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