[Kyushu 100] Oita Tourist Spot Top 30

“Kyushu 100” is the project to introduce the fascinations of 100 spots representing Kyushu chosen by traveler’s review. In order to let you know more fascination of Kyushu beyond 100 spots, we introduce the spots for “Eat” ,”Play” and “Stay” of 7 prefectures in ranking order.

Oita Prefecture is the true “Onsen (hot-spring) Paradise” boasting top positions in Japan in terms of both the number of spring sources and yield of hot waters. A wide variety of bathing experiences are yours to enjoy — types of spring waters and types of bathing which even include bubble bath hot-sand bath. We would like you to enjoy not only making the rounds of hot springs but also viewing the magnificent Kuju Mountain Range and Mt. Yufudake, and visiting spots of historical charms such as shrines, temples, castles and samurai residences. Here are Oita’s recommendable tourists spots in ranking order you should visit.

Yufudake (Yufu City)

Mt. Yufudake soaring in the northeastern part of Yufuin is a major landmark of this area. Thanks to its elegant shape, Yufudake is also referred to as “Mt. Fuji of the Bungo Province.” Its summit at altitude of 1,583 meters commands the view of Kuju Mountain Range and the town of Yufuin. If the weather is fine, even Shikoku Island can be seen in the distance!

Photo by miyama1643

Photo by がちまい子ちゃん

Nice view even before you start your ascending. You could visit the base or hike up if you wish. Give yourself 3.5hours for the ascending and descending of Yufudake. Do take note of the sunset time if you plan to go later part of the day; you don’t want to be stuck on the mountain.Review from gnowkeenz
Must visit. Beautiful mountains, nice blue sky with refreshing air. There are many small boutique shops within the area, you can browse, eat or simply enjoy a cup of coffee or tea.Review from P T

Takasakiyama Natural Zoo (Oita City)

Takasakiyama is a major habitat of wild Japanese monkeys. You can observe not tamed monkeys but those wild monkeys that are attracted to a feeding place. Observe their natural lifestyle, not from this side of a cage. As of 2016, their population numbers a surprising 1,500!

Photo by Mimes27

Photo by 温泉入道

As part of our cruise tour we stopped at the natural zoo and even though it was non stop rain the monkeys were still out playing. Great natural area for the animals and saw lots of baby monkeys with their families. Feel very natural and fun when at feeding time they run for the food, even between your legs. Review from Markandnige
At the Monkey Mountain they have a collection of around 1300 Japanese macaques roaming around freely. They call it a Natural Zoo. The monkeys can roam free but will always be around because every half hour during openinghours from 08:00 to 17:00 they will be feededReview from Patrick_Gijsbers

Usajingu Shrine (Usa City)

Usajingu is the headquarters of some 40,000 Hachimangu shrines scattered throughout Japan and is second only to Ise Grand Shrine in terms of status. Believed to date back to 725, this time-honored shrine once became the stage of the historically famous “Dokyo Incident” that took place during the 8th-century Nara Period.

Photo by sararymanx

Photo by sararymanx

Such a lovel,place to visit and be, local shrine, no crowds and free, really beautiful quite place to visit Review from AussieCGS
Long walk but it’s free and beautiful!Thought that we needed to pay to enter this place but it’s actually free! You will need to walk for about 15 minutes to the location, there are many shops available by the parking lot.Don’t come in late afternoon, because the shops will close early. Review from Arif F

#4 Ukenokuchi Onsen Yamazatonoyu (Kuju Town)

Yamazato-no-yu close to the Kuju Yumeno Daitsuribashi (suspension bridge) is a hot spring featuring high-concentration carbonated water. The moment you enter the bath, you will find your body immediately wrapped with white bubbles of carbon dioxide gas. Even after getting out of the bath, your body is kept warm to the core thanks to the effect of the carbonated water.

Photo by ミーヤ313

It’s a public bath standing calmly and quietly. I could surely refresh myself with high-concentration carbonated water. Review from BC

#5 Kuju Mountain Range (kuju Town)

Often called the “Roof of Kyushu,” the Kuju Mountain Range refers to a group of volcanoes stretching from Kuju Town to Taketa City. As autumn deepens when mountainsides turn scarlet and yellow, Kuju-kogen Highlands at the foot is graced with Japanese pampas grasses with golden ears swaying in breezes.

Photo by arisan417

Beautiful grasslands, peaks and forests! There are easy scenic walks you can do from the chojabaru visitors centre, all three take about an hour and are suitable for all ages. Review from Jay P

#6 Umijigoku (Beppu City)

The hot-spring town of Beppu contains eight springs known as “Jigoku” or “Hells”, one of which is Umijigoku. The cobalt-blue color of this water reminds us of the sea in a tropical paradise, but it’s too dangerous to touch due to its 98℃ temperature. Of the eight “Hells” in Beppu, Umijikoku is the only place where onsen-tamago, or eggs slow-boiled in onsen hot water are available.

Photo by 肇藤2015

The Hells are each quite distinctive, and as the 2nd largest hot springs in the world (after Yellowstone), definitely worth a visit. Umjigoku is certainly one of the most popular, as the cobalt color of the steaming pool is quite beautiful. We visited during the hottest part of the summer, but I can imagine that it would provide a striking view during the winter. Review from KCLaRaia

#7 Myoban Onsen (Beppu City)

The eight onsen hot-springs within Beppu’s city limits are collectively called “Beppu Hatto,” of which the one at the highest altitude is Myoban Onsen. Here, the unique sight of straw-thatched “Yunohana-goya” cottages excites the emotions of travellers.

Photo by ikeuchimasato

If you grew up like me watching japanese Anime you cannot miss the chance to make an open air onsen experience. This place IS the place. You’ll take a bath in a hot and steamy water pond over looking a takebreathing view of Beppu with its green and flowered hills… you will stand there naked, with your body fuming and inside you the wild deisre of embracing as much as you can of that view that will remain impressed in yout memory forever.Review from crazyglobetrotter

#8 Ruins of Oka Castel (Takeda City)

The ancient Oka Castle is said to have been built to receive Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune, a warlord and great hero in the Japanese history. Although most of the castle structures were destroyed after the late 19th-century Meiji Restoration, its impressive castle walls are still retained. Oka Castle was used as the motif for the famous tune “The Moon over Old Castle” composed by Rentaro Taki.

Photo by まさらっき

Taketa is the cutest mountain town, and Oka-jo is its main attraction. The ruins are now a huge park to explore, hike, and picnic. It is beautiful in every season, offers an great view of the whole surrounding area, and is one of my favorite spots in Japan! Review from Savvy B

#9 Sky Park Azamidai Observatory (Takeda City)

This observatory is located on a hill at altitude of 1,036 meters within Aso-Kuju National Park. There is nothing that blocks your vision, so you can view the peaks of Mt. Aso in the distance. Sometimes, you will be able to see a sea of clouds before your eyes. Facilities like a kiosk and a restaurant are available, making visitors happy.

Photo by arisan417

We enjoyed the great and magnificent view! The sunset was superb! Review from g-pety01

#10 Kuju Highland (Takeda City)

Created tens of thousands years ago due to a major volcanic eruption, Kuju Highland features a grassy plain that extends as far as to Mt. Aso’s caldera. In March every year, No-yaki or burning-off of the field takes place. The beauty of the starry sky is one of the best in Japan. If lucky enough, you may happen to see a colorless “White Rainbow,” which is a rarity.

Photo by Lunapier75

Vista from the highland looking Mt. Aso far away is truly magnificent. Guided walking tours in the highland are recommendable for novices. The highland offers an ideal setting to watch stars during the night since there is no light around.Review from JO

#11 Shichirida Onsen Shitayu (Takeda City)

Shichirida Onsen’s Shitayu hot spring is moderately warm although no corrective changes are made to the source spring. Though lukewarm at temperatures of 36 to 37℃, the water contains bubbles, which makes it feel warmer than the actual temperature.

Photo by momochocosakura

This onsen made me so comfortable. While playing with the bubbles attaching to my body, one hour passed quickly. I was released from having a stiff shoulder. For a while after getting out of the hot spring bath, I felt warm through and through. Review from nanaI

#12 Fukiji Temple (Bungo Takada City)

Dating back to 718, Fukiji Temple is the oldest wooden structure in Kyushu and is designated a national treasure. The O-do Hall within its precincts is counted as one of Japan’s three greatest Amida-do halls along with Ho-odo (Phoenix Hall) of Byodo-in Temple in Kyoto and Konjiki-do Hall of Chuson-ji Temple in Iwate.

Photo by 待兼山

A picturesque temple seems mysterious in its wooded setting.We were fortunate that our tour used a bus for some of the more remote places we visited including this site with its interior a national treasure and its exterior buddhas covered with moss and communing with nature.Review from AtlantaAlice

#13 Usuki Buddha (Usuki City)

Usuki Buddha refers to four groups of stone Buddhist images over 60 in total, which were carved from the Heian to Kamakura periods. Of these stone Buddhist images, 59 were designated national treasures in 1995.

Photo by チョモランマ豆子

We visited this place before we took the boot to Shikoku. With our GPS we managed to find the stone buddha’s easily. After you buy a ticket you walk up to a path towards the forest and you climb the stairs (wheelchair path is provided) there are several locations in the forest to see. It took about an hour before we returned to the car. You have a lovely view on the farmland and flowers in bloom at the last buddha location. Review from Nring

#14 Hyotan Onsen (Beppu City)

Hyotan Onsen was founded in 1922. It retains the rustically charming atmosphere of a hot spring cure facility of bygone days, which earned it three stars in Michelin Guide as many as five times. In addition to a hyotan (gourd)-shaped bath from which the name Hyotan Onsen derived, this hot spring offers a variety of baths, such as sand bath, steam bath, walking bath, and cascading bath.

Photo by ktm941

I went with a Japanese friend, trying both the sand bath and indoor/outdoor onsen. It was really pleasant! The sand baths have varying intensities and I was in the medium-heat area. I recommend putting your little towel on the block of wood to make your head more comfortable. My friend fell asleep, but I kept thinking about how my towel was our of reach and I was buried.Review from Christiana A

#15 Mt. Kuju (Takeda City)

Mt. Kuju is one of the volcanoes that constitute the Kuju Mountain Range. Of the other mountains of the range, this mountain maintains the highest popularity among climbers. Especially, the course from the Makinoto Pass to the summit is welcomed even by beginners due to an easy climb.

Photo by masaちゃん

We climbed for around 3 hours, on moderate ground – there were parts where you climb over rocks, but others when the path is very easy. Would be particularly beautiful in autumn with all the colours, but in April was nonetheless beautiful and a great activity to do on a sunny day! Review from fatcat2027

#16 Beppu Hatto (Beppu City)

The eight major onsen hot springs within Beppu City, such as Hamawaki, Beppu and Kamegawa, are collectively called the “Beppu Hatto.” Types of hot waters and atmospheres vary from onsen to onsen. Day bathing facilities are also available in plenty, so enjoy making the rounds of onsen to your heart’s content!

Photo by Tart777

“Beppu is the best hot springs in the world.
Amount of discharge of hot spring is the world’s second largest.
there are many Kind of hot springs in Beppu .”Review from Eiichiro

#17 Sagiridai Observatory

Sagiridai Observatory is an ideal vantage spot commanding the breathtaking view of Mt. Yufudake and Yufu Basin. From autumn to winter, you may happen to see the mountainous town of Yufuin enveloped in a morning fog — fantastic scenery.

Photo by 127yukon

It was one of my favorite place in Japan. Seeing the valey, surrounded by hills of yufu mount with grasses that changes color each season. breezy afternoon. silent sunset. nice ice cream. Just perfect for creating memories. Need to go back! Review from Arif F

#18 Rakanji Temple (Nakatsu City)

Going through the temple’s gate that looks as if stuck to the rock surface, you will see the temple area with numerous rice scoops nailed onto wooden boards, and a cave where over 3,700 stone Buddhist images are enshrined, together making you feel as if stepping into a mystical world.

Photo by プライサニーさん

Rakanji temple was absolutely stunning. The way to get there was a bit of adventure. After hard work getting there, it did not disappoint me with magnificent statues of buddhism and the view from the top of the mountain. However, there is a ropeway to the temple if you are not willing to climb up the mountain. I truly recommend if you love nature and would like to explore the culture of Japan. Review from Maki H

#19 Ontayakino Sato (Hita City)

Ontayaki is characteristic of rustic, practical pottery. These pottery pieces are produced in a small rural community at the foot of Mt. Takatsuka in Hita City, using the same traditional techniques as in olden days. A device called “Karausu,” which uses the reaction of accumulated water as it falls like a “Shishi-odoshi,” pounds the clay into fine texture suitable for pottery. The sound of Karausu resounds through the community.

Photo by 475kaoru

Worth a special trip. This picturesque village is dedicated to creating wonderful craft pottery using medieval techniques. Watch how they prepare the clay by pulverizing it with water powered hammers.Review from PvcM

#20 Hakusui Dam (Takeda City)

Hakusui Dam is said to be the most beautiful dam in Japan. Streams of white water that flow down the gently curving dam wall look just like lace curtains or a white silk robe. The dam is designated a national important cultural property, and was once used as a filming location for a TV CM.

Photo by スノーマン_12

Spend as long time as you can once you go there. Its beautiful silky water screen is something that you won’t get tired of. A little problem is that there is no public transportation to access the dam and a little difficult to reach there without detail information on the route. Better do some research on the route beforehand. Review from grciss

#21 Lamune Onsen (Takeda City)

Nagayu Onsen, where Lamune Onsen-kan is located, is renowned for its high-concentration carbonate water producing high bathing effects. At Lamune Onsen-kan, day bathing in the natural carbonate water can also be enjoyed. Its lukewarm water, at about 32℃, allows you to enjoy relaxing, long-time bathing, which is welcomed by users.

Photo by 福ふくちゃん

The Onsen is in an amazing building in a peaceful rural setting. The staff did not speak English but tried their best to ensure I knew where to go and what to do. The inside pool with an impressive vaulted ceiling was very warm, the outside pool is much cooler but features the characteristic ‘lamune’ bubbles that cling to your skin. There is also a sauna available.Review from laytrab

#22 Suginoi Palace (Beppu City)

Suginoi Palace is a leisure facility attached to Suginoi Hotel, the largest hotel in Beppu. Attractions include: Tana-yu (a huge open-air bath with tube arranged like rice terraces), a swimming pool, bowling alley, karaoke house, and a fitness/spa center. It’s almost impossible to enjoy all of these in one day.

Photo by TSUI659

If you can schedule your stay during the week it will be less busy, as this is a very large resort, it can be a bit overwhelming on weekends. Great views of Beppu bay and the surrounding areas. Many restaurants to choose from, but a little expensive. Most dine at the 800 plus seat buffet, with both Japanese and western choices. Review from scotosan

#23 Yamanami Highway

The highlight of the scenic Yamanami Highway, which links Yufu City with Aso City, is the Chojabaru area in Aso-Kuju National Park. A drive along the straight road stretching toward a crater in a volcano of the Kuju Mountain Range is nothing less than “refreshing!!”

Photo by _M7588LA

“While we were driving, the panoramic and picturesque view like post cards continued for a while.
I kept on screaming out “Wow!”, “Beautiful!” and “So impressive!” “Review from CM

#24 City Spa Tenku (Oita City)

This onsen spa facility occupies the upper floors of JR Oita City (JR Oita Station Building). Its rooftop open-air bath commands a sweeping view of downtown Oita City and Beppu Bay. At sunset time, you may be rewarded with an enchanting evening glow. Indoor baths are available on the 20th floor, which are also recommendable for a nice view.

Photo by あちゃぴぃ

The brand new onsen overlooks the city and has absolutely beautiful services. You’ve never seen Oita look so good! I went three times within a few weeks. Review from Savvy B

#25 Nioza Rekishi no Michi (Usuki City)

Featuring rows of samurai residences, Nioxza is an area where you can appreciate a castle-town atmosphere of bygone days. This area lies on a tuff hill made of Mt. Aso’s volcanic ash, which was compacted into solid rock. As such, the area present here and there a landscape feature called “Kiri-doshi” — roads cut through hilly terrain.

Photo by ブルービリーブ

This historical road is lined with temples and ancient homes. The road, paved with stones, is an uphill/downhill walk with curves and bends. The road is quiet with peaceful streets with few vehicles.Review from hfot2

#26 Yufuin Onsen (Yufu City)

This is a peaceful onsen hot-spring resort extending at the foot of Mt. Yufudake. While its hot-spring water is mild and abundant yield please visitors, its relaxing streets are also popular among them. Yufuin is dotted with a number of Japanese inns full of relaxing atmosphere as well as communal onsen bathhouses available for reasonable charges.

Photo by Roxanne K

This is a small town famous for its hot springs. Hot spring is expecially enjoyable in the winter. First round of hot bath in the early morning helps to energize the body and withstand cold weather. Another round of hot bath at night removes fatigue and ready for a good sleep. Hotel will provide detailed information on rules relating to taking hot bath wearing Yukata the right way. Please do read and follow those rules to show our respect to local customs. Review from ryanteo

#27 Yunohira Onsen (Yufu City)

Located to the south of Yufuin, Yunohira Onsen is nestled in a mountainous setting and has prospered for centuries as a hot-spring cure site since the Edo Period. Onsen fans visiting here continue to be attracted by its stone-paved sloping road made three centuries ago and murmurs from the mountain stream.

Photo by 貴司 大

Yunohira old town has a long history and is now a peaceful retreat where one can find a traditional grocery store or two, and some public onsens. We initially decided to come here to experience a real historical rural town. The old town did really offer a glimpse of traditional old Japan that has been forgotten by time, where one is away from bustling crowds and can experience quiet nature.Review from Aoigirl2014

#28 Shidakako Lake (Beppu City)

Shidakako is a lake fed by rainwater. The lakeside area contains a camping site. During the cherry blossom-viewing season in spring, campers love to spend relaxing time by putting up tents while appreciating the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Photo by wataneman

This lake is amazingly beautiful, tranquil and scenic. Walk is easy just 1.8km around the lake, but has so much to offer from different angles. Perfect for picnic! Saw a few families setting up tents, BBQ and picnic mats, all ready to spend hours soaking up the environment at 7 degrees.Review from TAN C

#29 Oita Marine Palace Aquarium Umitamago (Oita City)

What makes this aquarium particularly popular are an eight-meter high huge tank allowing fish to move around, a large tank for corals, and shows by dolphins and walruses. Its attractions were further enhanced in 2015 with the addition of a new facility called “Asobeach” where visitors, particularly children, play with freely swimming fish.

Photo by mamikopapiko

This was a nice aquarium, very popular with small children. There’s an area where children can play and pet some animals like giant rabbits and tortoises, a dolphin show and some very good underwater windows into the tanks. Review from SimpsonRYork

#30 Beppu Beach Sand Bath (Beppu City)

Beppu Beach Sand Bath is a seaside onsen, but it’s not a hot-spring bath; users put themselves in warm sand for bathing. When you lie on your back, a staffer puts onsen-warmed sand to cover your entire body. You can enjoy sand bathing while feeling the comfortable weight of the warm sand.

Photo by gongon1823

Went at the end of December. Had to wait but there is an outdoor foot bath to use. Change rooms are small and crowded. Very relaxing but it gets quite cold once you emerge from the sand (if you go in winter). Showers and bath are available after to warm you up Review from EA

Every spot of “Kyushu 100” chosen by travelers is full of fascination. Now, let’s go and experience 100 spots chosen by travelers!

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Ranking method:”Oita Tourist Spot Top 30″ was aggregated by the unique algorithm based on the review evaluation in Japanese posted during July 2015 – June 2016 in terms of Tourist Spots in Oita.

*The information about the facilities that are closed as of August 2016, is also included. For details such as re-opening time, please contact each facility.