Japan's Healing & Scenic Retreat | Kyushu / Okinawa
In the Kyushu/Okinawa area, we recommend visiting spots with spectacular scenery, abundant nature, and history and tradition, such as “Kagami-no-umi” (Fukutsu Sea Mirror) in Fukuoka and the Ei No Tsurugi Shrine in Kumamoto.
Kagami-no-Umi [Fukutsu Sea Mirror] (Fukutsu, Fukuoka)
Kagami-no-Umi,” Fukutsu Sea Mirror, is a 3km stretch of shallow coastline that includes Fukuma Beach, Miyajihama Beach, and Tsuyazaki Beach, all located in Fukutsu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. This beautiful beach, preserved by the local community, features sand that mirrors the sky like a mirror only during low tide, creating a mysterious scene reminiscent of the Salar de Uyuni.
The best time to visit is from 30 minutes before low tide until low tide. Try your hand at capturing your own spectacular photos of the Sea Mirror, which can only be seen at specific times of the day and under certain conditions, such as weather and wind direction.
Magome Church (Nagasaki)
Overlooking the sea from a hill in Ioujima, Nagasaki City, is the Catholic Magome Church. It began with a small congregation hall in 1871 during the Christianity prohibition period and was rebuilt in its present form in 1931 after the first cathedral, built later, was damaged by lightning and typhoons.
It is a beautiful white Gothic church that reflects the spirit of the people who overcame numerous hardships, including Christian persecution and natural disasters, to keep their faith alive.
Eino-o Tsurugi Shrine (Uki, Kumamoto)
Eino-o Tsurugi Shrine is a mysterious shrine with a torii gate standing in the middle of the sea, built in 713. The shrine is also famous for being a typical viewing point for the mirage phenomenon called “Shiranui,” which occurs on August 1 of the lunar calendar in the Shiranui Sea (Yatsushiro Sea).
In a Japanese history book compiled in the 8th century, there is an anecdote that an ancient emperor on a pilgrimage to Kyushu lost his bearings on the Yatsushiro Sea and was guided to land by “Shiranui”.
Please visit Eino-o Tsurugi Shrine to view the mysterious “Shiranui” fire, which was also viewed with wonder by the ancient people.
Yusuhara Hachimangu (Oita)
Yusuhara Hachimangu Shrine is believed to have been built in the early 9th century and is a historic shrine revered by samurai families. It is known for its blessings to ward off bad luck and bring good fortune. The shrine grounds are filled with sights such as a giant camphor tree said to be 3,000 years old, the splendid Hachiman-zukuri (traditional Japanese architectural style) main hall, and the massive yet exquisitely carved Nandaimon gate.
Another hidden attraction is the huge tengu mask displayed in the hall of worship. The masks are very powerful, but because they are displayed close to the ceiling, some visitors who only look at the front of the shrine may not notice them and miss them. If you visit the temple, be sure not to miss it.
Cape Manzamo (Onna, Okinawa)
Cape Manzamo is a precipitous cliff that rises toward the beautiful cobalt blue sea. The limestone plateau made of coral reefs is home to natural grass and plants such as Okinawa’s endemic “Okinawa Sumire (Viola utchinensis)” and “Isonogiku chrysanthemum,” which are designated as natural treasures by the prefecture, giving the area a rich life force.
Please enjoy the dynamic and spectacular scenery created by nature, at the one of the best scenic spots in Okinawa.