May 21, 2015

Oita

Oita(大分)is located at the eastern part of Kyushu(九州). It is famous for its hot spring towns-- Beppu(別府)and Yufuin(湯布院). Both are touristy, though I prefer the latter.


Beppu has a variety of hot springs, from the usual hot water ones, to mud and sand ones, and also some just for viewing.

The ones for viewing are known as "Beppu's 8 hells"(地獄). Most of them can be reached via buses from JR Beppu station. They can be quite touristy.




During my trip to Beppu, I also went to Takegawara, known as Beppu's most famous bath house with a long history, for my first sand bath experience. Costed 1000 yen. The dark grey sand felt warm and heavy, interesting experience~


Spent the night at Yufuin, another hot spring town nearby. I love rotenburo(露天風呂), found a ryokan(旅館)Sakuratei(さくら亭)that has rooms with private rotenburo at an affordable rate! (15000 yen only) The cottage rooms were clean and pretty spacious, and the staff were really nice. Kaiseki dinner's taste wasn't exceptionally delicious but the flower-themed display was very beautiful. Very value for money stay~




Yufuin is very popular with Korean tourists. I like how the train station displays art, and how there are so many nice shops and cafe lining both sides of the streets outside the station. And the roll cakes there were SO NICE that I actually dropped by Yufuin 1 year + later for 2 hours just for them :P My recommendation is P roll and Yufufu! Not a fan of sweets but Japanese roll cakes that melt in the mouth are so amazing~







Although touristy, Yufuin is my number 1 favorite hot spring town out of the near 20 hot spring towns I have been to so far. If you like Otaru/Karuizawa, chances are that you'd like Yufuin too :)

Other than hot spring towns, there are also castle towns (my favorite too!) -- Usuki(臼杵)and Kunisaki Peninsula(国東半島)to the east and north of the prefecture, with many Buddhist attractions. Hope to check them out someday!

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