Amano Iwato Shrine

Amano Iwato Shrine

Passing on the legends to the present

Amano Iwato Shrine is located about 7 kilometers to the northeast of the center of Takachiho-cho. It is a shrine which passes on the famous legend of Amano Iwato.
The legend of the Amano Iwato goes like this. One day, Amaterasu-Omikami, the sun goddess, became so outraged by her brother, Susanoo-no-Mikoto for his violent deeds, that she hid herself in a cave. Because she was a sun goddess, the world was thrown into a state of total darkness, and all the other gods and goddesses gathered at Amano Yasugawara to think of ways to lure her out. They decided to hold a banquet in front of the cave. During the banquet, a skillful dancer, Ameno Uzumeno Mikoto, performed her dance, making the other gods roar with laughter. The joyous sounds peaked her interest, and Amaterasu wanted to see what the fun was. As she opened the door of the cave to take a peak, Tajikarao-no-mikoto flung the door open, and light was returned to the world.

Surrounded by nature from ancient times

At Amano Iwato Shrine, Amano Iwato, the cave in which Amaterasu-Omikami is said to have hidden, is designated as an object of worship. There are two shrines on the east and west side of Iwato River. The East Shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu-Omikami, and the West Shrine is dedicated to “”Amano Iwaya””. “”Amano Iwato”” is a holy sanctuary, so trespassing is prohibited, but if you inquire at the shrine office, you will be shown to the observation deck. When you walk about ten minutes from the West Shrine, there is Amano Yasukawara, where the all the gods and goddesses gathered to have a discussion. Many people visit here, because it is said that if you stack stones and make a wish, the wish will come true.

We then drove a ways to visit Kunimigaoka. This is the place known for the sea of clouds. Legend has it that the grandson of Emperor Jinmu, Tate Watatsumi-no-Mikoto, looked down over the countries of Kyushu from this hill, and prayed for success in the unification of Kyushu. Thus the name Kuni (countries) mi (look). From the hill 513 meters in altitude, one can observe the entire Takachiho Basin, spreading along the Gokase River, a splendid scenery representative of Takachiho.


Amano Iwato Shrine
Iwato, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture