Nightclubbing & live music


Oita has a rich history of embracing new music and culture stretching back to the reign of Otomo Sorin, the region’s 16th-Century Jesuit Christian convert samurai lord. In the 1940s and 50s, Jazz music flourished in Beppu with the arrival of the American military that gave local band maestro Toshiko Akiyoshi her first stage. The establishment of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in 1999 with its body of multinational and multicultural student has further fuelled the nightclub and live music scene, especially in Beppu and Oita City. Today, much like the onsen hot spring waters bubbling away underground, beneath Oita’s outwardly tranquil surface lies a thriving and intimate music scene run by a group of passionate music lovers and DJs.

Blick Block in Oita City and Hit Parade in Beppu have long been at the centre of the region’s live music and dance. In more recent years they have been joined by clubs that compare well with some of the best found in Tokyo and Osaka. These newer venues include Beppu’s Creole Cafe, Hell Bar and Tannel Beppu; Oita City’s Azul; and Hita’s CMVC, which is the home of the Boutique club. Each hold a wide range of events, sometimes operating as pop-up galleries, markets and record stores. On nights without events, most operate as music bars perfect for a casual drink and the chance to meet the owners and others interested in the local scene. Make sure to check their social media for the latest event information before going.

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