Miyazaki’s Most Famous Shrine and Heiwadai Park
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 festival, which is held on April 3rd.
Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of traditional Japanese archery. In this form of archery, the archer troes to shoot unique arrows successively at three wooden targets while riding on a running horse.
Originating in the Kamakura period, yabusame was first used as a form of archery practice organized by Minamoto ni Yoritomo who was alarmed at the lack of the samurai’s archery skills.
To visit Miyazaki Shrine, simply take the JR to Miyazaki Jingu Station, and it is almost right outside.
This shrine is especially popular during the New Year when everyone comes to buy new lucky charms and omikuji, which is a method of fortune-telling strips using strips of paper. If a bad fortune is drawn, the slip of paper is then tied and left at the shrine in hopes of the bad luck staying there.
The shrine’s buildings, constructed of simple, unpainted cedar, sit in the center of a large, quiet forest. The forest has many white wisteria that are believed to be 600 years old. The wisteria trees have beautiful flowers in April every year which draws many visitors. It has actually been designated as a Natural Monument by the Japanese government. For years the locals living in the area have taken care to preserve this forest, which they have nicknamed “Jinmu-sama”.
The Miyazaki Prefectural Museum stands just next to Miyazaki Shrine.
The museum displays a lot about the history of Miyazaki and shows a variety of plants and animals in reproductions of their natural habitats. There are also special exhibits that happen from time to time as well. However, most of the exhibit descriptions are only provided in Japanese.
Nearby Miyazaki Shrine is Heiwadai Park. You can walk there however it is around 30 minutes away, so it would be better to take the bus that leaves directly from the shrine.
Heiwadai is a beautiful filled with seasonal flowers and lush greenery that spreads out across hills. One of the most famous attractions in the park is the Peace Tower that towers over Miyazaki City.
Another main attraction is the Haniwa Garden. Haniwa are burial statues that are placed around burial mounds in tribute to the deceased. Seeing all these haniwa at the top of the mound creates a unique and ancient atmosphere. Making it a great addition to your Miyazaki Shrine visit.
Miyazaki Shrine: Address: 2-4-1 Jingu, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki-ken
Heiwadai Park: 1-1-1 Tachibana-dōri Nishi, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki-ken
[post by Beth]
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