Hinokage is a small town located along the Seuinbasho Highway (route 218) between Takachiho and Nobeoka, in Miyazaki Prefecture on the Japanese Island of Kyushu. Hinokage is a mountainous rural town, with a population slightly over 4,000 people. Hinokage was founded in 1955 when four local towns conglomerated to form one large town area. Therefore, there are numerous parts of town that can be a good distance from eachother. When it was founded, Hinokage had a population around 20,000, but as is common with many of the other locaitons in the area, Hinokage has seen significant population decline, due to a lack of jobs, and the streamlining of the farming industries.
- Hinokage is a long spread out town, mostly due to the terrain. There is a downtown area that has the Yakuba (town office), a Miyazaki Bank (M-Th 8-4, F 8-3), a JP Post office, and numerous other shops. There is a small ACOOP Grocery store located downtown, as well as a 24-hour Family Mart Convienie located along route 218.
- Hinokage BOE does not oversee a High School. Most High Schools students either commute to Takachiho or Nobeoka.
- Hinokage Chugakkou is the largest school in town, with around twenty teachers and staff members and just under 200 students. Their are two classes of each grade level and one specail needs class, totaling seven total classes.
- Hinokage fields teams in boys basketball, boys volleyball, boys baseball, boys table tennis, boys and girls track, girls volleyball, and also has a small student after school orchestra.
- Hinokage Chugakkou is located in the center of town, essentially uphill from downtown. When driving on many of the roads, the Chugakkou is the most visible building in town.
- Many exrtracurricular sports are held at the Chugakkou Gym, including: basketball, badmitton, tennis, Kendo, and Karate. These, among many other activities are open to the public of all ages.
- Weekly classes in things like pottery and Ikebana are also offered at the Chugakkou or Chomin (Community) Center.
- There are numerous Shogakkos located throughout the town. They are no larger than 50 students in one school.
- There is a weekly Eikiwa (Adult English Class) lead by Jets in the local area that is held at the Chomin center.
- Hinokage has a small hospital, located just off of 218. It is near a factory, Hinokage Shogakko, and the Chomin Center.
- As Hinokage is a small rural town, it offers very few of the urban ammenities the average person expects in larger cities, and therefore can feel quite Inaka. However, many of these things can be found in the larger cities within a short driving distance (15-30 minutes) of Hinokage.
- Nearby Takachiho is a city of 40,000 people. It is a ffiteen minute drive west from Hinokage. It is a tourist ctiy due to the many Shinto-Buddhist Shrines and the impressive Takachiho Gorge. It has two larger grocery stores, one containing a small hyaku-en (dollar) store, and a home ammenties store (HomeWide). It also has many bars and restaurants and two Pachinko Parlors.
- Nobeoka is a costal city, that is about a forty-five minute drive east from Hinokage. It is a city of 100,000, and therefore has many shops, restaurants, other ammenities. It is the nearest city with an active train station, with routes to Miyazaki City and Oita. It has the largest department store in the region, AEON MALL, where most people shop for clothes or other home necessities.
- Kummamoto is about two and a half hours from Hinokage. It is a large coastal city and has much to see and do. It lies south and west of Hinokage and is the closest access point ot the Kysushu Expressway, the only large Interstate Freeway in Kyushu.
- Oitia is a very large city that lies due north of Hinokage and is about four hours away.
- Miyzaki City is the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture, and is about three hours east and south from Hinokage.
- Fukuoka is the largest city on the Island of Kyushu and is about four hours west of Hinokage. It sports a large international community and an active night life.
- Kagoshima is a large city about six hours south of Hinokage. Kagoshima Bay contains the active Sakurajima Volcanoe. It only spits minor amounts of ash, but is a popular tourist attraction.
- Hinokage does not have a functioning train station. A typhoon in years past dismantled the train line that ran through central Miyazaki, and as it was not frequently used, their has been little interest in rebuilding it.
- Hinokage itself boasts mostly two lane roads, though many of the outlying roadways to other local towns are quite narrow, steep, and twisty single lane mountain roadways.
- A car is a necessity in Hinokage, as the town is lightly populated and very spread out. A car is also needed to go shopping in nearby Takachiho or Nobeoka.
- A infrequent bus line does run through Hinokage and along 218 into Nobeoka and Takachiho.
- Though Hinokage is located in the Tropical Island of Kyushu, it is a town of high elevation in the central mountainous area. This means that it is typically colder than the coast, and has less temperature changes.
- Percipitaion is quite frequent in Hinokage. The fall sees typhoon season and the spring sees the rainy season, both of which can bring many periods of consecutive days of hard rain.
- The average high in Hinokage is 21 C, and low is 12 C. It may go below freezing once or twice a year, and snow has occurred more than once, though it is a rarity.
- There are many regional natural activities.
- Boating, fishing, and swimming is popular in the Gokasee River, which runs through the middle of town.
- Swimming and surfing in the nearby coastal cities of Hyuga and Nobeoka is a common tourist attraction. Hyuga is renowned for its excellent surfing.
- Gokasee, a nearby town boasts a Ski Resort, the only on Kyushu. It is open through the winter months.
- Takachiho offers a Gorge that has excellent of hiking and climbing in and around.
- Hinokage is renowed for its bridges, which span large gorges and are all lit at night by roadway lights. The most famous bridge is the Seuin Bridge, located along the Seuinbasho Highway (route 218). These bridges attract photographers and tourists on a regular basis.