Activities & Sports

Kitsuki
Kitsuki is a compact, quiet and genteel town that still retains the atmosphere it once had as samurai stronghold. The kitadai samurai quarter is reached via a flight of old…

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At a glance

Once the strong hold of a samurai clan closely associated with the ruling shogun, this old seaside castle town retains a pleasant air of its past.

Japan, Oita, 杵築市
Sonic Park Ajimu Go-Karting
A stone’s throw from the Ajimu Winery is the pocket-sized Sonic Park, where karting enthusiasts speed up to 80km per hour around its tightly twisting 1,080 metre track.

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At a glance

A fun introduction to the motorised sport world.

Japan, Oita, Usa, Ajimumachi Kinomo, 985-1 ソニックパーク安心院
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
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
Kokopelli Western Riding
Kokopelli riding stables are enviably located in Taketa’s Kuju Kogen, a highland National Park with some of the grandest scenery in Japan. To one side are the towering mountains of…

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At a glance

Western-style horse riding in some of Japan's best scenery.

Japan, Oita, Taketa, Kujumachi Oaza Kuju, 4048−県道669号線 ココペリ ウエスタン ライディング
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
Cycling in Nagayu Onsen
Electric-assist cycles, available to rent at Nagayu’s information centre, are an ideal way to explore this charming onsen town

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At a glance

Ideal village and countryside to explore gently on a bicycle, enjoy the scenery and relax in the many onsen hot springs found here.

Japan, Oita, Taketa, Naoirimachi Oaza Nagayu, 長湯温泉
Rakutenchi
Rakutenchi is a children’s paradise, a theme land of innocent playfulness and excitement. First opened in 1929, Rakutenchi has long held a special appeal and nostalgia for the…

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At a glance

Beppu's delightful theme park for younger children and the young at heart.

Beppu Rakutenchi, Beppu, Oita, Japan
Sadaji Futabayama
Throughout the ages there are some athletes so accomplished they transcend their sport and establish records so substantial that they are considered unbreakable. Futabayama…

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At a glance

The boyhood home of Japan's greatest ever sumo wrestler.

Japan, Oita, Usa, Shimosho, 双葉山生家
Doshinkaiki Farm
For a whimsically playful time head to the high foothills of the Kuju mountains and the expansive rolling grasslands of Doshinkaiki Farm. While organic vegetables, blueberries,…

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At a glance

Open-air adventure for the young and young at heart in the highlands of Taketa.

Japan, Oita, 竹田市
African Safari
At the largest wildlife park in west Japan an exotic and exciting experience is provided for children through to adults alike in the heart of Oita. Visitors come into close –…

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At a glance

A great wildlife adventure for the family.

Japan, Oita, Usa, Ajimumachi Minamihata, 2−1755-1 アフリカンサファリ
Kunisaki & Yabakei Bus Tours
The Oita Kotsu bus company runs two regular, scheduled tours to Kunisaki and Yabakei. Both are convenient ways to explore both areas with start and finish points at Oita and Beppu…

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At a glance

A convenient way to explore two of Oita's most attractive regions.

Japan, Oita, 宇佐市
Spa Naoiri Motorbike and Cycle Circuit
The sister circuit to Autopolis, Spa Naoiri specialises in two wheels, both motorised and human-powered.

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At a glance

A racing circuit for budding and veteran sportsbikers and cyclists alike.

SPA Naoiri, 510-15 Naoirimachi Oaza Kamitagita, Taketa, Oita, Japan
Road trip: Yamanami Highway
Although one of the most picturesque driving experiences in Japan, the Yamanami Highway remains a less-driven way. Running through the heart of Oita from Beppu via Yufuin to the…

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Resonate Club Kuju
Resonate Club Kuju, an onsen hot spring resort hotel, has a coveted location cocooned in the natural wonders of the Aso-Kuju National Park. Here, the mountains of the Kuju Renzan…

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At a glance

A luxury hotel in a spectacular National Park location.

Resonate Club Kuju, 1773 Kujumachi Oaza Ariuji, Taketa, Oita, Japan
Beppu Keirin Track Cycling
Like golf in Japan, Keirin seems at once familiar but also contains a charming, inimitably Japanese essence. A track cycling sport that originated in 1948 in Fukuoka’s Kita-Kyushu…

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At a glance

The thrill of Keirin cycling and, if you wish, the chance for a flutter in the heart of Beppu.

Japan, Oita, Beppu, Kamegawa Higashimachi, 1−36 別府競輪場
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
Road Trip: The sacred & secular art of Kunisaki
The Kunisaki Peninsula is imbued with a placid spirituality embodied by 1,300 year-old Rokugo-Manzan, an esoteric Buddhist-Shinto religion now uncommon elsewhere in Japan. Quiet…

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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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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
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
Yamanami Highway
The journey along the Yamanami Highway from Beppu via Yufuin to Aso, in neighbouring Kumamoto Prefecture is one of Japan’s greatest scenic routes to travel in a car, or on a…

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At a glance

A three-hour drive through beautiful and multi-varied, rural countryside.

Japan, Oita, Kokonoe, Tano, やまなみハイウェイ
Cycling in Tsukahara
Tsukahara, located a short drive from and high above Yufuin, is an elegantly charming village, which is listed as one of Japan’s most beautiful, is tucked into the north lee of…

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At a glance

Cycling in the lanes of leaf and rural Tsukahara near Yufuin.

Japan, Oita, Yufu, Yufuincho Tsukahara, 931-108 塚原の里
Mt. Yufu-dake
The twin-peaked Mt. Yufu-dake soars to 1,583 metres dominating its surroundings. It is also a popular and relatively easy mountain to climb, taking about 2~2.5 hours from the main…

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At a glance

Perhaps one of the nicest mountains to climb in the whole of Japan and suitable for almost all ages and abilities.

Japan, Oita, Yufu, Yufuincho Kawakami, 由布岳
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
Tour de Kunisaki
Kunisaki’s quiet country roads through verdant countryside and aside the Seto Inland Sea are ideal for cycling and each year, over 2,500 cycle enthusiasts enter Oita’s largest…

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At a glance

As much a tour of the beautiful Kunisaki Peninsula as a test of sporting prowess.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Musashimachi Maruono, 国東半島
Magma Glass Studio
Magma Glass Studio has been established in a delightful, period wooden building in a peaceful setting in panoramic countryside on the outskirts of Bungo Taketa. The husband and…

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At a glance

The rural surroundings inspire the work of the Magama's talented glassblowers.

Japan, Oita, Taketa, Kujumachi Oaza Kuju, 吹きガラス工房MagmaGlassStudio(マグマ グラス スタジオ)
Himeshima
The ferry across the placid Seto Inland Sea only takes 20 minutes to sail from Imi to Himeshima, an island lying off the Kunisaki Peninsula’s north coast. Yet, however short the…

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At a glance

A charming island off the Kunisaki Peninsula's north coast, where the locals are particularly friendly and the seafood plentiful.

Japan, Oita, 姫島村
Kunisaki Long Trail
The Kunisaki Hantou Minemichi Long Trail, to give its full name, is a meandering, 134km-long hiking route that weaves through the Kunisaki Peninsula following in the footsteps of…

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At a glance

A hiking trail that reaches to the innermost heart, geographic and spiritual, of the Kunisaki Peninsula.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Musashimachi Maruono, 国東半島
Rugby World Cup Memorial: The Lionman
The 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan is widely regarded as a great success both as a sporting event and introduction to Japan. Even the cancellation of some matches caused by…

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At a glance

Commemorative sculpture for the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan and Oita.

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Oita, 2-3 Niagemachi, 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
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
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
Kuju-Renzan Massif
Kuju Renzan is a 13km-long massif consisting of more than ten volcanic peaks including Mt. Naka-dake, which at 1,791m is the highest mountain in Kyushu. Each peak is dormant except…

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At a glance

Volcanoes atop Kyushu. A variety of trails open around the year for the beginner and seasoned hiker.

Japan, Oita, Taketa, Kujumachi Oaza Ariuji, 九重山
Baien-no-Sato & Miura Baien Museum
Baien-no-Sato is a small, onsen hot spring resort atop a hill in the centre of the Kunisaki Peninsula. It also has the additional and very unusual attraction for a hotel of a 65cm…

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At a glance

Accommodation, onsen hot spring baths and a giant telescope combine in a tribute to a local son who became one of Japan's Edo Period polymaths.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Akimachi Tomikiyo, 2244 梅園の里
Cycling on Himeshima
Himeshima, with its very limited number of vehicles, relaxed and quiet lifestyle, limited hills to climb and very few vehicles, provides a delightful environment for a leisurely…

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At a glance

Rental cycles are available to explore this charming island.

Japan, Oita, 姫島村
Beppu: Onsen hot springs, art & much more
With more onsen hot springs than anywhere else in Japan, Beppu takes the crown as the nation’s top onsen hot spring destination. So much hot water wells up from beneath the ground…

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At a glance

Legendary onsen hot spring town aside the Seto Inland Sea. Great views, thriving arts scene, great dining and nightlife.

Beppu, Oita, Japan
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
Midoriso Nada Beach House
Midoriso Nada Beach House has a fantastic location in a pine forest only a few steps from the extensive sands of Nata Beach aside the Seto Inland Sea. Its closest neighbour is the…

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At a glance

Laidback comfortable accommodation aside a 2km-long sand beach and the pacific Seto Inland Sea.

Nada Midoriso, 231-10 Nada, Kitsuki, Oita, Japan
Beppu Ropeway
For panoramic views over Beppu and Beppu Bay to the east and Mt. Yufu-dake to the west ride the Beppu Ropeway, which whisks passengers up almost 800 metres to the summit of Mt.…

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At a glance

Great views over Beppu Bay while taking the easy way up to the top of Mt. Tsurumi-dake.

Beppu Ropeway, Minamitateishi, Beppu, Oita, Japan
Harmony Land Theme Park
Harmony Land’s ferris wheel is hard to miss as it towers over the surrounding countryside and only heightens the excitement that fans of Sanrio’s characters entertain when visiting…

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At a glance

Fun for the family with younger children and the young at heart.

Harmony Land, 5933 Fujiwara, Hiji, Oita, Japan
Cycling in Innai
Electric-assist cycles are available to rent at Innai’s Michi-no-eki wayside station to explore the surrounding picturesque countryside, which boasts the greatest concentration of…

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At a glance

A charming region to cycle arouund centred on the local Michi-no-eki.

Japan, Oita, Usa, Innaimachisoi, 1381-2 道の駅 いんない
Kunisaki Peninsula - a cycling haven
In years past, it was common to see the professional Keirin athletes from the velodrome in Beppu training in pelotons on the roads of Kunisaki until fixed-wheeled bikes, which they…

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At a glance

A haven for cyclists, from the novice to experienced, to explore.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Musashimachi Maruono, 国東半島
Kijima Kogen Amusement Park
Ranging from the thrilling to the benign, the entertainment at Kijima caters for all the family. The park’s 25-hectare site is dominated by Jupiter, a 1,600 metre long wooden…

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At a glance

The Jupiter wooden roller coaster is just one of many thrilling attractions at Kijima Kogen, which also provides amusements suitable for all ages.

Japan, Oita, Beppu, Higashiyama, 城島高原パーク