Most travelers to Japan stick to the popular destinations in central Japan like Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. These are great if you like large cities and want to experience a lot in a short length of time, but have you ever wanted to travel to parts of Japan less overrun by tourists?
Located in Kyushu prefecture in the far west, Oita is just under 4 hours from Osaka by Shinkansen, or 2.5 hours from Hiroshima.
Oita is famous among Japanese people for its onsen, but there is also a variety of other things to do, making it worth going out of your way to visit. It is the perfect destination to be combined with other areas on the Kyushu island, like the vibrant city of Fukuoka or the port city Nagasaki.
In this article, I will show you some of the beautiful scenery that you can see in Oita, particularly in the upcoming summer months.
1. Breathe the fresh summer air at Kokonoe-machi
At the foot of the Kuju mountain range is nature and onsen town Kokonoe-machi, one of the best highland resorts in Japan.
This area is known for its beautiful nature and landscape, such as the Kuji Yumedai Suspension Bridge, the largest suspension bridge in Japan. Also, the Yamanami Highway course is a scenic drive, perfect for road trips.
2. Cool down with beautiful scenery at Kusumi/Takeda area
Kusumi/Takeda area is full of summer retreats and intriguing spots.
This is the spot to go to enjoy summer in Oita!
In the area is Harajiri falls, selected as one of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan. With a width of 120m and a drop of 20m, it is sometimes called the Niagara of Asia.
There are also unique attractions such as Inazumi underwater limestone cave (pictured above). This kind of limestone cave is rare in the world, so it is a must-see.
After enjoying these cool, refreshing spots, why not go for a walk to see the seasonal flowers at the colorful Kuju Flower Park?
3. Little Kyoto and houseboats at Hita
Located right in the middle of Kyushu is the town of Hita, which florished under the Shogunate control. The town has several faces such as the riverside area and “Little Kyoto”.
Boasting a 200 year heritage, houseboats have been a tradition in Hita for a long time. The food on the houseboat in Mikumagawa is a delicious luxury!
4. Historic village Kitsuki/Kunisaki area
As remains of the Edo period can still be found in Kitsuki, you can have some rare experiences that you can’t do anywhere else.
There are hills lined with samurai residences on both sides of the town, leading to its reputation as the only “sandwich style” castle town in Japan.
Even now the flavor of the Edo period is steeped heavily in the town, and it even was the first town to receive the title of “historic town that suits kimono”. Why not hire a kimono to walk around the town?
Onsens to visit in Oita
If you go to Oita, along with the scenic spots I have introduced above, you really have to try an onsen! Within Japan, Oita prefecture is the most famous for onsen. The following two are some of the most famous ones which can’t be missed.
Beppu onsen is number one in Japan by both the number of hot spring sources and volume of water output. It is the number one attraction in Oita prefecture, the entire town being like an onsen theme park.
As well as bathing in the hot springs, you can also use the steam from the onsen for cooking workshops and steam bathing.
Spread around the foot of the beautiful Mt. Yufu, Yufuin is the onsen resort with the second highest water output in Japan.
In the town there are many unique museums, shops and cafes, leading to its great popularity among Japanese women.
Source: (In Japanese) http://blog.like-world.com/archives/5413
Be sure to check out the “Fukkou Wari” if you plan to visit Kyushu during this summer (July – September). This ticket will help saving your budget by providing discount for Hotels and Accommodations in these following cities;
Kumamoto and Oita Prefecture: Up to 70%
Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Miyazaki and Kagoshima Prefecture: Up to 50%
As we know about the recent earthquake causing severe damage to this area. This travel coupon is launched by the Central Government in order to attract more visitors. This is believed to restore Kyushu’s Tourism back to normal once again.
This coupon is available on Online Reservation only
Fukkou Wari Website (Japanese) Click>>>
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