Tourist spot in Miyazaki Prefecture

Udo Shrine [鵜戸神宮]

Roumon of Udo Shrine
Roumon of Udo Shrine
Photo by Miyazaki Prefecture

Precinct of Udo Shrine
Precinct of Udo Shrine
Photo by Miyazaki Prefecture

Udo Shrine ("Udo jingû" in Japanese) is a Shinto shrine in the cave of the cliffside facing the Pacific Ocean.

It is located about 35 km south of Miyazaki city.
It is in Nichinan city, and is located about 13 km northeast of the center of the city.

In legend, a goddess of sea built a hut to give birth to a great god by the sea.
After that, it is said that Empress Suiko (554-628) built the shrine on the place.

In 782, a priest of Tendai Buddhism built a Buddhist temple in the precinct by order of Emperor Kanmu (737-806).

In the middle ages, this area had been the training place for mountain priests because of the steep rocky cliffs.

In 1868, new Meiji government separated Buddhist temple from Shinto shrine.
So this sacred area became only a Shinto shrine.

The entrance gate is Shinmon (神門), and there is also Roumon gate (楼門) near Shinmon.

The approach from the gates to the main shrine is a down slope along the steep rocky cliffs.
(Naturally, when you return back, you must climb the slope.)

Honden of Udo Shrine
Honden of Udo Shrine
Photo by Miyazaki Prefecture

Ochichi-iwa in Udo Shrine
Ochichi-iwa in Udo Shrine
Photo by Miyazaki Prefecture

Honden (本殿, Main shrine) is in the large cave.
It was rebuilt in the 1820s, and was repaired in 1968 and 1997.

There is Ochichi-iwa rocks (御乳岩) behind the shrine.
They are like mother's breasts.

In legend, when the goddess was going to leave from here, she moved her breasts on the rock wall.
It is said that her baby (the great god) grew by the candy made from the milk springing from the breasts on the rock wall.

Ochichi-iwa are still believed as the symbol of easy delivery and good childcare.

Undama-throwing in Udo Shrine
Undama-throwing in Udo Shrine
Photo by Miyazaki Prefecture

Undama and Kameishi in Udo Shrine

Undama-throwing is popular in this shrine.

Undama (Lucky ball) is a small unglazed clay ball, and five undamas are gave at 100 yen.
Then, you throw them at a square hole on Kameishi rock (亀石) below your eyes.

It is said that Kameishi was a sacred turtle on which the goddess rode to come this place.

Men must throw Undamas with the left hand, and women must throw them with the right hand.
If the ball is put into the hole, it is said that you will be happy.

Sunmesse Nichinan (サンメッセ日南)

>Sunmesse Nichinan
Sunmesse Nichinan

Moai statues in Sunmesse Nichinan
Moai statues in Sunmesse Nichinan

Sunmesse Nichinan is a leisure facility with park, restaurant and bathhouse and is located about 2 km north of Udo Shrine.

It is famous for its giant moai statues.

Moai statues in Easter Island are well known in the world, but they had been ruined in the long histoty.

In 1992, a Japanese company of crane carried some crane machines to Easter Island and restored many fallen statues.
In the result, the park with the moai statues was designated as a World Heritage Site.

To return the courtesy, the patriarches of Easter Island allowed to reproduce ten moai statues in Japan for the first time in the world.

The moai statues were completed in 1996, and Sunmesse Nichinan was opened.

How to get here

By route bus, to Udo shrine, about 1.5 hours from Miyazaki station, about 40 minutes from Aoshima.
From Udo shrine to Sunmesse Nichinan, about 5 minutes by route bus.

Other Tourist Attractions in Miyazaki Prefecture

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