Special Feature OITA JAPAN THE ENJOYABLE WAY

Oita Prefecture is known for its hot springs, boasting the highest yield of hot spring water and number of sources in Japan. With a wide variety of hot springs available to choose from, you can enjoy the unique properties of each location. There are also a range of gourmet treats on offer, including regional cuisine that uses local delicacies grown in its rich natural environment.

DAY 1
09:35

1

Kimono-wearing experience and walk in
Kitsuki Castle Town
(About 2 hours required)

Kitsuki is recognized as a historic townscape where kimonos look right at home. Even now, there is a strong Edo period feel to its appearance, inviting visitors to take a trip back in time to days long past. There are tours in which you can wear a kimono as you stroll around this castle town, which has also been called little Kyoto. While wearing a kimono, you get free admission to public sightseeing and cultural facilities, as well as a discount on meals at restaurants in town, in addition to a free gift.

Open:
10:00-16:00
Closed:
New Year's holiday (Dec 29 to Jan 3)
Access:
About 5 minutes by car from Kitsuki Interchange
Address:
372-4 Kitsuki, Kitsuki (Waraku-an Kimono Rental)
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Depending on the season, you may even see staff at Oita Airport wearing kimonos! You can experience the castle town atmosphere from right when you step off the plane.

5 min.

12:00

2

Uoichi Uoza
(About 1 hour required)

This store can be found near the coast on Route 213. On the first floor, which features a large water tank, you can purchase seafood as well as seafood products, tofu, and freshly-made tempura.
The second floor is a restaurant, where you can savor cuisine made with fresh produce while looking out at the ocean. The menu includes char-grilled oysters, as well as a seafood bowl that was awarded the "Kitsuki Dontodon" prize.

Open:
1F 10:00 to 20:00, 2F 11:00 to 22:00 (last order at 21:00)
Closed:
Every second Wednesday
Access:
10 minutes by car from JR Kitsuki Station
Address:
4775-9 Morie, Kitsuki, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

The rice bowl brimming with local produce is not to be missed. There are also many other delicious rice bowl dishes in Kitsuki.

70 min.

14:00

3

Mamedamachi walk
(About 1 hour and 30 minutes required)

Mamedamachi, in the city of Hita in northern Oita prefecture, is a town that flourished in the Edo period as an area under the direct control of the shogunate, and the site of the Hita Magistrate's Office. The oldest standing mercantile houses and rice warehouses in Japan can be found here, and it is known as one of Hita's principal tourist attractions. The architectural styles that developed while it was a center of politics and economics in Kyushu has resulted in a townscape rich in variation, while still retaining its original layout.
A range of seasonal events are held there, such as Sennen Akari and the Tenryo Hita Hina Festival, and many visitors flock there from all over the country in tourist season.

Hita geta and Onta-yaki
Hita geta are one of Hita's traditional specialties. The crafting of geta was encouraged by magistrates during the Tenpo era (1830 to 1843), when Hita was under shogunate control. As a result, it grew to become one of a select few areas in Japan known for its geta.
Onta-yaki is designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property. This local form of pottery has been around since the Edo period, and involves crushing clay in a mortar, then shaping it on a foot-powered potter's wheel. After English potter Bernard Leach visited in 1954, Onta-yaki earned widespread recognition, winning the grand prize at a world pottery exhibition held in Europe, and receiving a number of regional awards. It was made a National Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1970.

Access:
10 minutes by car from Hita Interchange on the Oita Expressway
Address:
Mamedamachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Mamedamachi has also recently been recognized as an educational heritage site of early modern Japan. The retro-feeling cafes found in old traditional houses there are another popular attraction.

15 min

16:20

4

Harajiro Zaemon's miso and soy sauce store
(About 30 minutes required)

Hot spring inns line the banks of Mikumagawa River in Kumamachi, where the town's culture is reminiscent of a bygone era.
One example is Harajiro Zaemon's miso and soy sauce store, which produces miso, soy sauce, and ramune in the riverside city of Hita. Tours of the distillery are also available, showing the creation process, history, and products made there. Each product is the result of miso and soy sauce traditions passed down over more than 100 years, with the finely-tuned color, flavor, and aroma giving you a taste of shogunate era Hita.
You can also view and purchase merchandise from there online.

Open:
9:00 to 17:00
Closed:
January 1 to 5
Access:
7 minutes by car from Hita Interchange on the Oita Expressway
Address:
5-4 Nakahonmachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Sweetfish soy sauce is an all-purpose seasoning that everyone should try at least once!

10 min.

18:00

5

Houseboats
(Overnight stay)

About 200 years ago, Hita was under the direct control of the shogunate, and it is said the houseboat tradition there was started by magistrates sent from Edo. Boating is a dignified pastime that has long been considered the ultimate luxury. In summer you can enjoy a banquet on board while viewing cormorant fishing or fireworks, and in the winter nothing beats closing the paper screens and sipping sake while looking out over the snow.
While boating time seems to slow to a crawl, giving you ample opportunity to savor the authentic banquets on offer.

Access:
10 minutes by car from Hita Interchange on the Oita Expressway
Address:
Hita, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

How about spending some quality time exploring the houseboats in the riverside city of Hita?

40 min.

DAY 2
09:00

6

Lake Kinrin
(About 30 minutes required)

Lake Kinrin is a unique lake where hot springs gush forth from the lakebed. On winter mornings you can see mist rising from the surface of the lake, making for a magical sight. According to legend, it was named "Kinrin," or "golden scale," when the evening sun was seen shining off the scales of the fish in the lake. The morning mist that can be seen in fall and winter is stunning, and it is said this mist is actually vapor from the hot springs that feed into the lake. There is a walkway around the lake from which you can see fish and waterfowl frolicking in its clear waters. The area is also known as a great spot to view the changing leaves in fall.

Access:
About a 20 minute walk from Yufuin Station on the JR Kyudai Main Line
Address:
Kawakami, Yufuin-cho, Yufu, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

This place can be enjoyed at any time of the day, from the morning mists to the evening sunset. A walk around the lake only takes 20 minutes, so why not take a stroll?

5 min.

09:40

7

Atelier Toki
(About 20 minutes required)

This woodcraft shop is surrounded by a beautiful copse of trees. Inside you will find a wide range of craftwork, from chopsticks and plates made from local materials, to handmade creations such as lunchboxes that convey a sense of warmth. Each features smooth curves and fits together snugly, while also being durable and safe.

Open:
9:00 to 18:00 (to 17:30 in the winter season)
Access:
About a 15 minute walk towards Lake Kinrin from Yufuin Station on the Kyudai Main Line
Access:
2666-1 Kawakami, Yufuin-cho, Yufu, Oita Prefecture

5 min.

10:00

8

Yunotsubo Kaido
(About 1 hour required)

Yunotsubo Kaido can be found at the foot of Mount Yufu. This street is lined with souvenir shops selling Oita specialties like yuzugosho, as well as restaurants where you can feast upon regional delicacies such as toriten, and it is always bustling with sightseers. There is also a path that runs along Oita River one street over where you can enjoy the scenery of the season, and soak in the unique atmosphere of Yufuin and the surrounding countryside.

Access:
About a 10 minute walk from Yufuin Station on the JR Kyudai Main Line
Address:
Near 1524 Kawakami, Yufuin-cho, Yufu, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Considering the large number of stores to see on this street, we recommend you plan to spend a little extra time here looking around!

60 min.

12:00

9

Jigoku Mushi Kobo, Kannawa
(About 1 hour required)

Jigoku mushi is a dish in which ingredients such as vegetables, seafood, meat, and eggs are cooked using the steam from hot springs, and this cooking method has long been a fixture at the booming health resort of Kannawa Onsen. The delicate nuances of hot spring water mix with the goodness of the base elements and nutritious ingredients to add even more depth of flavor. At Jigoku Mushi Kobo, Kannawa, you can experience approachable jigoku mushi cuisine.
There are also other attractions to enjoy, such as a monument that exudes a sense of calm, places where you can drink hot spring water, and an exhibition detailing the history of Kannawa as well as information about the hot springs and other thermal areas. At Pocket Park, you can even soak your weary feet in a footbath.

Open:
9:00 to 21:00 (last orders for jigoku mushi at 20:00)
Closed:
Every third Wednesday (or the following day if this is a holiday)
Access:
About 10 minutes by car towards Kannawa from Beppu Interchange
Address:
5 Kumi, Furomoto, Beppu
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Kannawa is the most traditional of the eight hot springs at Beppu. Go ahead and eat your fill, then enjoy feeling the steam rising from the hot springs around you.

5 min.

13:00

10

Okamoto-ya jigoku mushi puddings
(About 15 minutes required)

Jigoku mushi puddings are cooked using the piping hot steam spouting from the hot springs. The subtly bitter caramel sauce helps take the edge off the sweetness of this dessert, resulting in a refined taste that even those who dislike sweet things can enjoy. The puddings are made with ingredients such as eggs, milk, and fresh cream, and contain no additives or preservatives whatsoever. The steaming process also enriches the mellow flavor of the custard.

Open:
8:30 to 18:30
Access:
About 5 minutes by car from Beppu Interchange on the Oita Expressway
Address:
4 Kumi, Myoban, Beppu
JAL STAFF COMMENT

The puddings are of course superb, but the yunohana manju are also worth a try! Why not enjoy jigoku mushi snacks as well as a meal?

10 min.

13:30

11

Takegawara Onsen
(About 1 hour required)

This facility was remodeled several times after it was constructed in 1879, and in 1902 a tile-roofed wooden building housing a community hot spring was completed. Initially the baths had a roof made of bamboo, but after this was changed to tiles it came to be called Takegawara Onsen. The baths there are a symbol of Beppu Onsen, and the timber building features elaborate Chinese style gables. In addition to bathers, many come to merely spectate, and it is a favorite among young women and overseas tourists.
As well as the regular baths, there are famous sand baths. You simply lie on your back, and attendants will cover your lower body and shoulders in sand warmed by the hot springs. The pleasant feeling this provides is worth experiencing for yourself.

Open:
[Regular bath] 6:30 to 22:30 [Sand bath] 8:00 to 22:30
Closed:
[Regular bath] Closed the third Wednesday in December [Sand bath] Closed
the third Wednesday each month (or the following day if this is a holiday)
Access:
About 15 minutes by car towards Beppu Station from Beppu Interchange on the Oita Expressway
Address:
16-23 Motomachi, Beppu, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

Admission is just 100 yen (*the sand bath costs extra). Be sure to follow bathing etiquette while using the hot springs.

10 min.

14:30

12

Jigoku Meguri (Umi Jigoku, Chi no Ike Jigoku)
(About 1 hour and 30 minutes required)

"Umi Jigoku," or "Sea Hell," was created by an explosion at Mount Tsurumi 1,200 years ago. Its mystical cobalt blue waters almost look like sea water, but it is actually a hot spring of up to 98 degrees Celsius. In 2009, it was named a National Place of Scenic Beauty along with Tatsumaki Jigoku, Chi no Ike Jigoku, and Shiroike Jigoku. At stores located onsite, you can enjoy onsen eggs boiled in the hot springs, as well as jigoku mushi baked puddings. Chi no Ike Jigoku is the oldest natural area of its kind in Japan. The mud there boils with such frenzy that even the steam pouring forth is dyed red, and it could easily be mistaken for a scene out of hell.

Open:
8:00 to 17:00
Access:
About 5 minutes by car towards Kannawa Onsen on Prefectural Route 11 from Beppu Interchange
Address:
In Beppu, Oita Prefecture
JAL STAFF COMMENT

It could be fun to travel around the hells and try the different onsen eggs sold there.

JAL STAFF COMMENT

Provided by Morishige Ayumi
JAPAN AIRLINES
Oita District Sales Office

Oita Area Map

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