Leisure in Oita
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A Guide to Cycling Japan
- Traveling around Japan by bicycle is undoubtedly one of the best ways to see the country. Known for its mountains, Japan offers adventurous routes through its diverse landscapes as well as a web of less adverse roads that cut valleys through the hills. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget, looking to get off the beaten track, or just love a good cycle, a bike tour of Japan is guaranteed to be an adventure like no other. 1 - Finding a bike 1 - Finding a bike Japan create bikes quite like their crafts and cuisine: with exceptional precision and style. The most popular brands include Anchor by Bridgestone, Miyata, and Araya, which can be found in shops all over the country. For the more frugal traveler, good quality and affordable second-hand bikes (“chuko jitensha”) are easy to get your hands on for around 10,000 to 20,000 yen. Second-hand shops are scattered all over cities, including Suginami Clean Cycle in Tokyo and The Fixer in Fukuoka. However, with rear bike racks a rare find, those planning to carry panniers will most likely need to buy a rack separately and ask a bike mechanic to attach it - which, although a free service in most shops, may limit your bicycle options. 2 - Buying tools and cycling gear 2 - Buying tools and cycling gear It’s good to start your journey with some basic tools in case you run into issues out of reach of a bike shop. A repair kit and bike pump are necessities best bought at a shop where you can also request a demonstration on bike maintenance including how to fix a puncture. While other tools can also be found at bike shops, don’t hesitate to head to the 100 yen shop for 100-yen versions of pliers, Allen keys and the like.For most cycling clothing, a bike shop or purchasing online is the best option - don’t forget those padded shorts! Panniers, on the other hand, are incredibly hard to come by so you’ll most probably need to order them into a shop or buy them online. Good bike shops around Tokyo include Y’s Road and Cycle Base Asahi. 3 - Staying safe on the roads 3 - Staying safe on the roads Once you’re prepared with your bike and gear, it’s time to go! While the most important thing is having fun, roads in a new country - and signs in a different language - mean you’ll need to stay extra vigilant. Remember to wear a helmet, keep to the left, and wear visible clothing. One of the greatest benefits to traveling Japan by bike is that cycling on the pavement is accepted almost everywhere - even in the cities. Look out for the large pavements that often line the roads providing the perfect safe lane for cyclists. 4 - Recharging 4 - Recharging Unless you’re planning the more challenging map-reading navigation technique, it’s most likely you’ll have Google Maps directing you around the country, which we all know leads to an exhausted battery quite rapidly. But never fear, the Japanese convenience store is here! The high concentration of 7 Elevens, Lawsons, and Family Marts continues throughout most of the country even into the countryside. Likely to become your best friend in no time, these stores are not only good for recharging your own batteries with much-needed snacks and sugary caffeinated beverages but also provide plug sockets outside which can be used to charge phones and other electronic devices. 5 - Extra tips 5 - Extra tips Getting help along the way: There is a surprising number of bike shops around Japan, both in the cities and in rural towns. Most offer to pump your tires, fix punctures, and service your bike for free although you’ll likely be charged for any serious repairs.Taking bikes on public transport: Unfortunately, bikes aren’t allowed on trains, buses, or coaches unless they are taken apart and stored in a bike bag. Sometimes there are additional charges added for bike bags, including for air travel.Planning your journey: Once everything’s in place, it’s time to start planning your journey. However, fitting in some of the country’s most popular cycle routes guarantees some beautiful but challenging days out: The Shimanami Kaido on Shikoku offers a 70-kilometer cycle route across a series of spectacular suspension bridges that cross six islands; the rural Noto Peninsula is home to the Tour de Noto route which boasts 400 km of beautiful coastal scenery to one side and mountains to the other; and much of Japan’s southern island Kyushu which includes the Maple Yaba Cycling Road and the trip from Usa to Beppu.Deciding which part of Japan to cycle is tricky with so many beautiful places to discover but with the freedom of a bicycle, you’re sure to stumble across hidden gems at every turn in your own unique itinerary. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 7. December. 2018
Jigoku Meguri Tour
- A trip to Beppu, Japan’s unofficial onsen capital is all about hot springs. But before taking the dip in some of the best onsen around the country, there’s a group of hot springs known as Jigoku or “hells” which although not apt for bathing, are still a sight to be seen. The Jigoku Meguri Tour is made up of seven hells and here we’ll give you a run down of what they are all about. Jigoku Meguri Tour To get started with the tour, we recommend you pick up the Jigoku Meguri ticket booklet which includes passes for all seven hells and at 2,000 yen per booklet, is a cheaper deal than paying 500 yen for each hell separately. Five of the hells are located within walking distance of each other in Kannawa Onsen and can be toured fairly quickly. The remaining two are located in the Shibaseki District and a bit far from Kannawa, it is best to take the the available tour bus to get to these two. Shiraike Jigoku Shiraike Jigoku The name of the hells is derived from their features and Shiraike is the “White Pond Hell” thanks to its blue white colour. If you’re starting the tour in central Kannawa, this is the first you come across. Once you’re and done checking out this unique pond, make your way around it and head for the aquarium hidden next to the garden. You’ll be able to come face to face with rare piranhas and other rare water creatures. Oniyama Jigoku Oniyama Jigoku The “Oniyama Hell” is one of the most popular of the seven hells and not necessarily for its water. Apparently, the pressure created by the steam’s force is strong enough to pull one and a half train cars, thank to this pressure, the water at this hell has the perfect conditions to breed crocodiles which you’ll get to meet in large numbers. Just don’t bother them as they are basking in the sun. Kamado Jigoku Kamado Jigoku Kamado Jigoku or the “Oven Hell” is so called because long ago, it’s steam was used for cooking food. Once passed the towering Aka Oni or red demon which is the symbol of this hell, you can relax your feet in the foot bath, enjoy the steam as it hits your face, and admired the different coloured ponds including the deep red pond that reacts to your breath. The highlight for many though is being able to boiled eggs and corn as it was done in the past. Umi Jigoku Umi Jigoku The “Sea Hell” gets his name as it is said to resemble the sea. Whether you agree or not, it cannot be denied this is one of the prettiest hells of the whole bunch. Not only can you admire the water and boiled eggs in it, but the grounds include a Japanese garden, and its very own inari shrine, thus the red torii gates. Take your time here and stroll around the gardens or simply hang out at the cafe terrace and enjoy the natural beauty. Oniishi Bozu Jigoku Oniishi Bozu Jigoku The last one of the “Hells” in Kannawa Onsen is the Oniishi Bozu Jigoku. The main attraction here are the boiling mud pools and the mud bubbles formed inside of them. As with the Umi Jigoku, the grounds here as also pleasing to the eye and it is worth spending some time at this hell. There’s also a free foot bath which is at times filled with local citrus fruits as an added health bonus. Chinoike Jigoku’ Chinoike Jigoku’ Over in the Shibaseki District, the “Blond Pond Hell” gets its name from the deep red colour of the water. There’s not much happening besides the natural beauty of the hells which is reason enough to make a stop here. With its constant steam and the surrounding greenery it is one of the most picturesque of all the hells. Tatsumaki Jigoku Tatsumaki Jigoku Rounding out the tour and also in the Shibaseki District, the Tatsumaki Jigoku or “Spout Hell” is famous for its boiling hot geyser which spits out every 30-40 minutes. There’s even a large stage from where to catch the spectacle. After the 6 minute show grab an omiyage and head back to central Beppu to enjoy what else is on offer. ©NAVITIME JAPAN. Travel Info Check out our travel tips to make your trip better!
- 19. April. 2018
- Sanrio Character Park Harmonyland
- Amusement Park / Theme Park
- Oita Pref. Hayamigunhijimachi Fujiwara 5933
Our six year old loved it. We went early as recommended and she was greeted at the gate by Kitty. we went on a Friday so there were no big lines. They are obviously renovating as some areas are new...
- Kokonoe Yume Suspension Bridge
- Oita Pref. Kusugunkokonoemachi Tano 1208
Visited the Kokonoe Yume suspension bridge which spans over a valley with two small waterfalls on one side of valley. Lovely views with trees turning color on both sides of bridge.
- Kijima Kogen Park
- Amusement Park / Theme Park
- Beppu City Oita Prefecture Jojima Takahara 123
- Kujyu Forest Park Skiing Ground
- Skiing/Snowboarding Area
- Oita Pref. Kusugunkokonoemachi Yutsubo 612-1
- Matogahama Park
- Park / Green Space
- Oita Pref. Beppushi Kitamatogahamachou 1183-4
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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