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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Kinrin Lake

The picturesque emblem of Yufuin, this geothermal lake has a remarkable beauty that is best appreciated when the air is chilly.

When mist creates a cloud over the surface of the warm water, Kinrin Lake seems like a portal to another world, suffused with a potent magic. Fed by a volcanic spring at its base and other springs whose cooler streams pour in, the lake stays warm year round with the same geothermal energy that feeds the onsen baths throughout Yufuin. Knowing how it works doesn’t make it any less magical in early morning, when the contrast between hot water and cold air creates the lake’s signature fog. Start the day here to be full of the relaxing energy that makes Yufuin such a popular destination.

Arrive at the lake after walking along Yufuin’s sometimes hectic main street. Once surrounded by the abundant greenery growing along the lake’s shores, it seems that all of the world’s hustle is far away, despite the businesses surrounding the water. 

Notice fish thriving in the lake, their mouths peeking out from below the water. Their presence is what gave the lake its name, “Kinrin,” which means “Golden Fish Scale.” 

At sunset, notice how the golden light brings out similar colors in the bodies of the glittering fish.

Walk slowly on the trails skirting the water. Stop occasionally for tea or a meal in the teahouses and restaurants hugging the lake’s edge. Complete the experience in the public bathhouse whose windows look onto the water. This is a perfect vantage point to see Tenso Shrine’s torii gate seeming to float on the water’s surface.

Kinrin Lake lies at the opposite end of Yufuin’s main street from the district’s JR train station. Walk to the lake in 20 minutes from the station, drive in about 7 minutes or bike in 10 minutes. Rickshaws are available for hire from the train station. Especially during autumn’s peak tourist season, parking can be extremely difficult to find. Trails surrounding the lake are always open, but not well lit at night. 

Attractions around the lake have varying hours, so check online. Visit as early as possible to see the famous mist and avoid crowds gathering here as day trippers from Fukuoka and surrounding areas arrive.


Best Lodging Options Near Kinrin Lake

See all 462 Properties near Kinrin Lake
Yufuin Bettei Itsuki $328
Yufuin Bettei Itsuki

Yufuin Bettei Itsuki

Yufuin-cho Kawakami 2652-2, Yufu, Oita
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Yufuin Onsen, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Sueda Art Gallery and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) away. Yufu Station is 16 minutes by foot.

    Pension Kinrinko Toyonokuni
    Pension Kinrinko Toyonokuni

    Pension Kinrinko Toyonokuni

    1561, Kawakami, Yufuincho, Yufu, Oita
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Yufuin Onsen, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Bussanji Temple and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) away. Yufu Station is 19 minutes by foot.

      La Maison De David
      La Maison De David

      La Maison De David

      1761-1 Kawakami Yufuincho, Yufu, Oita-ken
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Yufuin Onsen, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Bussanji Temple and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 1 mi (1.6 km) away. Yufu Station is 21 minutes by foot.

        Yufuin Sonata $53
        Yufuin Sonata

        Yufuin Sonata

        1483-4 Yufuinchokawakami, Yufu, Oita
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Yufuin Onsen, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Yufuin Retro Motor Museum and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Yufu Station is 15 minutes by foot.

          Hinata-an $191
          Hinata-an

          Hinata-an

          1774-1 Yufuincho Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Yufuin Onsen, this condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Bussanji Temple and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away. Yufu Station is 19 minutes by foot.

            Yufuin Santokan
            Yufuin Santokan

            Yufuin Santokan

            Yufuin-cho Kawakami 1553, Yufu, Oita
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Yufuin Onsen, this ryokan is steps from Showa Retro Park and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) away. Yufu Station is 16 minutes by foot.

              ETAVIA YUFUIN Kinrinko $58
              ETAVIA YUFUIN Kinrinko

              ETAVIA YUFUIN Kinrinko

              1639-1, Kawakami Yufuincho, Yufu, Oita
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Yufuin Onsen, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Showa Retro Park and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away. Yufu Station is 16 minutes by foot.

                Nurukawa-onsen
                Nurukawa-onsen

                Nurukawa-onsen

                Kawakami1490-1, Yufuin-chou, Yufu-City, Yufu, Oita (prefecture)
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Yufuin Onsen, this hotel is steps from Showa Retro Park and Kinrin Lake. Yufuin Motorcycle Museum is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) away. Yufu Station is 17 minutes by foot.