With sand, mud and water hot springs tucked away in unspoiled highlands and forests, Oita Prefecture is a place to rejuvenate the body and get in touch with nature. The most iconic onsen towns are Yufuin, which is overflowing with Bohemian charm, and Beppu, home to Japan’s famous eight "bubbling hells." Jutting out to the north of Oita, Kunisaki Peninsula boasts historic spiritual sites nestled against lush mountainsides, while inland and bordering Kumamoto is Kokonoe, a town full of rustic countryside charm and plenty of rare flora and fauna.
Fukuoka is the nearest and largest transport hub, with trains, buses and flights arriving daily. Westbound from Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima, Oita is accessible via Kokura by shinkansen. Fukuoka International Airport and Oita Airport can also be reached via air from Tokyo and Osaka.
If you're traveling by train from Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima, catch the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen heading to Hakata, and the switch at Kokura Station to the JR Sonic-Nichirin Limited Express heading to Oita. Express trains run from Kokura to Oita City, largely along the coast. Oita Station is served by the Kyudai, Hohi and Nippo Main train lines, offering access to Beppu, Yufuin, Hita, Saiki and other parts of the prefecture. By flying into the airport, Oita City can be reached from Haneda Airport in Tokyo in less than two hours, and Osaka's Itami Airport in an hour. It is a one-hour bus ride or 25-minute ride by hovercraft from the airport to the city.
A delightfully peppery paste made from yuzu citrus peels, chili and salt. It is most commonly eaten with hot pot meal...
A citrus fruit similar to the yuzu. While too sour to eat on its own, the juice of kabosu adds a fresh citrus flavor ...
Oita shochu is easy to drink and some types incorporate botanicals to add flavoring. Barley is the usual main ingredi...
Beppu Bamboo Basketry
Abundant madake bamboo groves and hot springs paved the way for basketry in Beppu. Visitors coming for curative stays...
This time of year color floods the grass and marshland areas. Kuju Flower Park in Taketa City is a standout, while the Beppu area is awash with waves of pink cherry blossoms.
Head to the Inazumi underwater caves to beat the summertime heat. Himeshima Beach offers another escape from steamy summer temperatures.
Fall attracts visitors wanting to see natural tapestries of red, orange and yellow. The Hita area comes alive with local bamboo festivals. Try the highly sought after seki saba mackerel, a local specialty.
Oita’s winters are comparatively mild. Mt. Tsurumi offers a chance to see some local snow. Take a long soak in a Yufuin or Beppu hot spring to escape the cool.