Miyazaki is a tourism and resort area in southern Kyushu. It is not to be confused with the legendary Japanese animator and filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki.
1 Miyazaki Airport (宮崎空港 Miyazaki Kūkō KMI IATA) (3.2 km south southeast of Miyazaki). JAL, ANA and the discount carrier Solaseed (formerly Skynet) have regular flights from Tokyo Haneda Airport, Osaka Itami Airport and other locations throughout Japan. There are flights to Seoul and Taipei through Asiana and EVA respectively. Airline pricing is highly variable, but the cheapest option to Miyazaki is usually the Solaseed "Visit Japan" fare for travelers with a “Temporary Visitor” visa (the same requirement as the JR Pass) which is good for just about any single flight on the airline. This is essentially a standby ticket though, so you may have trouble during peak demand periods. Peak demand in Japan is around New Year's, Golden Week (end of April/start of May), and Obon in August, and of course, Friday and Sunday evenings are always more busy than weekdays.
Buses connect the airport to the main Miyazaki station in 25 minutes (¥400), while the JR Miyazaki Airport Line runs 1-2 trains per hour to Minami-Miyazaki station (¥340). If you are under 21, you can get cheaper tickets.
Most people will take the Kirishima limited express which makes multiple daily runs from Kagoshima (2-2½ hours, ¥4100).
If you connect to the Shinkansen in Kagoshima, it is another 2 hours for Hakata to Kagoshima (2½ hours from Kukura). You can take a single Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Kagoshima in 4½-5 hours.
Another option, the more scenic route, from Kokura station in Kitakyushu, the first stop in Kyushu on the San'yo Shinkansen, is to take the Sonic limited express to Oita or Beppu and transfer to the Nichirin limited express (¥8300). A few Nichirin trains run from Kokura or Hakata in Fukuoka directly to Miyazaki, with no change of trains necessary, but most people that take this route like to stop to see Beppu. The route is about 5 hours which is about the same as the Shinkansen route from Kokura. The overnight service, the Dream Nichirin, was discontinued in 2011.
There is no charge for the above services with a Japan Rail Pass, and there is a JR All Kyushu Pass that covers all routes as well, aside from the reference to the Shinkansen in Kokura and beyond. The Kyushu Shinkansen stops at Hakata; Hakata to Shin-Osaka (including Kokura) is owned by JR West, so you would need a JR West Pass for that section.
A highway bus operated by JR Kyushu runs to Miyazaki from the Shin-Yatsushiro bullet train station. The "B&S Miyazaki" (B&S for Bus and Shinkansen) operates once per hour, timed with the arrival of the bullet trains from Fukuoka. The bus trip takes just over 2 hours from Shin-Yatsushiro at a cost of ¥4,150 each way. The overall journey from Fukuoka to Miyazaki will be shortened to just over 3 hours using this train/bus combination. The bus is not valid with the Japan Rail Pass, but bus tickets can be purchased at any JR Midori-no-Madoguchi seat reservation counter.
Hourly buses run from Fukuoka to Miyazaki in about 4½ hours at a cost of ¥6000. Buses also run hourly from Kumamoto. There are 7 buses per day from Kagoshima, 6 buses from Beppu, Oita, and Nobeoka, and 2 buses per day from Nagasaki. Fukuoka is the only place that has night buses to Miyazaki. All others leave and arrive the same-day.
The attractions in Miyazaki are rather spread out. Trains can help you reach some of the city's sites. Aoshima Shrine is a short walk away from Aoshima Station and Miyazaki-Jingu Station provides quick access to Miyazaki Jingu, the Prefectural Museum of Nature and History, and the Prefectural Art Museum. The train timetables, particularly on the Nippo Line can be inconvenient with trains operating only once per hour at certain times of the day.
The city buses tend to be the best way to get around. Many buses leave from Miyazaki Station, but it is sometimes faster to walk 10 minutes down Route 25 to the intersection with Route 220. A lot of buses travel down that street but not to the station. There is a Tourist Information Center within Miyazaki Station with bus timetables and the staff can help you figure out if walking to another stop will be faster than taking a bus from the station.
- 1 Aoshima Shrine (青島神社) (short walk from Aoshima Station on the JR Kyushu Nichinan Line, 30 minutes by car from Miyazaki station, 15 minutes by car from Miyazaki Airport). The shrine is on an island accessible by bridge. It was once considered so sacred that people were forbidden to even step foot on the island. It was not open to the public until 1737. Aoshima Shrine is dedicated to wedded gods so is unsurprisingly a shrine for marriage. The rock layers pointing dramatically up from the sea along the island by the shrine's torii gate are unique and interesting attractions in their own right.
- 2 Miyakoh Botanic Garden Aoshima (宮交ボタニックガーデン青島). Also known as Aoshima Subtropical Botanical Garden, it's a pleasant and surprisingly free garden that is nice for strolling around and relaxing. There is a greenhouse within the garden that visitors may also enter. Free.
- 3 Miyazaki Prefectural Office. A local icon built prior to World War II in a European style. It's lit up at night.
- 4 Miyazaki-jingū (宮崎神宮). A shrine in the city's center, sacred to Japan's first emperor, Jinmu.
- 5 Miyazaki Prefectural Art Museum (宮崎県立美術館), ☏ . 10:00-18:00. Has a permanent collection but is best visited for its special exhibitions, so its best to check what will be featured during your visit.
- 6 Miyazaki Prefectural Museum of Nature and History (宮崎県総合博物館). Features dynamic exhibits about the prefecture's flora and fauna, along with historic and cultural exhibits. Behind the museum are a handful of preserved buildings moved here from villages in Miyazaki Prefecture's interior. Free.
- 7 Heiwadai Park (平和台公園). A park said to be the site where the capital of legendary Emperor Jimmu used to stand. The park is known for Heiwadai Tower (平和の塔) or Peace Tower (also known as the Hakkō ichiu monument) built as a symbol of world peace. It's also home to the famous Haniwa Garden with hundreds of haniwa, which were once placed around ancient burial mounds, scattered around.
- 8 Sadowara Castle (佐土原城跡), ☏ . 09:00-16:30. It is not known when or who built the original castle, but it was expanded by Yoshisuke Ito and used as his residence. One of the palace buildings has been rebuilt as the Sadowara History and Folk Museum (also free). The rest of the former castle can be seen via walking trails on and around the hill. Free.
- 9 Amaga Castle (天ケ城), ☏ . 09:00-16:30. The keep has been rebuilt and there is also a museum around the site about the castle and local history.
- 10 Miyazaki Science Center (宮崎科学技術館). 09:00-16:30. Has a variety of interactive science exhibits and a planetarium. ¥540.
Miyazaki is one of the most famous places for surfing in Japan. Lots of foreigners visit it during the summer. There are good waves and the sunset is beautiful.
- 1 Miyazaki-city Phonenix Zoo (フェニックス自然動物園).
- Tom Watson Golf Course. Created by Tom Watson, an American professional golfer. This has become a famous golfing destination for Japanese golfers, and there are a lot of promonent Golf events here. It is somewhat analogous to Pebble Beach golf course in America in that, while the course is very good, it is more famous for the beautiful location than the course itself.
- Kizakihama Beach, Aoshima Beach, and Shirahama Beach. Popular surfing spots in Miyazaki city.
- 1 KONNE Miyazaki Souvenir Shop (みやき物産館KONNE). 09:00-18:30. Has a wide variety of souvenirs from throughout the prefecture from foodstuffs and wines to handcrafts, lacquerware, and other original goods.
- 2 Aoshimaya (青島屋). 09:00-17:00. A large souvenir shop with a variety of Miyazaki goods and products.
Miyazaki is famous for its "Chicken Nanban" dish. The basic dish consists of fried chicken topped with tartar sauce. It is typically coupled with salad or spaghetti. The other famous food in the city (and prefecture) is mangoes. When in season, you can purchase whole mangoes at markets, but there are also restaurants that serve mango parfaits and desserts for you to try.
- Heike no Sato (平家の郷), Inside JR Miyazaki station. 11:00-21:30. Serves smooth Miyazaki beef (宮崎牛). Other branches around Miyazaki city, as well as in Tokyo and Saitama.
- 1 Everest Curry House. 11:00-13:00, 17:00-23:00. An Indian restaurant with a decent selection of curry.
- 2 Grill Ranman (グリル爛漫). A Chicken Nanban restaurant that uses a white sauce base instead of the traditional tartar sauce.
- 3 Don Donju (どんどんじゅ). A popular restaurant serving a variety of local delicacies, such as Miyazaki beef and Chicken Nanban.
- 4 Fruits Ohno (フルーツ大野), 1－22 Chuo-dori. 11:00-22:30. A popular place to get fruit parfaits. When in season, it's among the best places to try Miyazaki's famous mangoes in their mango parfait.
"Kurokirishima" is a famous Miyazaki's shochu. Miyazaki produces lots kind of shochu, so people who like Japanese shochu, Miyazaki is a good place to visit. However, some of them are expensive, so you can not buy them so easily.
In the town of Aya, which is around 20 km from Miyazaki City proper, there is a complex called the Aya Shusen-no-mori. There is a winery, beer brewery and shochu distillery all on site. The beer made here is German-style, and of a high standard. The Shusen-no-mori brewery makes a Bock, a Koelsch, an Altbier and a blueberry-flavoured lager. The beer is far superior to the macro-brewed Japanese lagers such as Asahi Super Dry or Kirin Lager. The wine from the Shusen-no-mori winery, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired.
- 1 The Bar (ザ・バー) (5 minutes walk west of Miyazaki station), ☏ . Fun bar with locals and expats. Has a pool table. Expect to meet some Japanese surfers.
- 2 Amusement Bar Supple, 5 Floor Niko Biru. 20:00-04:00. An atmospheric bar serving a variety of drinks and cocktails, including seasonal originals. They have darts for ¥100 per game and gun shooting for ¥300 per game. All-you-can drink alcohol and karaoke - ¥3000 for men, ¥2500 for women (2 hr on F Sa and holidays, no limit on weekdays).
The best hotels in Miyazaki City are the Kanko Hotel, in the city centre by the river, and the Sheraton, in the Seagaia complex surrounded by a golf course around 8 km north-east of the city centre. The prices of these luxury hotels are comparable to those of five-star hotel chains in any large Western country.
A cheap place to sleep, on the other hand, is a manga coffee shop and internet cafe. Manga Kissa is beside the 7-Eleven near the Miyazaki train station. There is also a "Cybac" internet cafe in Miyazaki which is slightly better than the Manga Kissa - it is difficult to find, so get a taxi from the train station. It should cost around ¥1000.
- 1 Richmond Hotel (リッチモンドホテル宮崎駅前). Singles from ¥10700.
- 2 Phoenix Seagaia Resort (フェニックス・シーガイア・リゾート). Formerly one of the most famous honeymoon resorts for domestic travelers, it remains a popular place for those who really want the hotel to add to the fun of their vacation. They offer a pool, golfing, onsen, etc. along with a variety of events throughout the year.
- 3 Hotel Crane Tachibana (ホテルクレイン橘). Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Singles from ¥3700.
- 4 Comfort Inn Miyazaki (コンフォートホテル宮崎). Singles from ￥6600.
- 5 Air Line Hotel (エアラインホテル). Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Singles from ¥3500.
- 6 JR Kyushu Hotel Miyazaki (JR九州ホテル宮崎) (Right next to Miyazaki Station). Singles from ¥8400.