Oita, on the eastern coast of Kyushu Island, with its thousands of onsens collectively spurting the most geothermally heated water in Japan, is truly the nation’s hot spring capital and a must-visit for those in search of volcanically-heated healing.
Oita is a steamy cornucopia of all-things-onsen. Beppu City and Yufuin Town in particular, with their arrays of nutrient-rich waters, offer bathers far more than just a bath. A myriad of healing remedies can be found as enthusiasts are steamed bare, covered in mud or sand, or, as vanilla as it sounds, just sat, as nature’s therapeutic baths work their magic. Designated a “Place of Scenic Beauty” the eight hot spring “Hells” of Beppu, however, are just for looking at. You have been warned. Beyond baths, Oita offers seasonal festivals like the rambunctious Nagahama Shrine Summer Festival and an abundance of local cuisine including Bungo Beef and horse mackerel — and, unrelated, if you stumble across Mount Takasaki Monkey Park there’s a sign that reads: “If you look into the monkeys’ eyes they will attack.” Dark sunglasses or mace recommended.
Fuki temple is a historical temple originally built for prayers by the chief priest at Usa Jingu Shrine (a Japan national treasure) in 718. Fukiji Odo is one of three great Amitabha halls in Japan. The others include the Phenix Hall at Byodoin Temple in Kyoto and Kojikido at Chusonji Temple in Iwate.
It is actually the oldest wooden building in Kyushu and registered as one of the National Treasures of Japan.
Oita Prefectural Art Museum
Located about 30 minutes away from Beppu in downtown Oita, the Oita Prefectutral Art Museum (aka OPAM) is a definite must if visiting this area. Ranked within the top 10 things to do in Beppu, visitors can experience some gorgeous art as well as the gorgeous building designed by well known Japanese designer Ban Shigeru.
This bakery was created after the image of the bakery from the Ghibli movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. The bakery offers fresh butter croissants and other handmade European bread.
Usa Shrine was founded around 8th century, also well known for second ancestral temple after Ise shrine. Usa shrine is the head shrine of thousands of shrines across Japan that are dedicated to Hachiman, the god of archery and war, who has also been identified with the legendary 15th emperor of Japan, Emperor Ojin. This Emperor Ojin was pretty smart, at that time he imported other cultures and industries and promoted the creation of a new country. This is also why this Usa Shrine is revered from the Imperial family. Also Usa shrine is well known for the birthplace of Shinto × Buddhism, each culture and faith combined and has left its unique × beautifulness to festivals, buildings, treasures etc.
Sankeien Japanese-style gardens
Visit the Sankeien Japanese-style gardens, where in addition to beautiful ponds, streams and impressive nature we can see many historical buildings throughout Japan as a residence of a daimyo, tea houses and a three-story pagoda of the ancient Tomyoji temple of Kyoto.
Especially if we go with children, go to the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise park, a kind of zoo dedicated basically to marine fauna.
Park Place Oita
This large-scale shopping mall has a movie theater and a rooftop garden. Inside you’ll find about 160 shops, from fashion to miscellaneous goods. There are plentiful facilities for kids and many services for parents, including a big playground, a kids’ space, baby rooms, and a nursing room. This makes the mall very popular with families with kids.
Opened in 2015, Amu Plaza Oita is a multi-purpose commercial building adjacent to JR Oita Station. It featuring more than 200 establishments for fashion, designed goods, restaurants, and more. The rooftop offers an authentic traditional Japanese garden for a little relaxation.
In the North-West region of Oita Prefecture stands the magnificent Mt. Takasakiyama with an elevation of 628 meters. However this is no ordinary mountain as it is home to over 1,200 wild Japanese Macaques which roam about the hills freely. Two large families of this monkeys live on the mountain, and you are almost guaranteed to meet them if you travel to the area. This is a unique park featuring interactions with wild animals that you can’t find in any ordinary zoo.
Sol Paseo Ginza
Most neighborhoods in Japan have a “ginza” area, which is usually a covered street packed with shops and restaurants; they’re often some of the liveliest places around. Sol Paseo Ginza is unique because of its vintage style. Many of the shops look like they were transported from 60 years ago. You can find restaurants for ramen, toriten, yakitori, and more. There are also a ton of izakaya pubs for you if you feel like having a drink. Sol Paseo Ginza is located just a short walk from Beppu Station.
Games in Oita
OITA STADIUM (OITA BANK DOME)
Capable of holding 40,000 spectators, Oita Stadium hosted two games of the Pool Round of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as Sweden versus Senegal in the Round of 16, and is home to the Oita Trinita soccer club. The stadium has a retractable roof. From Oita Station, walk to Oita Ekimae #6 bus stop for a bus to Oita Sports Park East.
|MATCH NO||DATE||POOL||MATCH||KICKOFF TIME|
|20||Wednesday, Oct. 2||B||New Zealand vs. Canada||19:15|
|24||Saturday, Oct. 5||D||Australia vs. Uruguay||14:15|
|32||Wednesday, Oct. 9||D||Wales vs. Fiji||18:45|
|41||Saturday, Oct. 19||–||QF1: W Pool C vs. RU Pool D||16:15|
|43||Sunday, Oct. 20||–||QF3: W Pool D vs. RU Pool C||16:15|