Onsens are places that Japanese go to for relaxation, reinvigoration and often just to socialise. Onsens are places you go to enjoy a natural hot water bath. At these places as a Japanese friend remarked, "everyone is equal". This is because you strip naked with only a small towel to "cover" yourself and so everyone is on a par.
The procedure is that you first wash yourself thoroughly before soaking in various natural hot water baths(springs). Some onsens will also have a natural cold water bath.
The cost varies. Some onsens are quite large and run by a company wheras other are small run by private individuals. The one in the photograph was in a beautiful national park -Kirishima and was very small . This onsen cost about 500 yen. We had a meal in the restaurant connected with it beforehand.
The bridge is located in Aya town and is known as the Aya Teruha Suspension Bridge. The day we were there it swayed considerably as a typhoon was approaching.
There are a number of souvenier shops and a small museum connected with the bridge.
Seagaia is the name of the largest indoor pool in the world. It is a fantasy world of plastic palms,snowstone pebble beach, painted rocks and sky all under a giant dome.The main beach is about 100 metres long with water slides,paddling pools at each end and a board walk with restaurants and viewing areas. The day we were there (a Sunday) there was a surfing demonstration with large enough waves generated for some fairly competent surfers showing their style.
Cost of entry 1500 Yen
Aoshima is an island about 1.5km in diameter and covered with Betel palms and subtropical plants.The rocks around the island are referred to as the "ogres washboard". It was on Aoshima Island ythat Jimmis father was conceived and hence the island is regarded as important in helping relationships prosper.There is a small Shinto shrine on the island which is quite exposed to the elements. Aoshima -Jinja is dedicated to Yamasachi Hiko- a God of Mt products and each year this God is honoured with several festivals-one in January sees naked people rushing into the sea to welcome their God!
This is an ancient burial site. In an area approximately 2kmx4km there are approximately 311 burial mounds (Rofun) some round and some keyhole shaped and varying in size.These date back to the 3rd century AD. Pottery,armour and jelwellery recovered from them are displayed in the nearby museum. The similarity to other ancient burial sites is amazing!
There is a retaurant connected with the musuem is also very interesting as it serves foods from the past eg., wild rice.
Udo-Jingu Shrine is very close to Ninchinan City. It is located in a cave facing the sea and reached after climbing lots of steps passing through a tunnel and descending down a cliff face. It is believed that the baby God Jimmu(first Emperor)came to Japan from the sea at this point. Another story is that Jimmu's mother gave birth to him in the cave and hence a visit here is thought to bring a happy marriage and a safe childbirth.
This is a cultural facility with glassworks, handicrafts various local foods with a wine making facility and brewery for Shochu. Shochu is a popular locally made spirit made from sweet potato that tastes something between a vodka and whisky.
This place is well worth a visit just to sample the various locally made foodstuffs and to see some impressive, expensive glassware.
The Heiwadai Park or Peace Memorial Park was built in 1941 to celebrate peace in the Japanese Empire. Ironically, the central monument in the Park actually represents the countries that formed the Japanese Empire at the time. The four pillars represent Korea, ...(sorry have to research this bit..)
Next to the monument is a park which contains hundreds of replicas of clay figurines that were found in ancient burial sites.The gardens are quite lush and there are a number of interesting walks you can take.
The restaurant and souvenier shop connected to the site is well worth a visit. The restaurant serves a very nice afternoon tea and has a great view over Miyazaki.
This is a popular sea coastline south of Miyazaki. The rocks below resemble old washing boards. This rock formation is called Ogre's Washboard.