Usuki, Tsukumi & Saiki

Oita 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 stone-paved streets, lined by a number of traditional buildings, that are pleasant to stroll around.

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Oita Tsukumi
Travel on the railways and highways of Oita is usually through verdant, forested mountains or occasionally cityscapes. However, the scenery changes in dramatic fashion at Tsukumi, where the hillsides have been dug, gouged, and scraped into gaping voids surrounded by towering cliffs of bare, grey rock.

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Oita Kuroshima v3
Kuroshima with a population of six people is an assuming 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.

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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.

Oita Usuki Buddha
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 Dainichi Nyorai, which is considered to be the finest example of its type in Japan.

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Oita 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. Usuki, with nearly 20 speciality restaurants, ranks as a major destination for lovers of fugu.

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Oita Tsukumi  Marine Center
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 crowds and there are also opportunities to swim with them.

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Oita Tour de Saiki
The Tour de Saiki is a 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 cycle fans test their mettle on either a 190km, 162km, 102km, 75km, or 40km circuit.

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At a glance

Oita's largest event for amateur cycle fans.

Oita Shipbuilding
A number of shipyards are found in the south of Oita around Usuki and Saiki. Although the yards are not normally open to the public, a ship launch is a cause to celebrate and access is often given on these occasions.

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Oita Saiki sushi
Any gourmet passionate about fish has to make the journey to Saiki, which boasts the widest range of fresh fish found anywhere in Japan.

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Oita Hotojima
Hotojima, an island off Tsukumi, is an outlier both geographically and culturally when compared to the rest of Oita, even Japan, making it an intriguing place to visit. Usually, however, there are not many visitors amongst the passengers aboard the ferry to the island from Tsukumi harbour.

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Oita Futamigaura
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.

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