Outdoors

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
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
Suncloud Outfitters
Suncloud Outfitters, which is just off the beaten track in central Yufuin, is widely sort out for its range of lesser-known but quality Japanese and overseas outdoor wear brands…

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At a glance

Yufuin's oudoor specialist with a great range of goods and friendly advice and information.

Japan, 大分県由布市湯布院町川上2846-2
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
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
Tashibu-no-Sho
Tashibu-no-sho, a charming district with some of the most picturesque countryside found anywhere in Japan, was once under the direct control of Usa Jingu, Oita's grand shrine.…

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At a glance

One of Japan's most picturesque rural scenes.

Japan, Oita, Bungotakada, Tashibuosaki, 田染荘展望台
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
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
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
Uchinari Tanada Rice Terraces
Uchinari Tanada are a spectacular and extensive series of more than 1,000 terraced paddies that recall an older age when rice was planted and harvested by hand.

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At a glance

Terraced rice paddies covering a steep hillside provide a classic view of Japan.

Japan, Oita, Beppu, Uchinari, 内成棚田
Nagasakibana Resort & Camping Ground
On the north side of Kunisaki betwixt Matama Sunset Café and Imi lies Nagasakibana, a long, finger-like peninsula jutting out into the Seto Inland Sea. Here the locals first took…

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At a glance

A small peninsula that attracts families and art lovers alike.

Japan, Oita, Bungotakada, Mime, 4080-1 長崎鼻ビーチリゾート
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
Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden
Mt. Takasakiyama for is a reserve for wild Japanese macaques that is famous throughout Japan. The dominant monkey’s personalities and the dynamics of the troops they lead make…

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At a glance

A haven for Japanese macaques, which are famed throughout Japan.

Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden, 3098-1 Kanzaki, Oita, Japan
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 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
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
Monjusen-ji
For anyone fortunate enough to be at Monjusen-ji at dawn, the deep, resounding sound of bell echoing across its tranquil setting, a remote valley deep in the heart of Kunisaki,…

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At a glance

An atmospheric temple set in the deepest reaches of the Kunisaki Peninsula.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Kunisakimachi Daionji, 2432 文殊仙寺
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
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
Itsutsuji Fudo
Itsutsuji Fudo marks the furthest and highest extent of Kyu-Sento-ji’s grounds. A small shrine clings to the sheer rock face, from which panoramic views across Kunisaki over the…

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At a glance

A sacred site that affords great views across the surrounding area. An artwork by Anthony Gormley sited here adds an extra frission to the natural beauty.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Kunimimachi Imi, 伊美港
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
Garden of the Otomo family residence
Little original remains of Oita City’s samurai heritage but in 2020 the long lost landscaped garden of the Otomo family residence was opened to the public after a painstaking…

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At a glance

A fascinating long-term project recreating the villa of Otomo Sorin.

Otomo Ruins(Otomo Residence), 10 Uenogaokanishi, Oita, Japan
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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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
Kunisaki Peninsula-Usa GIAHS
Kunisaki and Usa was recognised as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) by the United Nations in 2013. Look at a map of the Kunisaki Peninsula and neighbouring…

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At a glance

Beside being a spiritual and beautiful rural region, the Kunisaki Peninsula has also been recognised a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Japan, Oita, Kunisaki, Musashimachi Maruono, 国東半島
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
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
Himeshima Beach
Himeshima is a homely island and, amongst other attractive qualities, sports one of the nicest and least visited beaches in all Oita. The ferry from Imi on the Kunisaki Peninsula’s…

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At a glance

One of Oita's many attractive beaches on the quiet island of Himeshima.

Japan, Oita, 姫島村
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
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
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
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
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
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
Oka-jo Castle
Only the ramparts of Oka-jo remain, but their scale and impressiveness allude to the power that this hill-top citadel once held over Taketa and the surrounding region. There is a…

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At a glance

The grounds of this old castle are delightful to vist at any time of the year but especially for the sakura cherry blossom and autumn colours.

Japan, Oita, Taketa, 2889, 岡城跡
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
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