Both a natural wonder and an important religious site, Takachiho draws over a million Japanese tourists yearly, but few foreigners make it this far. Takachiho Gorge is an impressive ravine with countless waterfalls cascading into it, while nearby Ama-no-Iwato Shrine contains the cave where, according to myth, the sun goddess Amaterasu hid until Ame-no-Uzume lured her out. Another legend suggests that this is where Amaterasu's grandson Ninigi-no-Mikoto descended to earth to establish Japan's imperial family, but that particular claim is contested by Takachiho-no-mine in Kirishima National Park to the south.
While technically in Miyazaki, Takachiho is located deep in the mountains in the northwest of the prefecture, and is actually easier to reach from the neighboring prefecture of Kumamoto in the west.
From Kumamoto city, the inter-city bus to Nobeoka  reaches Takachiho in about 2:50 (¥2300), passing by Kumamoto Airport (2 hrs, ¥2100) along the way. Pay when exiting the bus, or purchase a discounted round-trip double ticket (valid for 10 days) from the vending machine at Kumamoto central bus terminal (¥4000). Buses leave at 9:11 and 15:31 from JR Kumamoto Station (9:20 and 15:40 from the central bus terminal) and arrive 11:58 and 18:18 in Takachiho. Westbound buses depart Takachiho at 8:31 and 16:31 and reach Kumamoto central bus terminal at 11:06 and 19:06 (JR Kumamoto station 9 minutes later).
From Miyazaki city, take the JR Nippo Line to Nobeoka (1:15, ¥1700 by tokkyu), then connect to the Kumamoto bus  (departs 7:30 and 15:30), reaching Takachiho in one hour (¥1740). This is also the fastest route if coming in from Oita to the north.
From Nobeoka, local buses leave the bus centre (outside the railway station) at 05:50, 06:40, 08:45, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:55, 5:20, 6.15 and 8:00. The first and last buses are weekdays only. The journey takes 80 or 90 minutes depending on the route and the scenery is superb. Buses for Nobeoka leave Takachiho at 5:24, 6:00, 7.35, 8.15, 9.30, 10.30, 12.25, 1:30, 2:15, 3:40, 4.30, 5:30 and 7:45. The first and last buses are weekdays only.
The Takachiho Railway from Nobeoka stopped running in 2005 after it was trashed by Typhoon Nabi, although there are plans to resurrect a portion of it as a sightseeing railway.
Hiring a car from any neighbouring city (provided you have a valid local or international driver's license) provides a distinct advantage as it solves the minor problem of getting in but also the much bigger problem of how to get around once in Takachiho (see below).
Be aware that if planning a daytrip, the fastest public transport route, bus from Kumamoto, arrives at midday and departs at 4:30 leaving you on a very tight four and a half hour timeframe. In fact, the timeframe is so tight and the town buses are so infrequent that it is impossible to properly see more than one attraction (likely the gorge) without paying out on local taxis; making this a potentially cost-effective solution.
A shuttle bus operates between Takachiho Bus Center and the gorge (¥140, 5 min), but it's infrequent, and usually it's faster just to walk (about 30 min). Since this gorge-bound bus seems to be no longer operational since dec 2011, electric bicycle would be the most cost effective way to get around to inner-city attractions (like the shrine or gorge), and is available for rent ¥300 per hour (enquire at the bus center). Another bus connects to the Ama-no-Iwato Shrine, about 10 km and 15 min away.
Local taxi drivers are well aware of this issue. The taxi terminal is adjacent to the bus center, thus they might in fact approach you the moment you alight from the bus. If not, they will be sleeping in their vehicles waiting for passengers. They know the routine well, but their assistance obviously comes at a price. 7 minutes to gorge from ¥1000.
Renting a boat and going near the waterfall is a rather pricey, yet unforgettable experience.
Some Japanese drive to the nearby mountain peak 7 km away for the magnificient sunrise viewing. If lucky, you will get to see the sun peeking over a sea of clouds blanketing the many mountains.
Miyazaki's standard array of souvenirs are available here, namely delicious mango-flavoured everything. Keep an eye out for the signs emblazoned with Miyazaki's mascot: a cutesified (but startling accurate) image of Hideo Higashikokubaru, a comedian and the prefecture's former governor, dressed up like a used-car salesman.
Kagura senbei is unique to takachiho and its folklore. These rice cakes have images of the traditional yokagura dance baked into them.
There are at least two hotels in Takachiho town, plus a fancy hotel located directly above the gorge (where the trail begins).
Allegedly there is a campground facility downstream in the gorge. However, as of July 2010, the section of trail from the boat rental shop leading to the campsite meanders straight into a no entry sign (and if you care to peek beyond, the trail meanders into an impassably deep whirlpool). A vehicular road also connects to the campsite but its a rather indirect route, but doable by walking in the direction of the takachiho temple on the nature trial till the small temple bridge.
In the winter months, you can also go for overnight yogura dance events in yogura halls which last till morning. As the selected hall/location change everyday and the schedule is dotted with rest days, you should enquire in advance on online websites. However this trouble is worth the calmaradi experience.