Hita, Nakatsu & Kusu

Ao-no-Domon
In the 18th Century, Zenkai, a monk at Rakan-ji temple, witnessed a person falling into the waters of the Yamakuni River in Yabakei from the dangerous, cliff-hugging path it was…

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At a glance

This hand-hewn tunnel is a fascinating local landmark near Rakan-ji temple in Yabakei.

Rakanji Temple, 1501 Honyabakeimachi Atoda, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Akira Kuryu
Kuryu began his career with Fumihiko Maki’s before establishing his own architectural practice.

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At a glance

Architect who studied under Fumiko Maki.

Core Yamakuni, 130 Yamakunimachi Morizane, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Oita’s onsen: A Hot Spring Heaven
Onsen are a feature found throughout the length and breadth of Japan. Oita, however, boasts the largest concentration of hot springs and they in turn are fed by the greatest volume…

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At a glance

The onsen hot spring capital of the world.

Japan, 大分県
Michi-no-eki Wayside Stations
Michi-no-eki wayside stations are a popular institution in Japan and, with 24 of them, Oita Prefecture has more than its fair share. Locals proudly run these shops, akin to…

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At a glance

Locals and visitors alike flock to these wayside stations for local good-value produce and meals.

Japan, 大分県
Maple Yabakei Cycling Road
The Maple Yabakei Cycling Road follows the beautiful Yabakei Gorge from Ao-no-Domon to Morizane Onsen along the old route of the single-track Yabakei Railway, along which steam…

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At a glance

Cycling in the gorgeously rural Yabakei gorge.

Japan, Oita, Nakatsu, Honyabakeimachi Hida, 耶馬溪
Gion Festivals
Nakatsu, Hita and Usuki hold Gion festivals on 21st and 22nd July each year. Resembling its famous counterpart of the same name and held in the same month in Kyoto, the colourful…

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At a glance

Sumptuous, hand-pulled floats parading around historic streets are one of the great, festive sights of summer each year in Oita.

Nakatsue & Cameroon
For a rural community barely known of in the rest of Oita, Nakatsue drew enormous national attention during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It hosted the Republic of Cameroon’s national…

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At a glance

A verdant village in deepest Oita with a strong connection to Cameroon.

Japan, Oita, Hita, 中津江村合瀬
Yukichi Fukuzawa
Fukuzawa (1835-1901) is a very familiar to all Japanese, not least because his portrait has adorned the 10,000 yen banknote since 1984. Born into a low-ranking samurai family in…

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At a glance

The humble home of one of Japan's leading modernisers of Japan after the Meiji Restoration.

Fukuzawa Memorial Museum, 586 留守居町 Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Ukai Comorant Fishing
200 years ago the then Daikan, the shogun’s representative in Hita, brought the ancient art of ukai cormorant fishing to Kyushu from Edo, Tokyo's original name.

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At a glance

An unusual way to spend an evening watching cormorants fishing for your supper.

Japan, Oita, 日田市
the Boutique at CVMC
CMVC is a contemporary live music and arts space situated in the heart of Hita, a regional town well-known for its historic atmosphere that is also home to a small but well…

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At a glance

Hita's nightclubbing soul.

Japan, 〒877-0015 大分県日田市中央1丁目4−8
Accommodation in Abundance & Variety
Oita has long been a popular destination for Japanese visitors and, as a consequence, the choice of accommodation found around the prefecture is plentiful and varied. These include…

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Japan, Oita, Yufu, Yufuincho Kawaminami, 108-1 ゆふいん山水館
Taio-Kinzan Gold Mine Museum
The Taio-Kinzan was once the largest gold mine in Asia; Oita’s very own El Dorado. Production stopped in 1972 but some 800 metres of the old tunnels have since been opened to the…

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At a glance

The gold may have been extracted long ago but this old mine is still a jewel of an attraction.

Japan, 大分県日田市中津江村合瀬3750
Road Trip: Oita’s sake, shochu & wine country
There are many producers of alcoholic beverages dotted throughout Oita Prefecture, a result of the qualities of spring and well waters found here. Its is particularly famed for its…

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Onta & Onta-yaki Pottery
Verdant mountains close in on both sides as the road from Hita reaches Onta, a beautiful and peaceful hamlet aside the Oura-gawa river. Tucked into the furthest reaches of a narrow…

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At a glance

A charming pottery village set deep in Oita's countryside.

Japan, Oita, Hita, 源栄町234 小鹿田焼の里
Umeshu-gura Oyama
Umeshu-gura Oyama, which combines a boutique umeshu plum winery and ume plum emporium, is heaven for any ume aficionado. Deep in Hita’s ume orchard countryside and aside the…

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At a glance

A boutique prize winning umeshu winery adjacent to the wonderful Ume-Hibiki hotel.

Japan, Oita, Hita, Oyamamachi Nishioyama, 4587 梅酒蔵おおやま
Yabakei
Yabakei, is an extensive, scenic area centred on a valley carved over 2.5 million years by the Yamakuni River. Riven by forested valleys and interspersed with numerous cliffs and…

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At a glance

An extensive rural area of gorges that are scenic at any time of year but especially beautiful in the autumn.

Japan, Oita, Nakatsu, Honyabakeimachi Hida, 耶馬溪
Ume-Hibiki
Ume Hibiki draws its name from the ume plum orchards it is surrounded by and the glorious views it affords over the Hibiki Gorge. Located deep in the mountains in the south of…

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At a glance

A beautifully designed and very comfortable onsen hot spring hotel overlooking a gorge.

Okuhita Onsen Umehibiki, 4587 Oyamamachi Nishioyama, Hita, Oita, Japan
Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki studied architecture under Kenzo Tange at University of Tokyo before going on to study at Harvard University.

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At a glance

A leading exponent of modern Japanese architecture since the mid-20th Century.

Japan, Oita, Nakatsu, Aihara, 3032-16 風の丘葬斎場
Tanso Hirose
Tanso Hirose (1782 - 1856) was a Confucian scholar, teacher and writer of Chinese poetry. Born in Hita as the eldest son to a wealthy merchant family, Tanso, as he is commonly…

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At a glance

Hirose Tanso and the Kangien school in Hita.

Kangien, 2 Chome-4-2-13 Tanso, Hita, Oita, Japan
Nightclubbing & live music
Oita's nightclubbing and live music scene thrives on intimacy and world class acts.

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Sapporo Hita Brewery
Introduced to Japan in the 19th Century, beer has long been the nation’s favourite tipple and today accounts for approximately two-thirds of alcohol consumption.

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At a glance

Visit Sapporo's Hita brewery to learn about the origins of the company and to savour some of Japan's classic beers.

Japan, Oita, Hita, Takase, 6979 サッポロビール 九州日田工場 ウエルカム館
Chikushitei
Chikushitei is a jewel of a restaurant making it one of Oita’s, if not Kyushu’s, finest. A traditionally formal entrance lends an almost hidden-in-plain-view feel to Chikushitei…

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At a glance

A jewel in Oita's world of cuisine.

Chikushitei, 1692 枝町 Nakatsu, Oita, Japan
Autopolis Motor Race Circuit
The journey to Autopolis along quiet country lanes, past carefully tended farmhouse gardens through the picturesque valley-riven, deeply forested countryside in the west of Oita is…

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At a glance

A top-class race circuit in the centre of Kyushu.

Japan, 大分県Hita, Kamitsuemachi Kaminoda, 1112−8, AUTOPOLIS
Hita
Hita, set in deep countryside in the west of Oita, is at the centre of northern Kyushu. Serving as the shogun’s most important stronghold on the island, roads fanned out in all…

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At a glance

An elegant and historic town surrounded by verdant countryside.

Hita, Oita, Japan
Golfing in Oita
Golf has a long history in Japan with the first golf course established in Kobe in 1903 by a British expatriate yearning to play his favourite sport. Ever since the game’s…

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At a glance

Enjoy Oita's natural scenic attractions from the fairways of 23 courses spread throughout the prefecture. An unrushed day's play for beginners and experienced players alike.

Japan, 大分県
Rakan-ji
Yabakei's Rakan-ji, a temple said to have been established by Hodo, an Indian monk, in 645A.D., is sited spectacularly within a complex of caves high up on the side of Mt. Rakan.

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At a glance

One of Japan's most interestingly sited temples with great views over the Yabakei region.

Japan, Oita, Nakatsu, Honyabakeimachi Atoda, 1501 羅漢寺
Road Trip: Exploring Oita's railway heritage
Maybe exploring Oita’s railway heritage by road does seem to be a little non-sensical but please bear with us and read on.

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