A castle, a fantastic rock-filled river gorge, a tunnel a lone monk dug, and a cliffside temple
A castle town and its surrounds, which was an important center in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Situated in the northeastern area of Oita, Nakatsu is a historic and scenic area boasting distinctive manmade and natural wonders.
- Fantastic views of the area from the town's castle keep
- The oddly shaped rocks in Yabakei Gorge
- The tunnel that, according to legend, took 30 years to dig by hand
How to Get There
Nakatsu can be reached from Kokura and Hakata stations and Oita Airport by train or bus. Aonodomon Tunnel is a 30-minute bus ride from Nakatsu Station.
The Yamakuni River cut through a lava plateau to form Yabakei Gorge, which extends 36 kilometers to the east and 32 kilometers to the north.
Its vast expanse has an array of distinctive rocks. Look out for the eight huge rocks that can be seen from the view spot, Hitome Hakkei, each with fascinating shapes.
According to legend, a monk spent about 30 years digging this tunnel through Kyoshu peak to make a new route to Rakanji Temple. He used only a chisel and a hammer, but was determined to complete the tunnel, as the only other route was very dangerous.
The tunnel has no admission fee and is open year-round.
A chairlift will transport you to this mountain temple, built into the cliffs of Mt. Rakan. Explore the caves on the site to find more than 3,700 stone figures of Buddha, including 500 rakan, the Buddha's disciples.
Get a bird's-eye view of the area from the top floor of this five-story castle. You will have expansive views of the grounds, which resemble an open fan.
Inside, there is a museum with samurai armor, maps, and information about Dutch studies. There are also heirlooms of families that governed the region on display.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.