The Oita Prefecture calls itself an “Onsen Prefecture”, because it is home to the most famous onsen resorts in Japan. The Yufu Onsen and Beppu Onsen are both located in Oita. The “hells”, or jigoku attract many tourist s every year but people are not allowed in the waters. The city’s traditional ryokans and public hot springs are supplied with reddish water known as the Bloody Pond Hell. All of the hot springs are supplied by the same volcanic source. Enjoy an Oita onsen on a public or private bath, the public bath will definitely we a memorable experience. The city of Beppu also has many tourist attractions such as museums and local cuisine. When in the Oita Prefecture, be sure to visit an onsen resort for a relaxing and unforgettable experience.
Yufu City Onsen
Located near the center of Oita, Yufu City is a hot spring town, surrounded by nature and almost every onsen in facing Mount Yufu. For more than 40 years, the local government has maintained a strict urban planning regime that restricts development and protects the natural environment to support the creation of a relaxing resort-type atmosphere. Many people come to Oita to experience Yufu City.
You can relax and enjoy the hot springs, health spas, and open air baths. Try hiking, mountain climbing or cycling in Yufu City. Also with the Stained Glass Art Museum, an Art-Deco Glass Museum, the Fancy Forest Museum of Art, and more, there are many museums and galleries to visit. A must visit spot in Yufu is Yunotsubo Kaido Street.
When you exit JR Yufuin Station and walk straight ahead, you will find yourself on Yunotsubo Kaido Street, which is the main street of Yufu. Yunotsubo Kaido stretches from Yufu to Lake Kinrinko and is a sightseeing pathway along which you absolutely must walk when in Oita.
On weekends there are crowds lined up outside the sweet shops and restaurants that serve delicious dishes made with locally grown fruits and vegetables. In addition there are also many stores selling craft items and original goods. Over 70 stores in all are lined up here along both sides of the road and many travelers come here to stroll about for the day.
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Address: 8-2 Kawakita, Yufuin-machi, Yufu City, Oita Prefecture
Access: 56 minutes by train on the Kyudai Line from Oita Station
Website: Yufuin Station (Japanese)
Beppu City Onsen
Beppu is known as the most famous hot spring resort area in Japan. The city is blessed with as many as eight different springs, named Beppu Onsen, Kannawa Onsen, Myoban Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen, Hamawaki Onsen, Kamegawa Onsen, Horita Onsen and Shibaseki Onsen. Each featuring public baths and ryokan with bathing facilities. Together they produce more hot spring water than any other onsen resort in the country.
What sets Beppu apart from other onsen resorts is not only its abundance of thermal waters, but also the wide range of bath types that can be enjoyed there. Aside from conventional hot water baths at ryokans or onsen resorts in Oita.
Beppu offers sand baths where bathers are buried in naturally heated sand, steam baths that are heated by the steam of a hot spring, and mud baths which are basically muddy hot water baths. A group of friends and family can enjoy the sand bath together.
You can relax while looking at the vast blue ocean. The staff would be happy to take a picture of you buried in the sand, it will make a great souvenir to remember your vacation.
The Tour of Hell along a path in the Kannawa area, 20 minutes by bus from Beppu Station, is the highlight of sightseeing in Beppu. Eight spots including the Umi-jigoku (sea hell) made up of bright cobalt blue hot water, the Chi no Ike Jigoku (blood pond hell) where hot water containing red melted clay gushes out and the Tatsumaki-jigoku (tornado hell), a geyser designated as Beppu National Treasure, are usually on the itinerary of the tour. The hellish spectacle fills visitors with admiration for the power of the Earth.
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Address: 13 Ekimaecho, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture
Access: 12 minutes by train on the Nippou Line from Oita Station
Website: Beppu Onsen
Kokonoe Town is famous for all of the natural attractions in Oita. If you can rent a car, one popular activity is driving along Yamanami Highway running right through the meadows towards Aso in Kumamoto, Kokonoe “Yume” Otsurihashi, Japan’s number one suspension bridge. The Sujiyu Onsen is a large free-flowing bath. The water at this onsen is supposed to help people with stiff shoulders and sore muscles. Kabeyu Onsen is an unisex hot tub that has been carved into a cave, you can enjoy the creek flowing by while soaking in the bath. Chojabaru Onsen is located within a hotel and this onsen resort is popular because of the gorgeous view of Mt Kuju.
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Kokonoe Town Tourist Information Center
Address: 1208 Tano, Kokonoe-machi, Kusu-gun, Oita Prefecture
Access: 20 minutes by car from Bungo-Nakamura Station
Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Taketa City is made up of different onsen resorts in Oita. Nagayu Onsen in Naoirimachi, Taketa City, is one of the best carbonated hot springs in the country, the water is like soda and it covers your body in bubbles. Since the water is slightly warmers compared to other hot springs, it’s recommended to visit Nagayu Onsen during warmer months. Ganiyu is an unisex open-air hot tub is an iconic Nagayu Onsen spot situated right in the middle of the river. The area under the bridge is considered a changing space, it takes real bravery to bath here in the daytime. Kuju Onsen might be a good spot for those looking for private baths. Book a room here and you can enjoy a private bath while looking at Kuju mountains.
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Nagayu Hot Spring
Address: Oaza Nagayu, Naoiri-cho, Taketa, Oita Prefecture
Access: 22 minutes by car from Bungo-Taketa Station
Website: Nagayu Hot Spring (Japanese)
Hita City is beautiful because the Misumi River runs through the town of Hita Onsen. Enjoy activities such as yakatabune private boat rides and Edo period town streets. The ryokans have shared and private hot springs. At Amagase Onsen, the whole onsen is elegantly designed and it is along the Kusu River. Enjoy communal baths and public outdoor baths at Amagase Onsen.
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Address: Kuma, Hita, Oita Prefecture
Access: 12 minute walk from Hita Station
Website: Hita Onsen (Japanese)