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Kyushu

Nobeoka City in Miyazaki Prefecture.
 During World War II Nobeoka was one of the most important centers of military explosives in Japan. 1945, over one-third of the city was destroyed by fire-bombings, so many of the buildings have been built in more recent years. One of the most visited remaining structures is Imayama Hachimangu (今山八幡宮), which is a small shrine on a hill. While most visitors are local Japanese, you’ll find this...

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Shibuya Station, Hachiko, and Shibuya crossing are known around the world for crowds of pedestrians and high energy. When Kagoshima Festival came to town not long ago, it brought even more energy and color to the area. On the weekend of May 17-18, the main streets of Shibuya by the famous crossing were closed momentarily for a festivity of massive proportions: Kagoshima Festival. While the events that made up the festival took place...

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Located along the beautiful Nichinan Coastline (日南海岸), Aoshima Island (青島) is a very small island in Miyazaki Prefecture. It is very picturesque and fulfills most people’s visions of Miyazaki as it is filled with beaches and palm trees. It’s connected to the main land via a bridge.
 The island is famous for Aoshima Shrine but even more so for being surrounded by unique rock formations called “Ogre’s Washboard” (鬼の洗濯板 – oni...

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Located just three hours drive from Fukuoka, Takachiho, in Miyazaki Prefecture, is a beautiful and spiritual area in Japan. The drive is very easy and pleasant, with many places to stop along the way. It’s in Takachiho, that you’ll find a place called Amano Yasugawara, the site of one of Japan’s most popular legends. According mythology, the Shinto sun goddess Amaterasu hid herself in the cave, refusing to come out, and depriving the...

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Miyazaki-jingu (宮崎神宮) is a Shinto shrine located in Miyazaki, and it the most important one there. It is dedicated to Emperor Jinmu, who was the first emperor of Japan according to Japan’s creation myth. The shrine was said to have been established almost 3,000 years ago. This shrine is large but not often frequented by foreigner visitors. Many large events are held here throughout the year, including the annual yabusame...

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Hashima (端島) is an uninhabited island 9 miles from Nagasaki. Commonly called Gunkanjima (軍艦島), or “Battleship Island”, the island’s nickname came from its apparent resemblance to Japanese battleship Tosa. It is one of 505 uninhabited islands near Nagasaki, although it was habited from 1887 until 1974 as a coal mining facility for Mitsubishi. At its peak more than 5,000 people lived on this small island, which is only 150m wide by 480m...

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