Oita Prefecture

Explore the lofty peaks and deep cultural heritage of this region best known for having some of Japan’s finest hot springs.

Visit the Oita prefecture in northeast Kyushu for both cultural riches and natural beauty. Hike mountain ranges, delve into the region’s artistic and spiritual heritage and relax at hot springs resorts.

Travel west from the city of Oita to witness this geothermally active area’s lush, otherworldly landscape. Climb Takasaki Mountain for sparkling views over Beppu Bay amid the company of Japanese macaques. Many more hiking opportunities await farther inland in the volcanic landscape of Aso-Kuju National Park and at Mount Yufu.

Oita prefecture is known for its hot springs. Experience nature’s bounty in the mountain-ringed city of Beppu, Japan’s primary producer of hot spring water. Ride the Kinetsu Beppu Ropeway to stunning outlook points and hiking trails on Mount Tsurumi. Luxuriate in the city’s famous thermal springs to savor their health-boosting properties. They’re known locally as the Hells of Beppu.

Head north to picturesque Hiji. Stroll around the remains of the 17th-century waterside Hiji Castle and peruse modern Japanese painting at the Nikaido Museum of Art. Enter the world of fantasy at Harmony Land, a theme park dedicated to Hello Kitty and other beloved Sanrio characters.

Continue to the quaint town of Kitsuki to see well-preserved Edo architecture and samurai residences. Explore Japan’s smallest castle. Visit spiritual sites and enjoy the tranquil greenery of nearby Kunisaki Peninsula, a key historical center of Japanese Buddhism.

In the prefecture’s west, take scenic photos in period dress and sample shochu, Hita’s local alcohol. This historic town has some of Japan’s oldest merchant houses and storehouses. Tour a sake brewery, taste specialty eel dishes and watch Hita’s fishers ply their trade with the help of trained cormorants.

Navigate Oita prefecture by car or ride trains connecting Oita city with Beppu and nearby cities. Reach other Japanese destinations by ferry or plane from Oita. The nearest international airport is 2.5 hours away by train in Fukuoka.

Before leaving Oita, visit the Usuki Stone Buddhas, a remarkable set of colorful statues carved into a volcanic mountain.

Popular cities in Oita Prefecture

Beppu showing night scenes
Known for Hot springs, Culture and Natural parks
Marvel at the cherry blossom trees at the foot of a mountain and soak your feet in the public baths formed by natural hot springs.

Reasons to visit

  • Hells of Beppu
  • Kijima Kogen Park
  • Takegawara Onsen
Known for Hot springs, Volcano and Forests
Head inland to visit this picturesque small city, with hot spring resorts and a charming selection of museums, art galleries and cafés.

Reasons to visit

  • Kinrin Lake