JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.89




Japan is a geological treasure trove of volcanic activities, which have created a number of unique and mysterious natural backdrops. Among the most notable is Takachiho, located in the north of Miyazaki Prefecture in the central mountains of Kyushu.

This area is home to Takachiho Gorge. This natural wonder with its stunning scenery was created eons ago when pyroclastic flows from a large eruption of Mt. Aso, considered one of the world’s largest calderas, flowed along the river in a belt shape, rapidly hardening along the way.

Takachiho Gorge is as tall as 100 meters and on average 80 meters across, spanning a distance of approx. seven kilometers east to west. In 1934, the gorge was designated as a natural monument and place of scenic beauty by the national government. Also in this area is the waterfall called Manai, which is 17 meters tall and was selected as one of Japan’s 100 most scenic waterfalls. There are many places in Takachiho that are the backdrop for Japanese myths and legends.

Miyazaki Prefecture, where Takachiho is located, is home to JASDF Nyutabaru Air Base. This base houses the 5th Air Wing of the Western Air Defense Force and the Fighter Training Group, which trains F-15 pilots. The base is responsible for air defense both day and night.

  • back
  • next