character means “offering”/”donation”

Path through forest

Coin box/altar


Shrine maidens/shopkeepers


Traditional wedding

Next morning, the bus left the city, heading south following the seaside in Miyazaki Prefecture. There are natural formations called 鬼の洗濯板(Devils Washboards) along the shoreline; these are especially prominent on Aoshima (青島).

There were quite a few shrines on the way. Protocol: Wash hands, rinse mouth, clean ladle; Toss coin into the box, clap, bow. Shrines also have their own perks and oddities, usually featuring historical or geographical specialties. They are also a popular spot for weddings (very somber weddings it seems).


Army of staff thanks you for coming


Vending machines


Japanese culture is extremely polite. Not only do drivers give you the right of way, staff are constantly bowing and using formalities. One cannot enter or leave a place without hearing “welcome”, “thank you”, “here you go” multiple times. Pass by a waiters and they will stand to the side to let you pass. Leave a shop, museum or hotel and often several people will come out to see you off. Accidentally left a T-shirt in your room when you checked out? Come back later and it will be waiting at the front desk, cleaned and wrapped.

This is the first part; I will make a post on the other half of the trip later on.


  1. Guh, the first shot reminds me of the Philippines. I’m homesick now. ;-;

    I’d wanna discover small towns like this if I travel. Berlin, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow. All of em are nice places to try and visit. But a nation’s true character is in its rural and suburban areas.

  2. that looks like a nice place to relax..away from urban pollution you see in the more crowded cities in Japan.

    seen any buffet vending machines? won’t be surprised if you saw one..

  3. Lol – ” Fairly Quite Seaside Town ” of 300,000 people !! Man to me thats a massive city seeing as i live in a town of 10,000 lol.

    Anyway looks fantastic keep the pics comming :D. Im off to Japan this year for Tokyo Game show and i can’t wait.

  4. Ah, nice. But wait, do Japanese people look at you weirdly? Your a westerner right? Heard that locals are rude there, but I might be thinking of Paris (It was on a Reader’s Digest magazine so no offence ppl, I might just be talking nonsense)

  5. thank you for the wonderful pics

    ahh… Japan

    birthplace of many great anime. Also, birthplace of the franchise that’s way better than it’s american counterpart, Super Sentai (seriously it is)

  6. everyone here needs to go to japan at least once before they die. it is like night and day, or it was to me. I still remember seeing some Kenshiro like figure everywhere in Yokohama…I think it was Yokohama. I’ll never forget those Umiku(insert proper spelling.)You paid for your seat and condiments but the food was free. The catch was you grilled your own food at your table. Man live it up while you can Proof, I hope to head back over that way when things are more stable.

  7. i would like to go to japan as well im saving airline miles-though i have a lot to do before i go i have classes ect. to finish. I have a few friends who would be coming with. I envy you for getting to go.

  8. You were in Miyazaki?! That’s just up the road from me!! If you’re in Kyushu again let me know 😉 I recommend going to Fukuoka, especially if you liked sashimi and sushi. Fresh fish is best there (Mostly on the Japanese Sea side, along the north coast because the water is colder). 😀 Glad to see you enjoyed your stay.

  9. Out of Curiosity how much do flights cost for you guys to get to japan and back from your various countries.

    Living in Australia its gonna cost me about $1100 with out low cost airway or $1450 with Japan Air.

    I assume its probably alot cheaper for most of the world then down here like always lol.

  10. Ah, so nice to see these pictures. Brings a bit of nostalgia for me (spent a few months there; though up in Kansai, not Kyushu). Glad to see and hear that you enjoyed your stay.

    And to anyone considering it, I strongly urge anyone who can to make even a short visit to Japan. It’s a really cool place. Expensive as hell, but so nice!

  11. Nice, I was just in Japan over the Christmas holidays. It’s nostalgic to see it once again with such beautiful views. If I’m correct Miyazaki is the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. Japan is quite something. If you leave your wallet in a train or in the subway you can actually come back later and get it fully intact with nothing lost at the lost and found. If you leave a bike at the street-side you can come back like a week later and still have it in good condition. On the contrary in America if you leave your bike out for too long even if you have it locked up it will be gone… Anyways curios, Prooof, you ever intend to climb Fuji-san? I plan to the next time I’m going to Japan and I’m looking for advice.

    1. Not Prooof, obviously, but some advice for hiking on Fuji:
      Take jackets. Even during the summer months it gets pretty chilly up there. Waterproof is even better: it’s very wet too.
      Wear good boots. The trails are long and can be a little slippery.
      Remember that you’re going up a mountain. Lots of people do it and it seems so nice, but it’s still a mountain. It’ll take you a while to get to the top and just as long to get back down. Plan accordingly.
      There are rest houses along the way where you can stop to recuperate. Take breaks to recover, eat, etc.

  12. Oh my god, the scenery is beautiful… I hope one day I can go to Japan and see places such as Miyazaki. One day Japan, I will see you. (:

    Not only will I see you, but I will get a taste of you too, haha! I want to try the many cuisines they have to offer.

  13. That’s pretty cool! Miyazaki still looks the same when I was there three years ago. Did you get to see the people throwing the nuts over the edge of the hill trying to make it into the roped circle at the bottom? It was on the edge of the water and right before you go into the side of the hill into the shrine. I thought that was pretty neat and the mikos were pretty cool when I went 😀


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