Built in a cave hidden among the cliffs of the Nichinan Coast, Udo Jingu boasts brightly colored Shinto architecture uniquely juxtaposed alongside spectacular natural landscapes.
In ancient legends, it is said that Miyazaki is where the gods descended to Earth, eventually giving birth to Jimmu, who is recorded as Japan’s first ruler and Emperor. Udo Shrine is revered as the birthplace of Jimmu’s father, Ugayafukiaezu-no-Mikoto, and it is said that the”Ochichi-iwa” (breast-shaped rocks) located behind the main shrine, are the breasts that his goddess mother left behind to nourish him. As such, there is a local tradition whereby couples pay homage to the Udo shrine to seek blessing for childbirth
A visit to Udo Shrine begins by walking up and through the mountain which hides the shrine, opening up to a magnificent path lined with bright red gates, fences and large stone lanterns, built on the edge of the dramatic cliffs of the Nichinan coastline. Once you reach and explore the main shrine itself, try making a wish by throwing “Undama” (good luck ball) into a rope laid atop the “Kame-iwa,” a rock which is said to have once been the large turtle that carried Ugayafukiaezu-no-Mikoto’s mother from the ocean to Udo-shrine to give birth to Ugayafukiaezu-no-Mikoto.
Learn More about the Neighborhood
Once the center of a 51,000 “koku” fiefdom ruled by the Ito clan for close to three centuries, Obi is a quaint castle town with streets lined with samurai villas and merchant houses.