This is a continuation of my winter vacation 2011/2012 travel report.
After leaving Nobeoka before noon I went to Miyazaki City where I spent the rest of the day visiting Miyazaki Shrine and Heiwadai Park.
In front of Miyazaki Station.
My hotel was right next to the station: Toyoko Inn. (*highly recommended if it’s within your budget range)
Miyazaki Station is surrounded by very tall palm trees.
Inside the station building I found posters advertising Takachiho where I’ve just been the day before.
Just 1 station away from Miyazaki is Miyazaki Shrine (“Miyazaki Jingu Station” – JR Nippo Line: 160yen, 3 min.).
From the station it’s a very short walk to the huge shrine grounds and park.
As it was January 1st, it was super busy and crowded.
For the people who’re standing in line for hours, there were many food stalls along the way.
Busy times. Everybody wants to buy new lucky charms (esp. for their house), mostly featuring that year’s zodiac (dragon).
And of course, everybody buys “omikuji” (fortune-telling piece of paper). If it’s good luck (大吉、中吉、吉: super good luck, pretty good luck, good luck etc.), you’ll keep it, but if it’s not so good, you should leave your “bad luck” behind at the shrine.
I saw people getting rid of their “good luck” as they were aiming for “super good luck” instead. I usually end up with “good luck”, never got the “super duper good luck” yet!
Looks like a lot of people weren’t satisfied with what they got, huh?
At Miyazaki Shrine a lot of people stood in line … the bigger the shrine, the longer the line!
Some even come in formal, traditional wear. So beautiful!
Once it’s your turn, you pray for a good start in the new year.
The main shrine building of Miyazaki Shrine. Difficult to access because of the crowds of people everywhere.
Small sort of treasure house / museum. I didn’t go inside as it wasn’t free, but what I could see from the outside were a lot of kanji scrolls.
Please note: This is NOT the Prefectural Museum which is also nearby. I wanted to go there, but it was closed due to the New Years Holidays.
There are a few smaller shrines in the park, so you might as well walk around and have a look at them, too.
I did and it was nice. Nothing super great, but as I had a lot of time that day, I felt like strolling around and exploring the area.
Wow! Still autumn colors in January?? That’s Kyushu for you!
You can actually walk from Miyazaki Shrine to Heiwadai Park, but it takes a while (~ 30 min.) and is a bit tricky to find. It might be better to take a bus from Miyazaki Shrine.
I enjoyed the walk as the weather was nice and I also got to take the obligatory manhole cover photo.
And then I arrived at “Heiwadai Park“. It’s not really famous or anything, but it has a little awesome “trick”.
If you walk towards the huge monument, there is an acoustic trick! Once you stand in front of it and clap your hands, an echo sound bounces right back at you.
Definitely try it yourself if you ever get the chance!
Close-up of the monument.
The main “attraction” of the park is probably the “Haniwa Garden“.
Haniwas are burial statues that were placed around burial mounds in tribute to the deceased.
There’s much more to discover in the park. It makes a nice afternoon walk. I also saw a few joggers and fishermen!
And yes, the sign says that fishing is not allowed!! *LOL* …. Maybe they thought nobody would care?! Hm.
Back at Miyazaki Station I went straight ahead and reached a shopping arcade. Unfortunately most shops had already closed due to the New Years Holidays. Miyazaki doesn’t seem to be such a big city. It’s very different from, let’s say Kagoshima, concerning the shopping opportunities or the nightlife!
And that was my first day in Miyazaki. It was rather short as I spent the morning in Nobeoka, but it was a really nice day.
My second day was much better with awesome weather and two of the most interesting shrines I’ve ever seen: Aoshima Shrine and Udo Shrine.