Located on the southeastern coast of Kyushu, Miyazaki City enjoys one of the warmest climates in Japan. The town is dotted with beaches, resorts and sports facilities and was considered a top honeymoon destination for Japanese couples until the 1980s. However, after the 1980s tourism in Miyazaki declined until a popular comedian named Higashikokubaru Hideo became the governor of Miyazaki Prefecture in 2007 and used his celebrity to draw attention to Miyazaki once again.
Today, one of the main attractions in Miyazaki is Heiwadai Park, situated just 30-minutes on foot from Miyazaki Shrine. Constructed in 1940, the park sits 200 feet above sea level and offers impressive views of the surrounding area. It draws many visitors for its wide lawns, immaculately kept flower beds and cool forest atmosphere. Within the park, standing at 121 feet high, is the park’s Peace Tower, the most recognizable symbol of Miyazaki. Constructed of stones gathered from all over Asia it was originally intended to be a symbol of Japanese imperialism. However, following the events of World War II, the tower became a monument for peace and a united world. On the front of the tower, you will find the phrase “Hakko Ichiu,” which means “United under one roof.”
At the far end of the park, you will find Haniwa Garden. The garden is famous for its collection of 400 replica haniwa (burial statues) depicting animals, warriors, boats and houses, all arranged around a walking path. During the Kofun period, more than 1,500 years ago, clay statues like these were placed on burial mounds as a tribute to the deceased.
If you get hungry after walking around or if you just want to relax, there is a rest area in the park with a souvenir/snack shop and an organic restaurant serving dishes prepared with healthy organic ingredients provided by Miyazaki’s local farmers. The snack shop offers light snacks, organic coffee, ice cream and cold drinks.
The ideal outing is to combine a trip to the park with a visit to the Miyazaki Shrine and the Prefectural Museum. Admission to the park is free. There are direct buses each hour departing from Miyazaki Station to Heiwadai Park.
Address: 1-1-1 Tachibana-dōri Nishi, Miyazaki-shi, Miyazaki-ken