Miyazaki (prefecture) : Miyazaki
Miyazaki is a tourism and resort area in southern Kyushu. It is not to be confused with the legendary Japanese animator and filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki. (Who is from the intellectually-inspired Bunkyo ward of Tokyo, anyway.)
Miyazaki has its own airport located just a few kilometers from downtown. JAL, ANA and the discount carrier Solaseed (formerly Skynet) have regular flights from Tokyo Haneda Airport, Osaka Itami Airport and various other locations throughout Japan. AS August 2015, Peach Air now offers a daily flight between Miyazaki and Osaka Kansai Airport. There are also flights to Seoul, Taipei, and Hong Kong through Asiana, China Airlines, and Hong Kong Airlines respectively. Airline pricing is highly variable, but the cheapest option to Miyazaki is usually the Solaseed ¥10,000 "Visit Japan" fare for travelers with a “Temporary Visitor” visa (the same requirement as the JR Pass) which is good for just about any single flight on the airline. Though, this is essentially a standby ticket, so you may have trouble during peak demand periods. Peak demand in Japan is around New Years, Golden Week (end of April/start of May), and Obon in August, and of course, Friday and Sunday evenings are always more busy than weekdays. ANA also offers an "Experience Japan" fare of ¥10,800 for similar visitors. Tickets must be purchased three days in advance and are valid on direct ANA flights from Miyazaki to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Naha
Buses connect the airport to the main Miyazaki station in 25 minutes (¥400), while the JR Miyazaki Airport Line runs 1-2 trains per hour to Minami-Miyazaki station (¥330) that continue on to Miyazaki station. Hourly direct trains connect Miyazaki Airport to the northern cities of Hyuga and Nobeoka. If you are under 21, you can get tickets cheaper than normal.
Most people will take the Kirishima limited express which makes multiple daily runs from Kagoshima (2-2.5 hours, ¥4100).
If you connect to the Shinkansen in Kagoshima, it is anouther 2 hours for Hakata to Kagoshima (2.5 hours from Kukura). You can take a single Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Kagoshima in 4.5-5 hours.
Anouther option, the more scenic route, from Kokura station in Kitakyushu, the first stop in Kyushu on the San'yo Shinkansen, is to take the Sonic limited express to Oita or Beppu and transfer to the Nichirin limited express (¥8300). A few Nichirin trains run from Kokura or Hakata in Fukuoka directly to Miyazaki, with no change of trains necessary, but most people that take this route like to stop to see Beppu. The route is about 5 hours which is about the same as the Shinkansen route from Kokura.
Note that there was also an overnight service, the Dream Nichirin, which ran over the same route, however this train service was discontinued on March 11, 2011 (in conjunction with the opening of the completed the Kyushu Shinkansen).
There is no charge for the above services with a Japan Rail Pass, and there is a JR All Kyushu Pass that covers all routes as well, aside from the reference to the Shinkansen in Kokura and beyond. The Kyushu Shinkansen stops at Hakata; Hakata to Shin-Osaka (including Kokura) is owned by JR West, so you would need a JR West Pass for that section.
Starting on March 12, 2011, a highway bus operated by JR Kyushu began to Miyazaki from the Shin-Yatsushiro bullet train station. The "B&S Miyazaki" (B&S for Bus and Shinkansen) will operate once per hour, timed with the arrival of the bullet trains from Fukuoka. The bus trip takes just over 2 hours from Shin-Yatsushiro at a cost of 4,150 yen each way. The overall journey from Fukuoka to Miyazaki will be shortened to just over 3 hours using this train/bus combination. The bus is not valid with the Japan Rail Pass, but bus tickets can be purchased at any JR Midori-no-Madoguchi seat reservation counter.
Miyazaki has a decent highway bus system. Buses depart from Miyazaki Station and Miyako City, and drop off at those locations and others downtown. Tickets can be purchased from both locations.
Hourly buses run from Fukuoka to Miyazaki in about 4 1/2 hours at a cost of ¥6000. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for as low as ¥2500 on the GOGO Phoenix website. Although the website is only in Japanese, the English translation from the Google Chrome browser should make it understandable.
Around seven buses a day connect Miyazaki and Kagoshima in three hours for around ¥2700. The bus makes a stop at Kagoshima Airport, which can be handy for travelers requiring a larger airport.
Two buses a day connect Miyazaki to Nagasaki in five hours for around ¥6700. Although pricey, the seats are quite comfy. Tickets are less if you buy two roundtrip tickets.
Hourly buses connect Miyazaki to Kumamoto in about four hours.
There are also bus tours available from Miyazaki to Takachiho. Ask the tour office in Miyazaki station for more information.
Daily overnight ferries connect Miyazaki to Kobe, making the crossing in around 12 hours. This can be a fun way to travel, with a restaurant, souvenir shop, and vending machines available. Accommodation varies from a large bunkroom to a private cabin. Tickets can be purchased at the port prior to boarding for around ¥10,000 for a spot in the bunk room. Tickets can be purchased online in advance for ¥6000, although the website is only in Japanese. Space is usually always available except for major travel periods. Buses connect Miyako City and Miyazaki station to the port of Miyazaki and are synced to the departure and arrival of the ferry.
There are one-day tickets around Miyazaki City and 8 other sightseeing areas in the surrounding region.
Miyazaki is one of the most famous places for surfing in Japan. Lots of foreigners visit there during the summer. There are good waves and the sunset is so beautiful.
Yagi-nu ice cream - There is an ice cream made from goats' milk in Yamanokuchi country road station. The goat milk is from a near by farm called Nakayama Bokujyou. It is very popular that it will sell out in the morning. Other Miyazaki food can be eaten at other prefecture but you can only eat this here.
"Kurokirishima" is a famous Miyazaki shochu. Miyazaki produces lots kind of shochu, so people who like Japanese shochu, Miyazaki is a good place to visit. However, some of them are expensive, so you can not buy them so easily.
In the town of Aya, which is around 20km from Miyazaki City proper, there is a complex called the Aya Shusen-no-mori. There is a winery, beer brewery and shochu distillery all on site. The beer made here is German-style, and of a high standard. The Shusen-no-mori brewery makes (at time of writing) a Bock, a Koelsch, an Altbier and a blueberry-flavoured lager. The beer is far superior to the macro-brewed Japanese lagers such as Asahi Super Dry or Kirin Lager. The wine from the Shusen-no-mori winery, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired.
The best hotels in Miyazaki City are the Kanko Hotel, in the city centre by the river, and the Sheraton, in the Seagaia complex surrounded by a golf course around 8km North-East of the city centre. The prices of these luxury hotels are comparable to those of five-star hotel chains in any large Western country.
A cheap place to sleep, on the other hand, is a manga coffee shop/internet cafe. There is one beside the 7-11 near the Miyazaki train station. There is also a "Cybac" internet cafe in Miyazaki which is slightly better than the aforementioned manga kissa - it is difficult to find, so get a taxi from the train station. It should cost around 1000 yen.