Where to eat, stay and play in Miyazaki

Home to the main airport in the region, Miyazaki City is the starting point for all the sun and surf activities the coastal prefecture at Kyushu island has to offer. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to get you going.

Overview of the shore of Hiroki Miyazaki, Japan.
  • Simon Tsang
    Main image: View of coastline at Horikiri Pass, Miyazaki City.
  • October 2018

Home to the main airport to the region, Miyazaki City is the starting point for all the sun and surf activities the coastal prefecture on Kyushu island has to offer. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to get you going.

Bridge connecting the two shore and People enjoying the heat of sun in Aoshima Beach, Miyazaki City.
Aoshima Beach in Miyazaki City with the gate to Aoshima Shrine in the background. Picture: Simon Tsang

Play

Recently built, Aoshima Beach Park is the perfect place to hang out in Miyazaki City and grab a bite from one of the many food outlets. Nearby is a small island, where you can visit Aoshima Shrine, connected to the main beach via a footbridge.

Keen for a change of pace? Take a scenic drive along Horikiri Pass and check out the rugged coastline, reminiscent of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. Stop off at the lookout point where you can grab a soft serve while enjoying the views.

Miyazaki is also home to Phoenix Country Club – ranked one of the top three golf courses in the country.

Sushi, sake and surfing: Making waves in Miyazaki

A resort with tall building near in the sea and a peaceful skyline.
Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort has the best views around.

Stay

Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort

At 45 storeys high, you would be hard-pressed to find better views than at this towering resort. Its guest-only Kurobar overlooking the pool and garden is a stylish place to chill out with a drink. The breakfast buffet in the Pine Terrace restaurant is a crowd-pleaser with an amazing choice of Western and Asian cuisines. Plus, a visit to their beautifully crafted onsen nestled in a pine grove is the perfect way to end a busy day.

Hotel Verfort Hyuga

Hyuga City - about a 75-minute drive north of Miyazaki Airport – has plenty of attractions in its own right and Hotel Verfort Hyuga is one of the biggest stays in town. While the rooms are fairly basic, the hotel has a rooftop beer garden and is near plenty of bars and restaurants. Plus, it’s a 10-minute walk from the train station.

Miyazaki Chicken Nanban dish on the left and Kakigori mango on the right.
Chicken nanban (left) is a popular local dish and Kakigori - or shaved ice dessert - goes down well on a hot day. Pictures: Simon Tsang

Eat

Jidori

Are you brave enough to try free-range chicken you can eat raw? Yes, raw. This special chook is raised and grilled over charcoal in such a way the raw or half-cooked meat won’t make you sick.

Chicken Nanban

Dig in to this popular deep-fried “southern-style” chicken topped off with a creamy sauce made from hard-boiled egg. Try the chicken nanban at the beach-side Coast Life in Miyazaki City.

Shochu

The preferred alcoholic drink in these parts is shochu, which is distinctly different to sake or the similar sounding (and tasting) Korean soju.

Hebesu

Try the popular citrus fruit that is similar to lime but without the sourness. Hebesu and mango are the favoured fruit flavourings here. Local mangoes are highly prized. But you’d have to be pretty keen on having one, as they are about AUD $30 each and can reach as much as AUD $100 a pop.

Kakigori

Shaved ice is a popular dessert in Japan and Miyazaki is the perfect hot-weather place to enjoy it. Kakigori is usually served with topping and flavouring, such as fruit.

A group of surfers preparing at the back of their van.
Cheap rental surf vans are the best way to get around.

Transport

By air

The region’s main airport is located in Miyazaki city – a two-hour flight from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

By train

You can catch a train from the airport at Miyazaki city to Hyuga city.

By car

Public transport is limited in Miyazaki, so hiring a car is best. Vans are cheap to rent and come with internal racks for surfboards and water tanks for rinsing yourself off at the beach.

A man surfing with a huge wave.
Gold Coast-based surfer McKenzie Bowden catching a wave at Uchiumi.

Go with a pro

Competitive surfer McKenzie Bowden joined us to check out the waves in Miyazaki. When the New Zealander-turned-Gold Coast local isn’t competing, he travels creating surf and lifestyle content.

What do you think about the surf conditions in Miyazaki?

The conditions were great. From beaches to point breaks, there are waves for all surfers – beginners to advanced.

What is the surf culture like in Miyazaki?

In the water, it’s definitely more chilled out compared to the Gold Coast [Queensland] and other places I’ve surfed. There’s no rush. People are on island time and everyone is stoked and has a smile on their face. I felt welcomed and I met some great people.

What did you enjoy most about the trip to Miyazaki?

The food is amazing. The place is warm and beautiful but the most enjoyable thing for me was meeting such good people who make you feel right at home.

What were some of your favourite spots?

Uchiumi was sick – we got some nice waves there. I also enjoyed going to Aoshima Shrine and taking the little tuk tuk bikes around the island. It’s a magical little area.