An artistic and cultural hub where forbidden Christianity once flourished
As a former gateway to the West, the seaside town of Oita has many religious and European artifacts as well as a wealth of museums and art galleries. Filled with plenty to see, do and discover, it's the perfect place to explore a different side of Japan.
- Exploring the reminders of Oita's Christian past
- The area's rich culture of art, sculpture, and crafts
- Witnessing monkeys in the wild at the monkey park
How to Get There
Oita is easily accessed by plane, car or train from all across Japan.
Oita can be reached from Tokyo's Haneda Airport in less than two hours and Osaka's Itami Airport in one hour. It is then a one-hour bus ride from the airport into the city.
By train, Oita Station is served by the Kyudai, Hohi and Nippo lines, with access to much of Kyushu and wider Japan.
Where Christianity flourished
With the influence of trading ships from the West and the conversion of a local feudal lord in the 16th century, many people in Oita became Christians. When Japan prohibited the religion in the 17th century, many believers were forced to renounce their faith to avoid execution, or practice their faith in secret.
Learn about the area's dark religious history
The Oita Christian Martyrs Memorial Park is a tribute to the 200 local people who died as Christian martyrs in the 17th century. The figures remembered here decided they'd rather face execution than denounce their faith.
Soak up art of local and national significance
Oita Prefectural Art Museum's 5,000 works include pieces designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Dive deep into the world of the local artistic talent, by visiting the Oita Prefectural Art Museum , a modern structure built in 2015 that houses work by artists inspired by the local way of life.
Family fun with sea life
Whether you want to unwind while watching fish and other sea creatures or interacting with them in shallow pools, Oita Marine Palace Aquarium "Umitamago" offers something for everyone.
There are many performances and interactive sessions where you can watch dolphins, sea lions and other animals in action and find out more about their living environments.
Monkey and nature conservation in action
Opened as a means to manage the local monkey population and their natural environment, Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden is a great way of seeing a typical day of the 1,000 wild monkeys.
Don't miss feeding time, a daily highlight of the monkey garden. After feeding these fuzzy locals, you can watch them run around, groom each other and sunbathe. Follow one of the park's walking courses to see the more of the monkeys.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.