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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Oita Area

  • Usa-jingu Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Usashi Minamiusa 2859
    This Shinto shrine is famous for being the head shrine of all 40 thousand Hachiman shrines in Japan dedicated to Emperor Ojin as the god Hachiman in a syncretic belief system which combines elements of Buddhism. Enshrining Hachiman as well as Hime and Empress Jingu, the shrine was founded in 725. The grounds are spacious, and the main shrine building, a National Treasure, is divided between an upper building located on a hill and a lower building located at the base. The first hall of the upper building is believed to provide luck with money and business; the second and third are believed to provide luck with love and easy childbirth.
  • Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center
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    4.5
    12 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Beppushi Higashisouen Town 8-3
    Come see displays of traditional Oita handiwork and this display center for Beppu Bamboo Works. There are a lot of works on display to appreciate including traditional daily goods and flower baskets as well as modern interior pieces made by skilled traditional craftsmen and even pieces made by Beppu's own formerly Living National Treasure, Shouno Shouunsai. With at least a week's prior reservation you can try your own hand at weaving bamboo into baubles or baskets. At the Museum Shop and Cafe, which opened in 2018, you can purchase bamboo goods or enjoy a coffee or other beverage. The nearest bus stop is Hikarinosono Mae or Takezaiku Densankaikan Mae.

    高そうで、繊細な竹工芸品が展示されています。 隣の白い建物にはショップとカフェも。 入場料は大人300円、子供が100円です。 別府の竹工芸に興味ある人にオススメです。

  • National Treasures Usuki Stone Buddhas
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Usukishi Fukata Extending the 804-1
    The Usuki Stone Buddhas are statues of various Buddhas sculpted into the rock of towering cliffs. According to the Legend of Mana no Choja, the stone Buddhist images were sculpted by Choja to pray for happiness in the next life on behalf of his daughter who had passed away. Judging from the style of the Buddhist statues, it is surmised that they were created some time from the late Heian period to the Kamakura period. The size, quantity and quality of work of these magaibutsu (Buddha figures carved on a rock face) are the finest such stone engravings in all of Japan, and of the nearly 60 stone Buddhas which include the Furuzono Cluster and Hoki First Cluster, 59 have been designated as National Treasures.
  • Fuki-ji Temple
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    4.5
    94 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Bungotakadashi Tashibufuki 2395
    A Tendai Buddhist temple standing silently along Prefectural Route 655 in Bungotakada City. Erected in the Heian period (794–1185) as a shrine in the Usa Jingu Shrine complex, the temple’s principle object of worship, a seated wooden figure of Amitabha Tathagatta, is designated an Important Cultural Property. Together with the Phoenix Hall at the Byodoin and the Golden Hall at the Chuson-ji Temple, the temple’s Great Hall is counted one of the three most outstanding halls devoted to an image of Amitabha in Japan. Designated a National Treasure, the Great Hall is also the oldest wooden structure in Kyushu. The Fukinotou inn adjoining the Great Hall for those looking to have a quiet and relaxing stay.

    Beautiful amazingly preserved temple, well not entirely - there are spots on the walls with graffiti made by local kids who used it as their playground in the 1950s but it makes it all the more...

  • Kumano Magaibutsu
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    4.0
    98 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Bungotakadashi Tashibuhirano
    A group of stone carvings made into bare rock in the late Heian period (794–1185) which are believed to be the oldest Buddhist imagery in the nation. There are two carvings—an eight meter tall image of Fudo Myoo (Acala, the God of Fire) and a 7.7 meter tall image of Dainichi-nyorai (Vairocana); both are among the largest such Magaibutsu (Buddhist imagery carved into bare stone) in the country and are nationally designated Important Cultural Properties and as well as a Historic Site. In order to view the statues, it is necessary to climb a steep set of stone steps; accordingly, visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable footwear. Walking stick rentals are also available. The figures may be viewed until evening.

    Following Fukiji-oodou we visited Kumano-magaibutsu (stone Buddhist statues carved on rock) not far away. These statues date back to the late Heian period, probably 11th to 12th century, and is the...

  • Oita Prefectural Museum of History
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Usashi Takamori Kyotozuka
    Located inside the Usa Fudoki no Oka history park, the museum preserves and exhibits materials with a focus on Cultural Properties connected to Oita. Visitors can view full sized models of the Fuki-ji Temple and Usuki Stone Buddhas, designated National Treasures, as well as artefacts excavated from Mengahira Tomb. The nearest bus stops are Oitakenritsu-rekishihakubutsukan-mae and Fudoki-no-oka-iriguchi.
  • Kitsuki Castle
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    3.5
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Kitsukishi Kitsuki 16-1
    "This castle is considered the smallest in Japan and is located on a plateau near the mouth of the Yasaka River. Built by Kitsuki Yorinao in 1394, the Kanji used for the part of ""Kitsuki"" was different from the one used today at the time of its construction, but because the shogunate vermillion seal had mistakenly been written in different Kanji, the Kanji used on the seal came to be used commonly.. It is also known as Gagyu Castle because the plateau it is on is shaped like a cow lying down, and as Katsuyama Castle because it endured for two months against an attack by the Shimazu. The current castle keep was reconstructed in 1970, and items such as armor used by the castle lords is displayed in the castle museum."

    Unique location of castle nearby the sea. A panoramic view and picture for the sea is worthwhile a visit. Despite the small size of castle, worth a visit with car or self drive. Parking is free, thus...

  • Usuki Castle Ruins (Usuki Park)
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Usukishi Usuki Nyushima 91-1
    The site of an ancient castle located in Niujima Usuki, Usuki City. The castle was built in the Warring States period on the island of Niujima in Usuki Bay by the Christian daimyo lord Otomo Sorin (later land reclamation projects resulted in the island becoming part of the mainland). Today, portions of the castle such as turrets as well as the moat and stone base still stand. The grounds are maintained as Usuki Park, a renowned destination for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, the park bustles with visitors come to enjoy the sight of the flowers.
  • B-Con Plaza
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    4.0
    44 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Beppushi Yamanotechou 12-1
    A multipurpose complex situated along Fujimi-dori Street in Yamanote-cho, Beppu City. Facilities include a convention hall able to accommodate up to 8,000 people; an international conference room with equipment for simultaneous interpretation of six languages; Philharmonia Hall, a concert hall and theater able to accommodate about 1,200 people; and reception hall outfitted with a nine face, high vision video system. The complex’ 125-meter tower also serves as an observatory offering a sweeping view of Beppu City.

    The tower is easy walking from the main core of Beppu. It's nice to walk through the park. Entrance to the Global Tower is behind the convention centre. There is an elevator to take you to the...

  • Yufuin Forest of Fantasy Artegio
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Yufuin Oniten, Oita Prefecture 1272-175 Kawakami
    An art museum located on the grounds of the Sanso Murata in Yufuincho Yufu City, Oita Prefecture. The museum collects and displays artworks relating to music and music flows constantly throughout its halls. The stylish, bright white interior design is a must-see. Visitors can freely read some 1,000 books on music and painting in the library on the first and second floors. There is also a chocolate shop and café in the museum where visitors can enjoy a beverage with some chocolate or a slice of cake.
  • Trick 3D art Yufuin
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Yufushi Yufuinchoukawakami 3001 - 8 Yufuinnaya 1/2 F
    A museum where visitors can enjoy the amazing and eye-deceiving world of trick 3D art, where flat pictures seem to leap out and different images appear depending on your position. The real fun comes from the exhibits which allow visitors to take pictures and become one with the artwork, such as rooms which use perspective to make a person look taller or shorter, and a flying carpet scene. Dogs which are carried at all times are also allowed in the museum. Closest station; JR Yufuin Station.

    My first visit to a trick art museum. It is rather small and cramp, although there are 2 levels. There weren't many people when we were there , so we could take our time to pose and take pictures.

  • Yufuin Stained glass museum
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    4.0
    24 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Yufushi Yufuinchoukawakami 2461-3
    Some 400 years ago, Yufuin is said to have been a paradise for Japan’s hidden Christians. The Yufuin Stained Glass Art Museum opened in 1996 in this town which has carried an air of the West since that time. The first truly dedicated stained glass art museum in Japan, the museum presents European stained glass by time period and region. The museum also offers visitors the chance to try stained glass-making for themselves. A 15-minute walk from Yufuin Station on the Kyudai Main Line.

    In order to appreciate the beauty and value of stained glasses, it is better to have basic knowledge and history about them. Though this church keeps a small collection of valuable stained glasses...

  • Ao-no-domon
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Nakatsushi Honyabakeimachisogi
    In the Edo period a Zenkai high priest who was grieved at men and horses losing their lives on the perilous road, spent 30 years carving out a tunnel with just chisel and hammer together with his masons. It is said that this tale was the basis of Kan Kikuchi’s novel “Beyond Love and Hate.” Even today, in one part of the tunnel the remaining marks of the chisel work can be seen.
  • Takatsuka Atago Jizoson Statue
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Hitashi Amagasemachimabaru 3740
    This is unusual even nationwide in that it indicates the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism as a place of worship for Jizo, the guardian deity of children, while also having a torii gate and auxiliary shrine for Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess. Also known as “Takatsuka-san,” it is a place known for fulfilling prayers relating to various issues and attracts a great many visitors from all over the country.
  • Nakatsu Castle (Okudaira Clan Historical Museum)
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    4.0
    147 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Ninjitsu City, Oita Pref.
    Nakatsu Castle formed with fortification of the mouth of the Yamakunigawa River (currently the Takasegawa River) by Kuroda Kanbei. Since the fortress takes the shape of a folding fan, it also takes the name “Ogi Castle,” “ogi” meaning folding fan in Japanese. Following this, it was occupied by the Hosokawa, Ogasawara, and Okudaira clans. The castle tower was rebuilt in 1964 and now houses exhibits of swords, clothing and historical documents related to the Okudaira clan.

    I had had an interest in the castle as it was originally founded by Josui Kuroda who was advisor to Hideyoshi Toyotomi that established nation-wide rule in 1590. Kuroda remains in history as one of...

  • OITA ART MUSEUM
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    4.0
    42 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Oitashi Ueno 865
    This art museum is surrounded by the lush nature of Uenogaoka Kodomo-no-Mori Park. Inside are permanent exhibits of Japanese paintings by artists including Heihachiro Fukuda and Tatsuo Takayama, and early modern Chinese-style paintings of Tanomura Chikuden, works of the Bungo Southern School of Chinese paintings, and other paintings and works relating to Oita City. Events are held throughout the year from exhibition to hands-on-learning. The museum’s restaurant also commands great views of the town.

    First time to visit this museum after several trips and I enjoyed seeing the varied and interesting exhibits. The view from the museum is also a treat. I recommend this museum to foreign visitors.

  • Usa Culture Hall Usanopia
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Oita Pref. Usashi Houkyouji 224
    A culture hall located in Hokyoji, Usa City. Boasting a hall with the greatest number of audience seats in the prefecture’s north, the facility also has a smaller hall, lecture room, practice room, multipurpose room, Japanese style room, and more. The culture hall is used for concerts, plays, lectures, and a variety of other events.
  • Kyushu Electric Power Hacchobaru Pavilion
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    4.5
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Kusugunkokonoemachi Yutsubo Hatchohara 601
    A museum adjoining the Hatchobaru Power Plant in Yutsubo, Kokonoe Town, Kusu County, Oita Prefecture. The museum contains exhibits which use informational panels and videos to explain the mechanisms behind geothermal power generation. The facility also offers a 60-minute guided tour of the power plant and museum, giving visitors the chance to see the largest geothermal power plant in Japan.

    無料のツアーに参加でき、冷却装置や発電モーター、上映などを楽しむことができます。夏にいくと、タービンがまわっている部屋はめちゃくちゃ暑いです。パンフレットといっしょにエコカードがもらえて、全部集めたくなってしまいます。景色もよいところにあるので、ドライブコースに立ち寄りスポットでもよいでしょう。

  • Futago-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Kunisakishi Akimachifutago 1548
    A Buddhist temple located in Futago, Aki-machi, Kunisaki City. Situated halfway up Mt. Futago, the tallest peak on the Kunisaki Peninsula, this temple is the head temple of all Rokugo Manzan Tendai Buddhist temples which boast 1,300 years of history in the peninsula. The temple’s grounds are included as part of Setonaikai National Park and have also been designated a Historic Site by the prefecture. Filled with woodland and natural beauty, the temple’s grounds have even been selected for inclusion in a list of 100 Forests in Japan suited for Forest Bathing, and particularly large numbers of visitors come here during the fall foliage season.
  • Monjusen-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Oita Pref. Kunisakishi Kunisakimachidaionji 2432
    A Buddhist temple located in Daionji Kunisaki-machi, Kunisaki City. Part of the Rokugo Manzan Tendai Buddhist temples which grew and developed on the Kunisaki Peninsula, the temple has a history of some 1,300 years. The temple’s principal object of worship, a figure of Monjusri, is known for granting wisdom, and many worshippers come here seeking to be blessed with intelligence, success in scholarly activities, and achieving entrance to the school of their choice. The temple is located in Setonaikai National Park, and a giant sacred zelkova tree, believed to be over 1,000 years old, grows on its grounds. There’s also a Hokyoin pagoda which offers a sweeping view of the Seto Inland Sea.

Oita Main Areas

around-area-map

A trip to Oita is tantamount to a long soak in the Beppu baths. The mountainous, coastal prefecture of Oita is renowned for having more onsen than any other prefecture in Japan, most of which lie in the city of Beppu on the west coast of Kyushu, recognizable by its pungent sulphuric aroma and the clouds of steam that puff up across the hillside. Away from the Beppu hot springs await mountains, waterfalls, and temples, so don’t hesitate to explore Oita a little further.

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