Drive along the scenic Nichinan coastal road south of Miyazaki City, and you'll reach Udo Jingu. Established in 1711, this shrine is dedicated to the father of Jimmu, Japan's mythical first emperor.The main shrine building is set inside a cave in the cliff face, overlooking the sea. It is believed to bring good luck to newly married couples. In the past, newlywed brides would ride a decorated 'shanshan' horse back home after visiting the shrine.
Find out more about Udo Jingu Shrine.
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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.