Miyazaki is an often overlooked prefecture located in the southeast of Kyushu, but it has a lot to offer. With one of the warmest climates of Japan’s four main islands, its capital, Miyazaki City, is a pleasant place to explore for a couple of days.
If you’re looking for somewhere comfortable and reasonably priced to stay whilst in the city, a good option is Guesthouse Heiwa. Heiwa means peace in Japanese, and the guesthouse takes its name from a nearby peace park which features an unusual tower constructed of stones collected from across Asia.
Located in a quiet residential area of the city, Guesthouse Heiwa is ideal for travellers who want to relax and explore Miyazaki at their own pace. A relatively new guesthouse, it was opened in November 2012 by Shiori Matsuda. Shiori-san decided to open it as she enjoys meeting new people and introducing them to her city.
There are several mixed dorm rooms available, in both western style (with bunk beds) and Japanese style (with futons). All the rooms, including the shared bathroom and toilets, are spotlessly clean. There is a fully-equipped kitchen if you want to cook for yourself, and there is also a relaxing communal area. Parking is available if you have their own car.
The guesthouse is located a little far from the city centre, requiring a 20 minute bus journey from the station. However, it is very close to two of the city’s main attractions: Miyazaki Jingu, the oldest shrine in the city, and Heiwadai Park, with its distinctive stone monument.
Shiori-san has two bikes available for guests to use freely, and these sights are just a short ride away. You can also go for a ride along the picturesque riverbank near the guesthouse, or explore some of the quaint leafy streets in the surrounding area.
Although she only speaks a little English, Shiori-san is very friendly and does her best to make you feel at home. She is also happy to provide you with a simple breakfast if requested, free of charge – a good start to a day of sightseeing!
At just 2000 yen a night, Guesthouse Heiwa is great value for money, and definitely worth a stay if you plan on visiting Miyazaki.
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I spent three years living in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher on the JET Programme, not knowing what to expect but with images of Tokyo, geisha and Mount Fuji in my mind. I was placed in Yamagata prefecture in a small rural town that I couldn't find in any guidebook. I learnt to snowboard, climbed mountains, tried my hand at ikebana and kyuudo and koto, dressed up as a samurai, karaoked til the early hours, become obsessed with onsen, and had countless other adventures and experiences. For a relatively small country, Japan has so much to offer, and I love nothing better than exploring - particularly heading off the beaten track and into the beautiful countryside. I set myself a personal challenge to visit each of the 47 prefectures, which gave me a great excuse to do a lot of travelling. Although I've now ticked them all off, there's still so much I want to see. Japan will always be my second home and and I'm looking forward to discovering and learning more for a long time to come.