If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination in Japan, Oita is the place for you. This hidden gem is home to stunning natural wonders, rich cultural experiences, unique cuisine, and exciting outdoor activities. Here are ten exciting things to do in Oita that should be on your bucket list.
Discover Oita’s Natural Wonders
Oita is a prefecture located on the eastern coast of Kyushu island, Japan. It is a region blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, from the rolling hills and untouched forests to the geothermal activity that produces vibrant colors and bubbling mud pots. Here are some of the top natural wonders to explore when you visit Oita.
Visit Beppu’s Hot Springs
When it comes to hot springs, Beppu is legendary. It has the largest number of hot springs in Japan, with over 2,800 in total. The city’s unique “8 Hells” are a popular attraction, featuring geothermal activity that produces vibrant colors and bubbling mud pots. Be sure to soak in the traditional onsen baths and feel the rejuvenating power of the mineral-rich waters.
Aside from the hot springs, Beppu is also known for its delicious local cuisine. Be sure to try the “Jigoku-mushi” or “hell steaming” dishes, where food is cooked using the natural steam from the hot springs.
Explore the Kuju Mountain Range
The Kuju Mountains are a hiker’s paradise with magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The range is located in the center of Oita and is dotted with untouched forests, rolling hills, and stunning lakes. You can hike the trails ranging in difficulty levels, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience.
One of the best times to visit the Kuju Mountains is during autumn, where the leaves turn to a beautiful shade of red and gold, creating a picturesque view that is sure to take your breath away.
Take a Stroll in Yufuin Floral Village
Yufuin is a charming town known for its picturesque streets and beautiful flowers. The highlight of the town is the Yufuin Floral Village, a delightful garden filled with seasonal flowers and trees. Take a leisurely stroll through the pathways, and enjoy the scent of the blooming flowers, one of the best things to do when you’re in Oita.
Aside from the Yufuin Floral Village, Yufuin is also known for its traditional Japanese inns or “ryokans”. These ryokans offer a unique experience where you can stay in a traditional Japanese room and enjoy the hot springs while surrounded by nature.
Overall, Oita is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and hot spring enthusiasts. With its stunning natural beauty and unique attractions, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.
Experience Oita’s Rich Culture
If you are looking for a destination that offers a rich cultural experience, look no further than Oita. This beautiful prefecture in Japan is home to a variety of cultural attractions that will leave you in awe. Here are just a few of the must-see destinations when visiting Oita.
Tour the Usa Jingu Shrine
The Usa Jingu Shrine is one of the oldest and most significant shrines in Japan. Located in the city of Usa, the shrine is said to have been founded over 1,300 years ago. The shrine’s intricate architecture and rich history attract tourists from all over the world. One of the key highlights of the shrine is the Torii gate, which is one of the largest in Japan. The stunning traditional Japanese buildings that host various festivals throughout the year are also a sight to behold. Visitors can participate in traditional ceremonies and even try on traditional Japanese clothing.
Learn at the Oita Prefectural Art Museum
The Oita Prefectural Art Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese art. The museum has a large collection of contemporary and traditional works that showcase the talents of Japanese artists. The museum’s tranquil surroundings make it a perfect place to relax and learn about the rich cultural history of Oita. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring works from both local and international artists.
Attend a Traditional Kabuki Performance
To truly immerse yourself in Japanese culture, you must experience Kabuki, a classical Japanese dance-drama. Oita Prefecture is one of the best places to experience Kabuki, with the popular and historical Hiji Kabuki theater. The theater is over 200 years old and has been designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Be sure to catch a performance and marvel at the elaborate costumes, makeup, and performances that tell captivating stories of Japanese life.
These are just a few of the many cultural attractions that Oita has to offer. Whether you are interested in art, history, or theater, Oita has something for everyone. So why not plan a visit and experience the rich culture of this beautiful prefecture for yourself?
Savor Oita’s Unique Cuisine
Oita prefecture, located in the Kyushu region of Japan, is a food lover’s paradise. The region boasts a rich culinary culture with unique local delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From street food to high-end restaurants, Oita has it all.
Taste Local Delicacies at Oita’s Food Markets
One of the best ways to experience Oita’s food culture is by visiting its food markets. These markets offer a wide variety of fresh and unique local produce, including seafood, vegetables, and fruits. Take a stroll through the markets and try the famous Oita Wagyu beef, which is known for its tenderness and flavor. You can also sample the barbecued chicken, which is cooked to perfection and seasoned with a unique blend of spices. And don’t forget to try the locally-grown vegetables, which are so fresh and flavorful that you’ll be hooked after just one bite.
Indulge in Oita’s Famous Toriten
If you’re a fan of fried chicken, then you must try Oita’s famous Toriten. This local specialty is made with golden-fried chicken that’s seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. The crispy texture and delicious flavors make it one of the best chicken dishes in Japan. You can find Toriten at many restaurants and street food vendors throughout Oita prefecture.
Sample Oita’s Craft Beer Scene
Oita’s craft beer scene is quickly gaining popularity, with breweries showcasing innovative beer-making techniques and unique flavors. Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for a refreshing drink, you won’t be disappointed by Oita’s craft beer offerings. Some of the most popular breweries in the region include Oita Ji-Beer, Oirase Brewery, and Hita Tenryo Sake Brewery. Be sure to sample some of the locally-brewed beers to understand why Oita is quickly becoming a hub for craft beer.
Overall, Oita prefecture is a food lover’s dream come true. With its unique local delicacies, bustling food markets, and thriving craft beer scene, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So why not plan a trip to Oita and experience the region’s rich culinary culture for yourself?
Enjoy Oita’s Outdoor Activities
Oita, Japan, is a destination that is often overlooked by travelers, but it is a place that is filled with natural beauty and exciting outdoor activities. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day at a hot spring resort or an adventurous hike through a geopark, Oita has something for everyone.
Relax at Suginoi Palace Aqua Garden
One of the best ways to unwind in Oita is by visiting the Suginoi Palace Aqua Garden. This stunning resort is built around a natural hot spring and offers a range of indoor and outdoor pools that showcase the region’s mineral-rich waters. The resort also offers sauna, spa, and massage services, making it an ideal place to relax and unwind. The Aqua Garden is a perfect place to spend a day with family and friends, or even alone, enjoying the serene surroundings and natural beauty of the area.
Go Dolphin Watching in Oita Bay
Oita Bay is home to an abundance of marine life, and one of the most exciting activities to do in the area is dolphin watching. You can take a boat tour and witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. During the tour, you can also enjoy the picturesque scenery of Oita’s coastline. This is an experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you and your loved ones.
Hike the Bungo-ono Geopark Trails
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then the Bungo-ono Geopark is a must-visit destination in Oita. It is located in the foothills of the Kuju Mountains and offers a range of hiking trails that are great for beginners and experienced hikers. The park’s unique geological features and rich volcanic history make it a perfect destination for nature lovers. The trails offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and you can even spot some of the local wildlife along the way.
Aside from the outdoor activities, Oita is also known for its rich culture and history. The city is home to many traditional Japanese temples and shrines, such as the Usa Jingu Shrine, which is one of the oldest and most important shrines in Japan. The city is also known for its delicious local cuisine, such as toriten, a type of fried chicken that is unique to the region.
Overall, Oita is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. It is a place of natural beauty, rich culture, and unique experiences. Plan your next trip to Oita and discover one of Japan’s most exciting destinations!