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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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beppu hot springs 26
With more onsen hot springs than anywhere else in Japan, Beppu takes the crown as the nation’s top onsen hot spring destination.

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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.

Bungo Takada Showa
The Showa-no-machi quarter in Bungo-Takada, a small city settled into the north-west shoulder of the Kunisaki Peninsula, seems to have been stopped in a retro time warp centred on the 1950s.

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OIta Hita
Hita, in the west of Oita, is at the centre of northern Kyushu. Serving as the shogun’s most important stronghold on the island, roads fanned out in all directions allowing the rapid transmission of information and dispatch of military forces to suppress any dissent.

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At a glance

Historic town

Rural location

Oita Tomaya
To cross the threshold of Tomaya in Kitsuki is to go back in time. The current building, a delightfully quaint tea emporium, dates to 1875 but the business was first established in the mid-Edo Period (1603~1868).

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Oita Takezaiku v2
Takeizaiku is the ages-old craft of weaving bamboo, an innately flexible and robust material, into every day, functional objects for the home and at work. It has also long been used to create utensils for the tea ceremony.

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At a glance

Takezaiku, an ancient craft turned into an art form in Beppu.

Oita Taketa
Taketa developed at the foot of Oka-jo, to serve the castle and its samurai inhabitants and the charm of an older time is apparent in the townscape.

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Oita Ontayaki
Verdant mountains close in on both sides as the road from Hita reaches Onta, a beautiful and peaceful hamlet aside the Oura-gawa river. Tucked into the furthest reaches of a narrow valley, Onta’s charm and the pottery, which it gives its name to, are well-worth making the journey.

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Oita Oita City
The seat of the Oita’s Prefectural Government and its economic powerhouse. Oita is the birth place of Arata Isozaki, one of Japan’s top architects and the winner of the 2019 Pritzker Prize. The Oita Prefectural Library, an early work of his, has been refashioned as an art gallery.

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Oita Mitchinoeki
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 idiosyncratic convenience stores on steroids, selling a large variety of produce and dishes from the immediate area.

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Oita 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 flagstone, steps starting from aside a traditional shop selling miso paste.

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Oita Imi
Imi was an important port in the Edo Period (1603-1868), which is attested to by the impressive Hachiman shrine in extensive grounds adjacent to small dock.

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Oita Takezaiku
This small, exhibition centre has lovely displays on the development of takeziaku bamboo crafts, and its growth into an art form and the artist instrumental in this. It also an broad collection of their works on display.

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