January 10, 2018
Top 10 Tourist Attractions & Best Things to Do in Oita, Japan
In Oita, the most famous areas to visit are Beppu and Yufuin. However, this is not all Oita has to offer. Today we will introduce to you some the top ten sights you must visit. There are some that are wonderful for children and others that are not well known but worth the visit!
1. Beppu Jigoku Meguri
Hot Springs is what Oita is best known for and Beppu is the best know location for hot springs. Jigoku is the hot springs in Beppu that you must visit. These hot springs has been excitingly active for over 1000 years.
There are so hot that you cannot get close to them and they are name “Jigoku” which mean hell. The openings of the springs are used to steam different food.
Here there are 7 specific “Jigoku” that you must visit. Because they are all very different in nature it is worth checking out however many you can visit.
We can recommend using taxi or rental car to visit the “Jigoku” as some are near and some are farther.
Name: Beppu Jigoku Meguri
Address: 559-1 Kanawa Beppu City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Beppu Jigoku Meguri
2. Mt. Takasaki Natural Zoo
On Mt. Takasaki (628m) there is feedings of wild monkeys. There are not any fences between you and the monkey so you can seeing the monkeys up close.
This practice of feeding the monkeys began after the people of this area struggled with monkeys getting into the farms and rice paddies. They begin to feed the monkeys sweet potatoes in one location and this attracted tourists. At first the monkeys were very suspicious but they became more used to the feedings and in 1953 this park was open.
Currently there are over 1300 moneys living here. You do not want to miss the feedings that occur twice a day. The monkeys are fed sweet potatoes from a traditional cart. To the area which the monkeys are you can take the slightly steep “bunny trail” or the more gentle “turtle trail”.
You can also ride on the monorail for an easier trip. If you cross the cross walk, you will also find the Umitamago Aquarium. This is a great spot for animal lovers!
Name: Mt. Takasaki Natural Zoo
Address: 3098-1 Kamisaki Oita City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Mt. Takasaki Natural Zoo
3. Bungo Takada・Showa no Machi
This Bungo-takada City is located on the Kokuto Peninsula. Here you will find a traditional shopping street from the 1950s. This was originally the most populated area of the Kokuto Peninsula.
It was renovated and reintroduced as a major shopping are in 2001. It currently has 40 member shops and is visited by 400,000 people annually.
Some of the facilities charge a fee but to walk the shopping street is free. The signs and exteriors of the shop as well as the interiors and products provide an exciting view into the past.
On the weekends you can also enjoy a 15 minutes ride on an open-air bus around the city from the 1950s!
Name: Bungo-takada・Showa no Machi
Map: Map to Bungo-takada・Showa no Machi
4. Usa Shrine
This is one of the four main shrines for Hachimangu in Japan. The shrine is one with much history as it was built in 725 A.D. The figures the shrine focuses on are the Hachiman-ookami, Hime-ookami, and Jing-kogo.
Within the spacious grounds there are other national treasures such as the Wakamiya shrine, Nishidai gate, and Hokutatsu shrine. There are also 300 cherry blossom trees of the somei-yoshino variety that bloom in spring and traditional lotuses that bloom in summer.
If you have time, also visit the art galleries here. In addition, there are different festivals available all year long with the most popular being in March and November. This is the most visited shrine in Oita with 1,500,000 guests annually.
When you go up to pay you respects be sure to do it in the appropriate “Two Bows・Four Claps・One Bow” method. You can find it explained on their website.
Name: Usa Shrine
Address: 2859 Ooaza Minami-usa Usa City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Usa Shrine
5. Harajiri no Taki
This is a waterfall that suddenly appears among the rice fields. It is 120m wide and 20m high. It is shaped in a beautiful crescent and is one of the 100 best waters falls in Japan and among the 100 beautiful sights of Oita. It is quite small in comparison but it is also known as the Niagara of the east.
In most situations you look up upon a waterfall. However, that is not the case here as you look down upon the falls. You also are able to look straight on the falls from the bridge available.
Every 1st Saturday to the 3rd Sunday in April there are 500,000 tulips that bloom around this waterfall. Of course we recommend visiting during this time!
At the rest area nearby you can also purchase souvenirs and enjoy the delicious food of the area.
Name: Michinoeki Harajiri no Taki
Address: 936-1 Harajiri Ogatamachi Bungo-oono City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Michinoeki Harajiri no Taki
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6. African Safari
This is the only park of its kind in Kyushu. There are approximately 1300 animals of 70 different varieties and you can see them in an environment similar to their natural environment.
There are two zones in the park. The first is for larger animals. You can ride in a vehicle through 7 different animals areas with different animals found in them. The cheetahs you can view can only be seen here in all of Kyushu.
You can enter this zone in your own car or by rental car. However, we also recommend the jungle bus. The large windows allow you to see all that is offered freely. Even adults will be delighted by the experience!
In the “Fureai Zone” you can enjoy the forest of squirrel monkeys, the petting zoo, and the horse riding area. Here you can enjoy interacting with smaller animals.
During golden week and summer vacation the night safari is open. Here you can see different activity than that is seen during the day. Plan you travels so that you can experience this unique experience!
Name: African Safari
Address: 2-1755-1 Nanbata Ajimu-machi Usa City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to African Safari
7. Harmony Land
Harmony land is the home too Hello Kitty and other San Rio characters. There is a variety of rides to enjoy as well as live shows of Hello Kitty and other characters.
In the “Hello Kitty Castle” you can enjoy taking photos with Hello Kitty. There are also souvenirs that can only be found here to get for friends and family.
In the spring approximately 500 cherry trees bloom, in the summer you can enjoy the water area available, and in the winter you can enjoy Christmas and the New Year’s Countdown.
The character menu items at the restaurants are very popular and almost too cute to eat. This is the place to visit with children in Oita!
Name: Harmony Land
Address: 5933 Ooaza Fujiwara Mameda-machi Demachi Hayami-gun Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Harmony Land
8. Hida・Mameda Shopping Street
This was the area of trade during the Edo-era. When you enjoy a walk here you will feel that you have gone back into this time period.
The traditional town has been preserved beautifully and in 2004 it was marked as a national heritage sight. There are two different streets to enjoy and they are connected by smaller streets.
The stone pavement and glass lamps along the street seem to be straight out of a movie. If you have time, be sure to visit the museum also found here where you can learn about when this was a royal trading sight.
It is also said that the eel here is very delicious so be sure to try it out for lunch!
Name: Tenryo Hida Museum
Address: 11-7 Mameda-machi Hita City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Tenryo Hida Museum
9. Kuju Flower Park
This is a large field found in the national park. It is a flower park of 220,000㎡ where one can find 300,000 different plants of 500 different varieties.
In the spring you can enjoy the tulips and cherry blossoms, in the summer you can enjoy the lavender and sunflowers, and in the fall you can enjoy the cosmos and other flowers. The season with the most flowers is spring.
The tulips and other flowers are planted to resemble a rainbow. The blue is the nemophila flowers and the orange and yellow is poppies. Seeing this sight is certain to make you happy.
Aside from seeing the flowers here you can also make your own original wreath, enjoy the gift shop, and experience the local cuisine through the buffet restaurant. In the restaurant you can enjoy different desserts including gelato.
Choose you season to enjoy your favorite flowers at 850 meters above sea level!
Name: Kuju Flower Park
Address: 4050 Ooazakuujyu Kuju-machi Takeda City Oita Prefecture
Map: Map to Kuju Flower Park
This is one of the best known and most visited sites in Oita prefecture. It is well known for its hot springs and other sights. There is so much offered in such a beautiful setting that many people choose to come back for more their next vacation.
The walk from the station to the Kinrinko lake is around 30 minutes. Along this walk you will find many different shops, cafes and restaurants. Among the delicious cuisine offered here included Bungo beef, soba, hamburgers, croquettes and desserts.
There are also many souvenirs offered here including traditional crafts as well as jam.
You may enjoy a day here or spend the night. There are many different traditional crafts to choose from to experience such as pottery and chopstick making. You can also see the place from many different forms of transportation including walking, rental bicycles, carriage, or human-powered buggies.
Come and visit and experience why many people return for more!
Enjoy the Sights of Oita!
What did you think of the sights of Oita? Where there any you were unaware one? Now you are ready to enjoy all that Oita has to offer! Enjoy wonderful travels in Oita.