Fri. Jul 19th, 2024
Oita City & Beppu City in Kyushu : A Melting Pot of Natural Beauty and Innovation

Oita City: Where Nature Meets Innovation

Oita City, a jewel in Kyushu, is renowned for its harmonious blend of natural beauty and technological innovation. The city is home to the Oita Marine Palace Aquarium “Umitamago,” offering a unique glimpse into marine life with interactive experiences that delight visitors of all ages. Beppu Park, another gem, provides a serene escape with its lush greenery and traditional Japanese garden aesthetics, especially enchanting during cherry blossom season. Lastly, Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden allows visitors to observe Japanese macaques in their natural habitat, offering insights into their social behaviors and contributing to wildlife conservation efforts. Oita’s attractions underscore the city’s commitment to preserving nature while embracing progress, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of adventure, education, and relaxation.

1. Oita Marine Palace Aquarium “Umitamago” 大分マリーンパレス水族館「うみたまご」

Oita Marine Palace Aquarium "Umitamago"

The Oita Marine Palace Aquarium, affectionately known as “Umitamago,” offers a captivating window into the marine world near Beppu Bay. This state-of-the-art facility showcases a diverse range of marine life in environments that closely mimic their natural habitats. Visitors can engage in interactive experiences, such as touching rays and sharks in a specially designed tank. The aquarium’s design focuses on the intricate relationship between the ocean and human life, providing educational and entertaining exhibits that enchant visitors of all ages.

(Official site:

2. Beppu Park 別府公園

Beppu park cherry blossoms at night

Situated in the heart of Oita, Beppu Park is a haven of tranquility with its lush foliage and traditional Japanese garden design. It is a favored spot among both locals and tourists, particularly beautiful during the cherry blossom season when the park is adorned with pink and white blooms. The park features well-maintained walkways, a picturesque pond, and several teahouses where guests can partake in a traditional tea ceremony amidst the peaceful surroundings.

(Official site:

3. Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden


Japanese monkeys at Takasakiyama Zoological Garden

Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden offers a unique opportunity to observe monkeys in a free-roaming environment, at the foot of Mt. Takasaki. This sanctuary is home to over 1,500 Japanese macaques and provides a fascinating glimpse into their social structures and behaviors. Educational programs and feeding demonstrations offer further insight, making it an engaging visit for wildlife enthusiasts and families looking for an informative and enjoyable outing.

(Official site:

Beppu City: A Haven of Hot Springs and Natural Wonders

Beppu City, celebrated for its hot springs, showcases the marvels of geothermal activity in all its glory. The “Hells of Beppu” provide a mesmerizing journey through unique hot springs, each marked by its distinct color and rich folklore, revealing the sheer power and mystery of nature. Within the city’s hot spring resort area, Beppu Onsen, an unparalleled array of bathing experiences awaits—from invigorating sand and mud baths to soothing traditional hot water baths. These offer therapeutic relaxation amidst stunning natural scenery. Kannawa Onsen, rich in history, invites guests to delve into authentic onsen culture with steam baths and ryokans that harness natural steam for culinary and heating purposes. Beppu’s thermal springs are not just about leisure; they offer a profound connection to Japanese culture and a deeper appreciation for the planet’s geothermal wonders.

The highlight of Beppu Onsen is its extremely hot springs such as Takegawara Onsen. This kind of spa offers a singular therapeutic experience, yet it’s important to note that, in some springs, adjusting the water’s temperature by adding cold water is against the rules. Visitors are urged to proceed with caution and adhere to these traditional practices, ensuring a safe and authentic onsen experience amidst Japan’s celebrated thermal waters.

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1. The Hells of Beppu


Hells of Beppu Umi jigoku

“The Hells of Beppu” is a remarkable collection of hot springs, each with unique characteristics and vibrant colors, such as the cobalt blue of Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell) and the striking red of Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell). These natural wonders are not only visually stunning but also rich in historical and cultural significance. They offer a unique window into the geothermal activity that shapes the landscape of Japan, making them a compelling visit for those intrigued by natural phenomena.

(Official site:

2. Beppu Onsen


A view of Beppu onsen

Beppu Onsen is celebrated as one of Japan’s foremost hot spring resorts, featuring an extraordinary variety of baths. Visitors can indulge in sand baths, where they are buried in naturally heated sand, steam baths, mud baths, and traditional water baths. The therapeutic qualities of these hot springs have been revered for centuries, offering relaxation and rejuvenation amidst the breathtaking nature of Beppu, enhancing the overall experience With entry fees ranging from a modest 100 to 300 yen, they provide a convenient and affordable means to enjoy the hot springs while meandering through the town.

(Official site: Beppu City Official Tourist Site)

3. Kannawa Onsen


Kannawa Hot Spring

Kannawa Onsen, a historic hot spring district in Beppu, is renowned for its atmospheric, steam-filled streets and traditional charm. The area is peppered with public bathhouses and ryokans (Japanese inns) that utilize the steam from the hot springs for cooking and heating. Staying in a ryokan or enjoying a steam bath immerses visitors in the authentic onsen culture. The Kannawa Steam Bath, where guests can relax in rooms heated by natural steam from the earth, offers a distinct and therapeutic wellness experience.

(Official site:

4. Takegawara Onsen


Takegawara Onsen

Takegawara Onsen, a hallmark of Beppu’s rich thermal spa culture, stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Japanese hot springs. Established in the late 19th century, this historic bathhouse captivates visitors with its architectural grandeur, featuring a traditional design that evokes a sense of stepping back into a bygone era. Renowned for its sand baths, where guests are gently buried under naturally heated sand, Takegawara offers a unique therapeutic experience that draws on the geothermal energies seeping through the earth’s crust. The heat from the sand envelops the body, promoting relaxation and circulation, and providing relief from muscle aches and stress. Beyond its physical benefits, Takegawara Onsen serves as a cultural touchstone, inviting bathers to immerse themselves in the communal and contemplative aspects of the onsen experience. As one of Beppu’s oldest and most beloved hot springs, it remains a must-visit destination for those seeking to connect with the traditions and natural beauty of Japan.

(Official site:


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