How to travel between Takachiho and Tokyo
By air via Kumamoto
JAL, ANA, Skymark and Solaseed Air operate frequent flights between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Kumamoto Airport. Flight duration is 100 minutes. The regular one way fares by JAL and ANA are around 41,000 yen, but discount tickets are usually available for between 13,000 and 28,000 yen. The fares by Solaseed Air are roughly 15-25 percent lower than the ones of JAL and ANA, while the fares by Skymark Airlines are even cheaper.
By air via Miyazaki
JAL, ANA and Solaseed Air operate numerous flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Miyazaki Airport. Flight duration is 110 minutes. The regular one way fare of JAL and ANA is around 41,000 yen, with discount tickets usually available for between 15,000 and 28,000 yen. Fares by Solaseed Air are typically around 10-20 percent below those of JAL and ANA.
From Miyazaki Airport, take the JR Nichirin or Hyuga limited express to Nobeoka Station (80 minutes, about 3000 yen, one train per hour) and transfer to a Miyazaki Kanko bus to the Takachiho Bus Center (90 minutes, 1790 yen, hourly departures). There used to be train service between Nobeoka and Takachiho, but it was discontinued in 2005.
Take the Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kumamoto with one transfer of trains along the way, typically at Shin-Osaka or Hakata Station (6-7 hours, around 26,000 yen). From Kumamoto, take a bus to the Takachiho Bus Center (3 hours, 2370 yen one way, 2 buses per day). The buses are operated by Kyushu Sanko Bus and Miyazaki Kotsu (Miyakoh).
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
Most of Takachiho's attractions are scattered in and around the town center and can be accessed on foot by good walkers (the gorge is about a 30-40 minute walk from the bus center). The exception is Amano Iwato Shrine, which stands ten kilometers outside of the town center and is accessible by infrequent bus or taxi.
The local bus network is centered at Takachiho Bus Center which is also served by the buses from Nobeoka and the highway buses to/from Kumamoto and Fukuoka. A tourist bus connects all of Takachiho's main attractions four times per day on weekends and public holidays (100-500 yen per ride or 600 yen for a 1-day pass).
Because public transportation is rather infrequent and inconvenient, rental cars are a convenient means to get around town. Rental outlets can be found in nearby Nobeoka City, around Mount Aso and at Kumamoto and Miyazaki Airports. Alternatively, electric bicycles are available for rent near the Takachiho Bus Center for 300 yen per hour or 1500 yen for one calendar day.