Usuki, Tsukumi & Saiki

The Saiki Coastal Road
One of Oita’s most spectacular roads skirts the prefecture’s intricate coastline from central Saiki to Oita’s southern borders. It then continues on into neighbouring Miyazaki…

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At a glance

One of the great coastal road of Japan.

Japan, Oita, 佐伯市
Hazako Nature Center
Hazako is a small settlement about halfway along the Tsurumisaki peninsula where, until relatively recently, access was only possible by boat. Although vehicles have replaced the…

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At a glance

A quiet beach near the tip of the Tsurumisaki peninsula where sea turtles arrive each year to layer their eggs.

Hazako Nature Center, 1751 Yonouzu Oaza Urashiroura, Saiki, 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
Fujikawachi Keikoku
The quest for beauty often requires an effort, and the journey to one of Oita’s sublimely scenic sites is no different. Found literally at the end of a long and winding road, at…

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At a glance

A remote beautiful gorge that fully rewards those who make the journey.

Japan, Oita, Saiki, Ume Oaza Kiurauchi, 藤河内渓谷
Tour de Saiki
The Tour de Saiki is an annual bicycle event held each October from blue seas via pristine river courses to verdant mountains and back again. Began in 1990, each year 2,000 amateur…

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At a glance

Oita's largest event for amateur cycle fans.

Japan, Oita, 佐伯市
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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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
Tanga Hodai
From afar the glass dome atop a forested promontory on the Tsurumisaki Peninsula suggests that the site is a botanical garden. However, the information boards and a bent rusted…

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At a glance

A one-time military base that is now used as an interesting and placid attraction.

Japan, Oita, 佐伯市
Kiyonori Kikutake
Kikutake (1928-2001), who was with Kisho Kurokawa a student of Kenzo Tange, worked almost entirely in Japan.

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At a glance

A famed architect whose one work is the temporarily closed Marine Culture Center in Kamae, Saiki.

1834-2 Kamae Oaza Takenouragouchi, 佐伯市 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
William Adams & Kuroshima
Kuroshima is an unassuming island off the coast of Usuki. Most visitors make the short boat journey in summer months to enjoy Kuroshima’s sandy beaches and to fish. However, here…

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At a glance

The island where William Adams, the British sailor who became confident of Japan's greatest shogun, was shipwrecked in 1600.

Japan, Oita, Usuki, Sashiu, 黒島
Saiki
Any gourmet passionate about fish has to make the journey to Saiki, which boasts the widest range of fresh fish found anywhere in Japan. Lying off the intricate coast of Saiki is…

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At a glance

In a nation known for its seafood, Saiki is a pescatorial paradise.

Japan, Oita, 佐伯市
Tsukumi
Travel on the railways and roads of Oita Prefecture is usually through verdant forested mountains or occasionally cityscapes. However, the scenery changes in dramatic fashion at…

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At a glance

The extensive mining of limestone here has added another and very different dimension to Oita's landscape.

Tsukumi, Oita, Japan
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
Road Trip: Exploring Oita's coastline
Oita’s 775 kilometre (482 mile) long coastline is intricately varied and strung with myriad highlights including tremendous sea views, one remote beach after another, and unique…

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Routes and areas to cycle in Oita
For bicycle touring aficionados, Japan, with its varied countryside is a great place to visit. Oita’s many quiet country lanes, lack of vehicle traffic on all but the major…

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At a glance

Oita's mostly quiet country roads make it a great place to explore on a cycle.

Japan, 大分県
Kojiya Honten
Myoho Asari is on a lifetime’s mission to spread knowledge about koji, a key ingredient of Japanese cuisine. Myoho represents the ninth generation of Kojiya Honten, a family-owned…

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At a glance

A long-established purveyor of an essential ingredient of Japanese cuisine.

Japan, 大分県佐伯市Sendomachi, 3 Chome−14−29 糀屋本店
Usuki Sekibutsu Stone Buddhas
Although Kunisaki, in the north of Oita Prefecture, has by far the greatest number of stone buddhas found anywhere in Japan, Usuki also has its fair share including an image of…

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Probably Japan's most famous collection of stone Buddhas.

Japan, Oita, Usuki, Fukata, 804-1 臼杵石仏(磨崖仏)
Tsurumisaki
The Tsurumisaki peninsula is, at its furthest extent, the most easterly point in Kyushu. A quiet 30 kilometre road gently winds its way aside the sea, past bays and through one…

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At a glance

An intriguing rural peninsula that is ideal for a day trip by car or cycle,

Japan, Oita, Saiki, Tsurumi Oaza Kajiyoseura, 鶴見崎第一砲台跡
Otomo Sorin
Otomo (1530-1587), who held sway as the daimyo samurai lord across much of modern-day Oita Prefecture, is held in good regard by the locals to this day. He is particularly famed…

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At a glance

The 16th Century Christian samurai who ruled northern Kyushu from his base in Funai, modern-day Oita City.

Japan, Oita, 大分市
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.

Matsuura
A short drive out of central Saiki on the Tsurumisaki peninsula is Matsuura, a small hotel and restaurant that makes the most of its position on a coastal inlet overlooking a…

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At a glance

Restaurant and hotel for seafood gourmets.

Japan, Oita, Saiki, Tsurumi Oaza Jimatsuura, 550-30 海鮮の宿まつ浦
Hatotsu beach
At the very southern limit of Oita’s coastline, just on the boarder with Miyazaki, is Hatotsu Kaigan, a sandy beach settled into a lovely, secluded bay fringed with pine trees.…

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At a glance

An idyllic beach at Oita's furthest southern reach.

Japan, Oita, 佐伯市
Usuki
Usuki’s grand temples hints at the power it once held and wealth it accumulated in the Edo Period, when the samurai ruled the land. Today, it is a compact and quiet town of…

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At a glance

An historic castle town with connections to the Portuguese, Dutch and British that stretch back over 400 hundred years.

Usuki, Oita, Japan
Tsukumi Iruka-jima Marine-life Centre
A satellite marine-life of Oita’s highly regarded Umitamago Aquarium, Tsukumi Iruka-jima specialises in dolphins, which live in the semi-wild here. Their performances wow the…

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At a glance

Dolphins in a semi-wild environment are the principal attraction at Oita's second largest aquarium.

Japan, Oita, Tsukumi, Youra, 2218-10, ウミタマタイケンパークツクミイルカジマ
Usuki Fugu
Fugu blowfish is a peculiarly Japanese delicacy known as much for its delicious taste as its potential deadly side effects if prepared by the unqualified chef.

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At a glance

The last word in fugu cuisine.

Japan, Oita, Usuki, 臼杵 河豚 山田屋
Maruni-Maru
Saiki is rightly famed for the quality and variety of the seafood caught off its intricate ria coast of peninsulas and bays, and one of the centres of the fishing industry is in…

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At a glance

Accommodation with local purveyors of seafood for a visula feast and gourmet delight.

Japan, Oita, Saiki, Kamae Oaza Nishinoura, 2643 丸二水産
Shipbuilding & Ship Launches
A number of shipyards are found in the south of Oita around Usuki and Saiki. Although they are not normally open to the public, a ship launch is a cause to celebrate and access is…

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At a glance

Pomp & circumstance when ships are launched into the sea.

Japan, Oita, 臼杵市
Camping
Travelling on a cycle, motor bike or car and then pitching a tent for the night or exploring in a recreational vehicles have never been major leisure activities in Japan on the…

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Ise-ebi Spiny Lobster Festival
Oita Prefecture is replete with a wide range of delicious foods from its mountains, rivers, fields and seas, and the ise-ebi spiny lobster is, undoubtedly, a crowning glory in this…

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At a glance

A autumn gourmet delicacy.

Saiki, Oita, Japan
Futamigaura New Year Sunrise
Seeing the first sunrise of each year is a popular pastime throughout Japan but few places match the awe-inspiring spectacle at Saiki’s Futamingaura. Here the sun rises over the…

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At a glance

See in the new year as the sunrises over an iconic coastal Shinto scene.

Japan, 大分県佐伯市上浦大字浅海井浦2966
Hotojima
Hotojima, an island off Tsukumi, is an outlier both geographically and culturally when compared to the rest of Oita, and even Japan, making it an intriguing place to visit.…

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At a glance

A distinctly different atmospheric island.

Japan, Oita, Tsukumi, Hotojima, 保戸島