Miyazaki: Penises Galore!

A casual 3 hours drive to Kobayashi, Miyazaki, to check out the place, see a couple of penis and go home again – what a weekend!

So I’d met a German CIR a few weeks before and she invited me to come and checkout the sites and sounds around here area.

Kobayashi Town

Arriving at her apartment, it was huge, with some really sweet furntiture, so the point where her apartment looked like something off of Pinterest, with a custom made table and chair, desk and some surfboards kicking about!

After a nice coffee – obviously made from freshly ground coffee beans – we headed out to see a big stone penis!

Can you spot the phallus?
Can you spot the phallus?

And boy was it big, girthy and erect! Most impressive! I found it funny how it was just hidden down some small path, with a couple of building surrounding it, and a big glass plaque naming it the origin of life. It was only after looking at the display board that I realized there was also a vagina next to the penis – things we starting to make sense (as much as they could around giant stone genitals) – hidden until the bushes; somebody was clearly due a trim!

The sun setting through Sannomiya gorge


Down the road from here was the beautiful Sannomiya Gorge, with a wonderful meandering trail, and the chance to get up close to the main waterfall. We’d time the trip so that the sun was just setting as we walked back to the car, illuminating the gorge as we passed through.

Maxin’, relaxin’

After coffees in a delightful café, we took dinner in a little izakaya and then hit up a snack bar, that had a rather merry and flirty, mature bartender that spent most of the hour talking at me in Japanese, drinking my drink and apologising!

Sunday began slowly, though was marked by the inclusion of octopus bread for breakfast, which is everything the name promises it would be be, and was surprising tasty – maybe I need to give takoyaki (octopus, dumplings? I guess) another chance!

Heading back towards Miyazaki, we detoured to Aoshima Island (青島), the shrine on which is said to bring good luck to newly married couples. Its accessible buy a small bridge that itself can end up submerged during particularly high tides! Surrounding the island is the Oni no Sentakuita (鬼の洗濯板) or Devil’s Washboard, a basalt formation that created rigid straight lines that lore has it the oni would use to wash their clothes.

I love how the sea’s carved the rock

The shrine has the delightful animals, you can see them at the top of this post, guiding either side the entrance. Kind of Lion-dogs, one has its mouth open, the other shut. The former making an “a” sound, the latter an “um” sound; these sounds form the beginning and end of the Sanskrit alphabet, marking the beginning and end of all things.

The pathway to the lovers' shrine
The pathway to the lovers’ shrine

Inside the shrine, and to the right, is a lovers walkway, where couples can write and tie messages to the framework, wishing for good health and happy lifes. This places has a surreal stillness and quietness caused by being enclosed within the tall trees that make up the island – so cool!

Leaving the island we headed back vis the main road, along which are a number of surfboard shops; apparently this area is particularly known for offering some of the best surf around these parts (so I’ll definitely be back to try it in the summer!).

Finishing my time in Miyazaki, we headed to a school-age piano recital – my first ever, and a bit of a curveball for my trip. It was thoroughly enjoyable, with the pianists, from ages 3 and up, all playing perfectly by my tone death ear and from memory!

It truly had been a bizarre, but fun weekend!

By J.Molkenthin

James Molkenthin is an enthusiastic and energetic British Designer, with a background in Graphics, Website and Product Design.