Mimitsu – Miyazaki Prefecture

Located along the coast of Miyazaki prefecture, Mimitsu is a small port town with a very old style Japanese feel thanks to its streets of historic buildings. It has been designated a national important preservation district and walking its streets is like travelling back in time. Mimitsu was a very important and busy trade town during the Edo and Meiji periods and many of its buildings and its architecture date from this time. It is a much quieter and more sedate place nowadays and it’s very pleasant walking around its quiet streets and soaking up the scenery.

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The old town well

Going back a little further into Japan’s earliest myths and legends, which is where Kyushu – and Miyazaki prefecture in particular – have so many interesting things to offer,  Mimitsu is said to be the place where Japan’s first emperor, Jimmu, departed the island of Kyushu for Nara to unite Japan. Mimitsu is also said to be the birthplace of Japan’s navy and there is a monument dedicated to this by the docks.

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Most mailboxes in Mimitsu have a ship motif in keeping with the town’s maritime history
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The naval monument
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Ye olde electrical appliance repair shop
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Interestingly, the second panel in this sign suggests Mimitsu was the first place in Japan a kite was flown, when Emperor Jimmu used one to determine the wind direction for sailing to Nara

Due to its small size, and the fact that it is still an actual functioning town rather than a tourist spot, Mimitsu isn’t really a place to spend a whole day but if you are travelling along the coast of Miyazaki (and if you really should, its one of the most beautiful coastal drives in Japan), its well worth stopping in.


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