The Noble Atmosphere of Takachiho Town

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The Noble Atmosphere of Takachiho Town

After disembarking from our paddle boats and returning the life jackets that had been strapped to our chests, we sat on a bench on the shore for a bit. As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the bus ride to the town had been a gruelling one. Not only was it a long journey but the twists and turns that had been cut into the mountainside were enough to make anyone feel as if they were on a rollercoaster. For those with motion sickness though, the torture was real. Unfortunately, all three of my companions suffer from motion sickness so we sat down for a bit to recover after being on the water.

As we sat there, the sky became darker than when we had arrived; was it that evening was quickly approaching or had the dark clouds converged to have a meeting to decide whether they should send rain down to cleanse the land? Either way, we soon started our journey again. Just as we'd made our way out of the descent to the gorge and across the car park, the rain came again. This time, huge pellets that prompted a re-enactment of our first night in Miyazaki when we had been forced to sprint for shelter. I was pretty tired by this time but my companions rightly concluded that we shouldn't hastily make our way back to the city. We had after all paid a lot of money, spent a lot of time on various forms of transport and challenged our bodies to make the trek to Takachiho Town. What other sights could we add to the day's itinerary?

As Takachiho is a very sacred spot, there are countless shrines scattered throughout the area. We had in fact passed the main one, known as the Takachiho Shrine, on our walk down to the gorge. First thing first, we had to ascend the spiralling roadway to get back to civilisation. We timed our afternoon outing so that we could catch the last bus at 7:00pm back to the train station and foregoing a proper meal, we stopped in at a local shop and secured some drinks and snacks to fortify us as we shrine-hopped. From a privately owned bakery, I got myself a piece of strawberry vanilla cake which I devoured in two bites and within two strides. It was so delicious!


Again, the feeling of peace and calm emanated from all the places that we visited in the town. You could particularly feel the noble atmosphere in the midst of the cedars on the grounds of the Takachiho Shrine. Among them is a huge, sacred, 800-year-old tree known as "Chichibu Cedar". There is also a huge "Couple Cedar", where two cedars have grown from the same root. People who come to worship at this shrine walk around the trees three times, hand in hand with friends, family member or lover, in the hope that they will be blessed with the prosperity of their descendants and the safety of their family. Next to the main shrine, there is a rock called "Shizumeishi". It is said that if you pray to this rock, it will soothe your worries and worldly troubles. It was surreal that so much myth and hope was rooted in just one place.


As we sat waiting for the bus that evening, we were hungry and exhausted but quite satisfied that we'd made this long and arduous journey.
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I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.

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