Takachiho Gorge

Besides being home to ancient cedar trees on Yakushima, Kyushu also has a treasure trove of unspoiled nature waiting to be discovered by visitors. In the topical Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Kyushu lies Takachiho Gorge, a narrow valley where you can see majestic waterfalls up close.

Gorgeous gorge by the Gokase River

Takachiho Gorge - minai waterfalls and boats
Image credit: @photo.mashi

Designated a national scenic spot and natural monument in 1934, the deep canyons of Takachiho Gorge (高千穂峡) has earned quite a name for itself amongst domestic and international tourists alike.   

Takachiho Gorge - minai waterfalls
Image credit: @nagaitatakayuki

The picturesque gorge was formed due to the ancient volcanic activity of the nearby Mount Aso. Pyroclastic flows that flowed along the Gokase River cooled rapidly, hence forming cliffs with distinctive columnar joints.

Takachiho Gorg
Image credit: @ivanarmstrong9033

Throughout the year, visitors will be rewarded with changing hues of the surrounding foliage that’s juxtaposed against the backdrop of rocky volcanic cliffs.

Admire a 17m-tall waterfall up close

Takachiho Gorge - minai waterfalls and boats
Image credit: @178takuya

While there are numerous platforms and viewing spots dotted near the valley, the gorge is best viewed up close on a rental boat that allows you to cruise down the Gokase River.

Takachiho Gorge - minai waterfalls
Image credit: @nonko18

In particular, the 17m-high Minai Waterfall is a sight to behold as it pours down to the river. On a sunny day, you’d even be treated to a spectrum of colours as rainbows hover near the fall’s plunge pool. 

Takachiho Gorge - view of valley
Image credit: @nagaitatakayuki

Boats can be reserved in advance online, or rented at the Oshioi Parking Lot (第1御塩井駐車場) located near the gorge. 

On top of a ¥3,000 (~USD22.52) fee per boat, take note that there’s an additional ¥1,000 (~USD7.51) charged per adult and ¥500 (~USD3.76) for every elementary school kid and below. There’s also a time limit of 30 minutes, and the maximum occupancy of each boat is 3 passengers. 

Visiting Takachiho Gorge at Miyazaki Prefecture

Takachiho Gorge - viewing spot
Image credit: Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation

Getting to Takachiho Gorge requires a fair bit of time and walking if you don’t have a car, but it’s doable. Starting your journey at JR Nobeoka Station, a 1.5-hour ride on the bus will bring you to Takachiho Bus Centre. After which, walk around 25 minutes to the gorge. You can also hail a cab, although taxis may appear infrequently.   

Takachiho Gorge - sign
Image credit: @yasu_1219

A round-trip bus ticket will cost ¥3,040 (~USD22.92) for adults and ¥1,520 (~USD11.46) for children. Buses operate at 1-hour intervals, so we recommend planning out an itinerary beforehand to make the most of your time. The timetable for the bus can be found here

Address: Mukoyama, Takachiho, Nishiusuki District, 882-1103 Miyazaki
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily

Boat Rental
Opening hours: 8.30AM-5PM, Daily
Telephone: 0982-73-1213

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @nagaitatakayuki, @nagaitatakayuki and Kyushu Tourism Promotion Organisation

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