Oita

20 Places to See in Yufuin, Oita

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Welcome to attractive Yufuin, where are full of nature and energy vortex spots.

Located in about the center of the Japan’s number one Hot Spring (onsen) prefecture, Oita, Yufuin is proud of the numbers of wells and the yield of hot water that are number two in Japan.

It is watched over by a famous mountain “Mt. Yufudake” afar.

It is also a popular summer resort, called as “Karuizawa of Kyushu”.

There are rich nature, such as “Sagiridai Observatory” and “Kinrin Lake”, also are some unique tourist attractions, such as “Yufuin Floral Village” and “Horse-Drawn Carriages”.

Day Trip Course for Yufuin SightseeingYufuin, a popular tourist place suits for sightseeing without car, b...

Moreover, there are nationwide famous luck energy vortexes, such as “Yufuin Senke – Cafe overlooking Mt. Yufudake” and “Kobo WAHAHA”, and are certified hidden spots of hot springs, such as “Tsukahara Onsen Crater Hot Spring” and “Shitan-yu”.

"Tsukahara Onsen and Crater Onsen", a Secret Onsen for a Yufuin, Experience the strong acidic spring in Japan!8 hot springs in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, are famous for their wide v...

In addition to classic spots, some hidden spots are known to those in the know.

So, let me introduce both well-known classic spots and hidden local spots.

First, introduce classic spot in this first page, then introduce hidden local spot.

Recommended Classic Spots for the first Time Tourists in Yufuin”

Sagiridai Observatory

It is a superb view spot, where most of tourists stop by, where they will overlook townscapes of Yufuin from about 680 m elevation.

As there located along Kyushu Cross Road and there are a rest area and wash rooms, the spot is also recommended for resting during driving.

It is also known as a famous place where you can see mystic morning mist in chilled early mornings from autumn through winter.

Local staff’s comments

It is the observatory where you can enjoy different landscapes by four seasons, such as fresh green, autumn leaves, and snowy landscape.

Access

[By train] About 15 minutes by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 15 minutes ride from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Kinrin Lake

Hot water spring out from the half of bottom of the lake and cold water from the other half.

As a result water temperature is high even in winter, the lake is such mysterious.

It is said that as the water surface of the lake was seen like glittering in gold with reflection of a light on fish scales, the lake was named as “Kinrin”.

*”Kinrin” means golden scales in Japanese.

Morning mist that can be seen in early morning from autumn through winter is especially beautiful, and it is said that true character of the mist is evaporation of the lake water that include hot spring.

Walking trails are maintained around, and the lake is also famous for autumn leaves viewing spots.

Local staff’s comments

From autumn through winter, morning mist is mystic and very beautiful.  Recommended to visit there early in the morning.

Access
<By train> About 25 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin” station
<By car> About 15 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Yufuin Floral Village

image by demilked.com

It is a British style theme park where reproduced townscape of Cotswolds region, which is said that the most beautiful village in Britain, and an English garden in which flowers by seasons are profoundly blooming.

There are attractions, including “Owl’s Forest” where you can experience to put a cute owl on your arm, the largest in Kyushu goods store specialized to roses, a cat cafe of an image of the forest where Cheshire cat lives that appears at Alice’s Adverntures in Wonderland.

There are also equipped with a hotel of rooms without a meal only for women as well as a spa facility.

YUFUIN FLORAL VILLAGE in Yufuin Reproduces the World of Harry Potter's!?Speaking of Yufuin, you may say that it is one of the best hot sprin...
Local staff’s comments

Reproducing townscapes of the Britain.

A spot where you can play with some small animals like rabbits.

Business hours
9:30AM to 5:30PM, open everyday

Admission
Free (Fee is required at some facilities.)

Access
<By train> About 15 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin “ station
<By car> About 5 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Horse-Drawn Carriages

image by ana.co.jp

Started from more than 30 years ago, sightseeing horse drawn carriages became special sightseeing attraction in Yufuin now.

Leaving from JR Yufuin station, strolling slowly around the town of Yufuin for 50 to 60 minutes, visitng to Bussanji temple and Unaguhimejinja shrine, the course of carriage then returns to the station.

It is for maximum 9 to 10 passengers and can be reserved from 9AM on the day of a ride.

A sightseeing on a relaxed horse drawn carriage is specially elegant.

Local staff’s comments

This is what you should do when in Yufuin!

Going around sightseeing spots riding on a swaying horse drawn carriage.

Business hours
[March through November] 9:30AM to 4PM (10 rides a day)
[December] 9:30AM to 2:30PM (8 rides a day)

Holiday
Closed from January till March 1st, bad weather, when a horse is not in a good condition

Fare
Adult (older than junior high school) 1,600 Yen, Kid (older than 4 years old) 1,100 Yen

Access
[By train] Just right by walk from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes ride from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Yunotsubo Road

A sightseeing street located at the foot of Mt. Yufudake.

There are shops lined along the street, such as souvenir shops selling specialties of Oita, restaurants where you can enjoy local grumets, confectioneries where guests are lined up in weekends.

It takes about 30 minutes walk from around Yufuin station, going through Yunotsubo Road, to around Kinrin Lake.

Going one street off, you can also enjoy to see relaxed country landscape along Oita gawa river.

Local staff’s comments

You can buy souvenirs here.

Some popular shops among them are quickly to be out of goods!

Access
[By train] About 10 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway.

Mt. Yufudake

With 1,584 m elevation, Mt. Yufudake is a symbol of Yufuin, also called as “Bungo Fuji” from its beautiful appearance of Tholoide type.

It was worshipped as God’s mountain in the past, and it is a famous mountain also appearing in “Manyoshu”.

There held in early May every year is a prayer festival for safety, and many mountaineering lovers visit there throughout a year from in and out of the prefecture.

From the peak of the mountain, you can overlook Beppuwan bay, Kujurenzan mountains, and Yufuin basin.

* When mountaineering, you are required to submit mountaineering notification.

* Manyoshu: Collection of ten thousand Japanese ancient poems of about 8th century

Local staff’s comments

Mountaineering during autumn leaves season and in early summer when Kyushu azalea (called as Miyama Kirishima) blooms is recommended.

Access (till the starting point of mountaineering)

[By train] From JR “Yufuin” station take Kamenoi bus bound for Beppu station, and get off at “Yufu Tozanguchi” stop
[By car] About 15 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Yamanami Highway(Beppu city thru Aso city)

An alias of the prefectural road the 11th that connects from Beppu to Ichinomiya of Kumamoto prefecture.

The road, which continues for about 87 km, with winding curves and running on gentle heights, is geographically featured and the classic driving course.

You can enjoy great nature, such as vast Kujurenzan mountains and Handa plateau from car windows, and it is a beautiful landscape spot of nature by four seasons such as fresh green and autumn leaves.

There scatter around a farm for tourists, gourmets on a height, and a hot spring.

Local staff’s comments

It is the best to enjoy driving and motorcycle riding while feeling winds!

Access
About 5 minitues drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway (Entrance to Yamanami Highway, crossing point with National Road the 210th)

Michi no Eki (a station on a road) Yufuin

Right after exited from Yufuin Interchange is there Michi no Eki (a station on a road).

On the ground of a beautiful location, sitting Mt. Yufudake in the front, there are perfectly equipped with direct markets of farm crops, product promotion center, and light meal area.

In dining area, you can enjoy the tastes only in here, such as dynamic “Yufudake don”, rice in a bowl topped with herb chicken produced in Oita prefecture in teriyaki style, and “Wafu Teppan Omrice”, an omelette filled with chicken rice, used Oita signature local chicken, topped with a Japanese style sweet soy glaze, and served on a hot iron plate.

Local staff’s comments

Foodstuffs produced of Yufuin and desserts made of eggs of a silky fowl of Shonai town are also popular!

Business hours
Product promotion center/ 9AM to 6PM (from November to March: open till 5:30PM)
Dining area/ 11AM to 5PM (Last order at 4:30PM)

Access
Just right from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Yufu mabushi Kokoro

A restaurant of “Yufu mabushi” a specialty of Yufuin.

They polish just right amount of “Hitomebore” rice produced in Yufuin, and cook Yufu mabushi in a clay pot for each person.

Yufu mabushi, concentrated tastefulness of rice and commitment to ingredients of local production for local consumption, is a superior dish.

You can choose one from three kinds, a Bungo beef, a fighting cock produced in Yufuin, or an eel produced in Kyushu, and at the last, you can enjoy tasting some rice slightly burnt unique to a clay pot with broth pouring on top the rice.

Local staff’s comments

In addition to Kinrin Lake main store, there is a branch store in front of Yufuin station.

Kinrin Lake main store
[Business hours] 10:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Last order at 5:30PM)
[Holiday] Every Tuesday (Opens if national holiday)
[Access] (By train) About 10 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station. (By car) About 15 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Branch store in front of station
[Business hours] 11AM to 4PM (Last order at 3:30PM), 5:30PM to 9PM (Last order at 8PM)
[Holiday] Every Thursday (Opens if national holiday)
[Access] (By train) About a minute walk from JR “Yufuin” station. (By car) About 10 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Limited Express Yufuin no Mori

A resort limited express of JR Kyushu, connecting from Hakata station of Fukuoka, to Yufuin station and Beppu station of Oita.

From the moment of ride, you can fully enjoy a resort atmosphere, such as a train body in stylish green and the retro-modern inside of a car, and original lunch boxes of food service in the train.

In addition to a standard two-seater, box seats with a table is also available.

All seats are for reservation, and it is recommended to make a reservation early as the reservation opens from one month before your trip.

Local staff’s comments

Please enjoy the view from the window.

Fare
Between Hakata and Yufuin (Round trip)/ Adult 9,120 Yen, Kid 4,540 Yen

Access
[By train] Possible to take and to get off at JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway to Yufuin station

Visit Bungomori Roundhouse/ Railway Turntable, Ruins Going by Yufuin no MoriIn 2015, the popular sightseeing train "Yufuin no Mori" of JR Kyushu...

Recommended Hidden Spots of Yufuin

Hotarumi Bashi Bridge and a Basin of Yunotsubo Gawa River

In Yufuin where a clear stream flows in the town, you can watch fireflies everywhere from late May through mid June.

Among of all, “Hotarumi bashi bridge” over Yunotsubo gawa river flowing nearby Kyushu Mingei village, as the name suggests, is known as a famous spot of Genji fireflies flying on the surface of river.

The slightly curved wooden bridge is harmonizing together with mountains around, and the landscape even in a day is also a picturesque spot.

* Hotarumi bashi means “watching fireflies on a bridge” in Japanese.

Local staff’s comments

When there are many, you can observe more than 100 fireflies.

The best season of fireflies
Late May through mid June

Access
[By train] About 15 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 6 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Doctor Fish

In Yufuin, there are many foot bath spots in multiple places, such in Yufuin station premises and around, and along Yunotsubo Road.

Among of all, doctor fish (charged), of which nature to eat old skin cells of human, is popular for tourists.

Utilizing such nature of the fish, it is said that you can expect peeling and massage effect.

As you can heal fatigue easily in a short time, it is recommended for a short break during sightseeing.

Local staff’s comments

Fish clean your skin & you can expect relaxation effect.

Ogosha jinja shrine

Toward south from Yufuin station, there is a shrine with mysterious atmosphere, standing still as if protected by cedar trees.

A sacred tree of big cedar, standing next to the left side of shrine building, is said as more than 1,000 years old, and is about 35 m height of a trunk and about 14 m circumference of a root.

It is also designated as a national natural treasure.

Also, there is a hollow of about three tatami-mat wide (4.86 square meter) on the back of trunk, and God statue is enshrined inside.

Local staff’s comments

Here is an energy vortex where you can receive negative ions of forest and an energy of the big tree.

Access
[By train] About 5 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Tsukahara Onsen Crater Hot Spring

A hidden hot spring that is said that Minamoto no Tametomo had found about 900 years ago is located in a middle of Garandake mountain where fumarolic blows out.

A strong acidic hot water that is said as about 10 times stronger than that of a lemon, and is said that is effective to skin disease, such as Atopic dermatitis, is the one of Japan’s three major medicated hot springs.

Currently, only Kakou no izumi of a day trip use hot spring opens, and you can experience the blow out flowing hot spring there.

Observation of the crater and a speciality steamed egg are also attractive.

"Tsukahara Onsen and Crater Onsen", a Secret Onsen for a Yufuin, Experience the strong acidic spring in Japan!8 hot springs in Beppu, Oita Prefecture, are famous for their wide v...
Local staff’s comments

Vast great nature and steam blowing out from the crater and from the surface of mountain create a nice atmosphere!

Business hours
9AM to 6PM * Until 7PM during June through August. (Last admission is one hour before close.).  Closed around the end of a year and the new year’s day, and in case of accumulated snow.

Admission
[Big bath] Adult 500 Yen, Kid 200 Yen — for two hours use
[Open air bath] Adult 600 Yen, Kid 200 Yen — for two hours use
[Family bath] 2,000 Yen — for 1 hour use of 2 adults and 2 kids max
[Family private bath] 2,500 Yen — for 1 hour use of 2 adults and 2 kids max
[Resting area] 1,000 Yen — for one hour use
[Crater observation] Adult 200 Yen, Kid 100 Yen — from 9AM to 6PM (until 4PM in winter)

Access
[By train] About 15 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 20 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Yufuin Senke – Cafe overlooking Mt. Yufudake

image by twitter.com

A cafe and fortune telling house “Senke”, which used to be right front of Yufuin station, has relocated and opened in April 2018.

You can overview the vast Mt. Yufudake from large windows set in an entrance of an atrium.

Inside of the cafe is spacious and a comfortable space.

Recommendation are crispy and juicy toriten (chicken tempura or deep fried chicken) on the plate that is a speciality of Oita and a cup of cafe latte with a latte art made from a photo that just taken.

Local staff’s comments

The fortune telling that is said as often accurate is so popular that you have to wait in line for several hours even during weekdays!

Business hours
8:30AM to 5PM. Holidays on Thursday and the second Friday (Opens if national holidays)

Price
Toriten on the plate (Toriten plate) 980 Yen, Senke latte 530 Yen + Photo latte art 100 Yen, etc.

Access
[By train] About 10 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Kunugi no Oka

image by twgram.me

A pizzeria located on a hill overlooking Yufu basin.

It has a reputation, of course, for the splendid location and for deliciousness of authentic pizzas baked in a brick oven.

The elaborated taste, using dough made of uniquely blended wheat produced in Napoles and in domestic, vegetables produced in Yufuin, home-grown herbs, mushrooms, and home-made bacon and pancettas, is its pride.

You can fully enjoy finely selected foodstuffs also in pastas and ala cartes.

Local staff’s comments

The best is to eat a piece of quattro formaggi with syrups.

Business hours
11AM to 2:30PM (Last order), 5:30PM to 8PM (Last order), Closed on Wednesday

Price
Margherita 1,400 Yen, Quattro Formaggi 1,700 Yen, etc. (Available a half and a half for pizzas)

Access
[By train] About 5 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 1 minute drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Jakoshi Observatory

You will reach there in about 15 minutes drive from Yufuin on Yamanami Highway toward Aso.

It is an observatory located on Jakoshi pass, where remains a legend that says that a long time ago a monster serpent went back to a lake over this pass.

You can overlook Mt. Yufudake and Yufuin basin from Jakoshi Observatory, where is the morning mist spot known to those in the know along with Sagiridai Observatory.

As a view of Yufuin basin sinking in morning mist is beautiful from autumn through winter, many tourists visit here for photo shooting during the seasons.

Local staff’s comments

It is a superb view spot of not very famous yet where you can overlook Mt. Yufudake and Yufuin basin.

Access
[By train] About 30 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 20 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Kobo WAHAHA

A kobo (a crafts shop) is famous as a shop of beckoning cats where guests line up.

Different beckoning cats are sold depending on a day, such on a weekday and on a day for unloading from kilns.

It is so popular that everything is sold by a lottery.

The story is told about the shop like this.

One day at a garbage station the shop owner picked up the signboard that says a luck comes, since then a luck came to those who bought a beckoning cat.

Many celebrities as well have gotten these beckoning cats.

Why don’t you try your luck whether you can buy?

Local staff’s comments

The most popular “yellow cat” appears for a sale by lottery on the day of unloading from kilns!

Business hours
11AM to 5PM (Sale by lottery), Closed on Mon, Tue, and Wed
* A day of unloading: Every second and fourth Friday of a month (If national holiday, regular sale by lottery)

Price
Yellow cat from 800 Yen, Lucky cat 2,100 Yen, etc.

Access
[By train] About 5 minutes ride by taxi from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 10 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Shitan-yu

A unisex public bath located on a lakeside of Kinrin Lake.

An elegant appearance of a thatched roof, as if it appears in a folklore, is a feature, and the quality is a simple hot spring.

The temperature of spring source is fairly hot at 69.4 degrees Celsius.

There are an inside bath and an open air bath, and you can enjoy a fantastic view of misty lake from an open air bath especially at night of a cold day.

But, as it is built in a very open way, women seem to need a courage to enter.

Local staff’s comments

Unmanned reception, so put admissions in a wooden box at the front!

Business hours
10AM to 10PM, Open everyday

Admission
200 Yen

Access
[By train] About 20 minutes walk from JR “Yufuin” station
[By car] About 15 minutes drive from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

YUFUiNFO, Yufu City Tourist Information Center

It is a general tourist information center opened next to Yufuin station in April 2018.

The whole outer appearance is built with glasses, and as Y-shaped arch pillars are standing inside, it is a space as if you are in the forest.

In here, you can not only have tourist information, but also do other things, like reservations for a horse drawn carriage and for a sightseeing bus Scarborough, leaving temporarily luggage, and sending luggage to a hotel.

A nickname of the facility is called as “YUFUiNFO”, combining three of “Yufu”, “Yufuin”, and “info”.

Local staff’s comments

Possible to go for sightseeing without carrying anything as you can leave even a big baggage here.

Business hours

9AM to 7PM

Price

Services of sending luggage at the station front/ 500 Yen per piece * Price is subject to change for numbers of luggage.

Leaving luggage temporarily/ 300 Yen per piece * price is subject to change for size of luggage

Access

[By train] Right next to JR “Yuufuin” station

[By car] About 10 minutes from “Yufuin” Interchange of Oita Expressway

Map of the Spots Introduced

Here is a map of the tourist spots introduced in this article.

Please make your plan referring to the location of spots.