When to travel?

The weather could vary a lot at the mountain side and at the ocean side.  Mountain side could be cold and sometimes it could have snow, while summer in ocean side is hot and humid with many sunny days in winter.

Best season: Mar-Nov
Cherry blossoms: end of Mar-Apr
Foliage: Nov

Events / Festivals

Feb-Mar: Hita Tenryo Doll festival (日田天領おひなまつり), Hita 日田
Mar: Oka castle cherry blossom festival (岡城桜まつり), Takeda 竹田
Jul: Yoshi Hirogaku (吉弘楽), Kunisaki 国東
Oct: Doburoku festival (どぶろく祭り), Kizuki 杵築

Touristic spots

Capital city: Oita (大分)

Oita city is located at the coastline of Seto inland sea (瀬戸内海), with almost half of population live here.  A Military General, Sorin Otomo (大友宗麟) has protected Christianity and turned the city into a center of Christian culture in Japan, which we can still find.

Takasakiyama nature zoo (高崎山自然動物園), a lot of monkeys live in this park.
Fudoson Isshinji temple (不動尊一心寺), known for cherry blossom trees, as well as the place where tourists can experience Buddhist training.

Usuki (臼杵)

Usuki is a neighbor city of Oita, and it is known for historical monuments, such as Usuki castle and Usuki stone-cliff Buddha (臼杵摩崖仏), which is Japanese National Treasure.

Usuki castle and Usuki Gokoku shrine (臼杵護国神社).
Usuki stone-cliff Buddha, which was made in late 6th century.  There are 61 statues and 59 of them are nominated as National Treasures.

Hita (日田)

It is a city located in a mountain, whose altitude is about 1000 meters high.  The temperature is lower than the ocean side, and the rainfall is comparatively a lot.  Hita has imitated Kyoto, so that the city is called as Little Kyoto, where we can feel the culture of old capital.

Miyuki street (みゆき通り).
Hita Gion festival (日田祇園祭), held in July.

Fukiji temple (富貴寺)

This is a very old temple which is estimated to have been built in 8th century.  The temple has been mixed with the Shinto animism, and it has gone through a difficult time when Christianity was protected by a Military General. However, the temple was luckily not destroyed and still can be seen nowadays.  The temple is nominated as National Treasure.

Japanese simple but exquisite beauty.

Usa shrine (宇佐神宮)

This shrine means a lot in Japanese history.  A Buddhist monk has fallen in love with a Lady Empress, and then this monk tried to be Emperor, saying that he has got a message from a god of this shrine.   It turned out to be a fiasco, but this historical event is still famous among Japanese as it is in our textbook.

The incident took place in 8th century, which means this shrine has a long history.

Built in as early as 725.

Yabakei (耶馬渓)

Yabakei definitely is the must-go place in Oita!  The place is located within the semi-National Park and it was chosen as one of the 3 best sceneries in Japan.

In springtime, there is a beautiful Nemophila blue flowers blooming, but the most beautiful time of the year is fall with their foliage.  The place has also been the central of the Buddhist faith, and you may see old temples and festivals, too.

In foliage time.

Furen limestone cave (風連鍾乳洞)

Found in 1926 in a great condition.  The cave has only one exit, which means that the inside was not damaged at all.  There are two caves; the bigger one is about 500 meters while the smaller one is about 80 meters.

Beppu hot spring (別府温泉)

It has the largest amount of hot water in Japan.  The hot spring has more than 8 million visitors every year.

The scenery of the hot spring is so unique, and to visit these unique hot springs is called as Hell visit (地獄めぐり).  The benefit of hot spring is not only limited to bath, but also to generate electricity, growing flowers by warming up the greenhouse, or even to produce beauty products using their mud.

Hell of the blood pond (血の池地獄), the reaction is caused by iron in the water touches the air and water.
Hell of monks (坊主地獄).

Yufuin Hot spring (湯布院温泉)

Another famous hot spring in Oita.  This hot spring has more tranquil ambiance, and it is more popular among ladies.  The view of the Mt. Yufu (由布岳) is also amazing.

Tranquil ambiance.
Kinrinko lake (金鱗湖) is the highlight of Yufuin Hot spring, especially when the morning fog makes the scenery mysterious.  The scenery can be seen only in the morning, but we are sure that it will be a perfect start of your day in Japan.

Mt. Kuju (九重山)

Description available in Kyushu article.