Steeped in myth and legend, Takachiho has been known since ancient times as a sacred ground where the gods descended to earth. The area is also famous for yokagura, sacred dance rituals reenacting the legends, which are performed in the fall and early winter.
The sheer gorge running through a basin surrounded by steep green mountains is the highlight of a magnificently variegated terrain that presents fresh beauties with the changing seasons.
- In the Shinto tradition, Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to the islands of Japan and begot numerous deities After Izanami died giving birth to a fire god, Izanagi performed a purification ceremony (misogi) through which two major deities, the sun goddess Amaterasu and the storm god Susano-o, emerged.
Furious at violence wrought by her brother Susano-o, the sun goddess Amaterasu hid in a rock cave, plunging heaven and earth into darkness and bringing on a series of disasters.
A convocation of other deities worked out a way to make her open and exit the cave, returning brightness and peace to the heavens.
Amaterasu sent down her grandson Ninigi-no-mikoto to pacify the chaotic, mist-enshrouded land. This first descent of the goddess' grandson is called tenson-korin.
At first he could not advance because of dense fog, but on the advice of another deity, he sowed rice from the top of twin-peaked Mt. Futagami, and the fog lifted and he was able to move around easily.
Driving (Approximate times to Takachiho)
- From Fukuoka Airport: About 3 hours 30 minutes
- From Kumamoto Airport: About 1 hour 30 minutes
- From Miyazaki Airport: About 2 hours 30 minutes
- From Beppu Hot Springs: About 3 hours
- From Yufuin: About 2 hours 40 minutes
- From Kurokawa Hot Springs: About 2 hours