Miyazaki #8: Aoshima Shrine (青島神社)

Tomorrow the new postcards are released into post offices across Japan, so to kick off that exciting event, here’s some information about Miyazaki’s newest postcard, featuring the amazing Aoshima Shrine. The shrine is located on the tiny sand- and tree-covered island of Aoshima, and is surrounded by a unique geological feature called the “Devil’s Washboard” which can be seen at low-tide. It’s definitely worth a trip!


Heading out to the island, the bridge is relatively new. These days, anyone can visit at anytime, but 100 years ago or so, the island was considered sacred, so normal people could only visit 2 weeks out of the year!


Around the back in the middle of a small grove of trees is the main shrine area.


Through a small path through the trees lined with ema…


You reach the tiny shrine in the true middle of the island. It’s so peaceful!


At low tide, you can see the interesting devil’s washboard rocks. They really look man-made up close, but they are a completely natural phenomenon!


Cool, huh?


The postcard shot… well, close enough!

During the We Love Japan Tour 2015, my southern blogger partner Emma visited this shrine, so I recommend checking out her blog post to read all about it, and its connections to the very first Emperor of Japan, Jimmu.

Don’t forget to pick up your new Miyazaki card tomorrow, and stay tuned for more posts about the new cards!

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Miyazaki #2: Prefectural Government Building (宮崎県庁舎)

Miyazaki’s second postcard features the prefectural government building in its unique style. It is built in the Neo-Gothic style which was based on castles and buildings in Europe. It was built in 1932 and is the fourth oldest government building in Japan still being used for its original purpose.

When I was in Miyazaki due to time constraints the only chance I had to visit was at night, so the picture isn’t terribly clear. It is also Miyazaki’s retired postcard, and I didn’t think to actually bring the postcard with me on the trip, so there’s no card in the picture either. Sorry!


Miyazaki prefectural government building

Next time I’ll go in the daytime, and remember to bring the postcard with me!

Miyazaki #5: Hyuuganatsu Fruits (日向夏)

Miyazaki is a prime producer of citrus along with its super-famous mangoes, and one type of citrus that seems to have been developed in Miyazaki is called the hyuuganatsu. Hyuuga is what the area of Miyazaki used to be called, and “natsu” means summer. However I have done a TON of research about this WINTER-growing citrus and why the heck it’s got summer in its name has completely escaped me. Seriously, I have no clue.

But anyway, confusing names aside, this is a sweetish fruit that is often eaten plain with sugar. Since I visited Miyazaki in, again, summer and this fruit despite the name grows in the winter (ugh), I couldn’t try the actual fruit itself. However its a popular flavor of all sorts of different sweets, including ice cream, so here are a few pictures.


I had to get help to take this picture!


These look like ripe hyuuganatsu, but they’re actually jelly.

I really enjoyed the ice cream, it was very refreshing. I’d love to try the citrus itself. And…you know, find out why it’s called hyuuganatsu (can you tell that really bothers me?).

Miyazaki #1: Mangoes (マンゴー)

The production of mangoes, Miyazaki’s first postcard, started in 1985 but took several years to show success. Miyazaki has a sub-tropical climate and lots of sun and rain, which is good for mangoes. I love these yummy fruits, but the Miyazaki brand-name ones come at a VERY dear price in my cold corner of Japan. The best of the best can go for 300000 yen! Wow! Even the more moderately priced mangoes at my local supermarket are still more expensive than most fruits, so I don’t get to eat them often. Still, there are lots of mango-flavored products for sale in Japan, so even if the fresh fruit is too expensive, there are other ways to eat it.

We brought home some mango-flavored jellies from our Kyushu trip which were delicious.


Real mangoes for sale, 1800 yen for one!


More reasonable-priced mango flavored goods for sale at Miyazaki Station


Mango ice cream, yum!

Have you eaten a mango today?