Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oita! Oita! Oita! This region of hot springs and fine food is going to be full of Aussie travellers next year.
You have probably not heard of Oita. We hadn’t! But this prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, is getting its time in the travellers’ spotlight as it is the Australian base for the Rugby World Cup in Japan 2019.
Rugby teams from all over the world will be heading to Japan to take part in this festival of the boot, and there will be plenty of down time to explore what this undiscovered area of Japan has to offer.
Here are some things in Oita that are worth a look when the game is finished:
Beppu Hot Springs
This is one of the most beloved places for a hot springs dip in the whole of the country and, who knows, you might run into a rugby player or two as they soak their sore muscles after a gruelling game!
The thermal waters here have given rise to a huge variety of resorts where you can “take the waters” of the region, dive into a natural steam bath or even get buried in warm sand!
Pick an onsen – a Japanese bath house – and relax and then spend the night in one of the many ryokans, a traditional Japanese inn.
The “Hells of Beppu”
These are onsens for lost souls! The Hells of Beppu are hot springs that boil and bubble away and are far too hot for humans to swim in.
There are eight hells (known as “jigoku” in Japanese) spread around the Kannawa and Shibaseki districts of Beppu and visitors walk between them to admire the plumes of steam and milky, brewing waters that really do look like a vision of hell on earth.
About 10 kilometres out of Beppu is yet another spa town by the name of Yufuin. This is a pretty town that rewards an aimless wander around the historic shopfronts with the soaring peaks of Mt Yufu off in the distance.
The town is full of onsens and ryokans but you should also take a stroll alongside the tranquil waters of Lake Kinrinko where you can spend time at the local shrine or grab something to eat at the café.
Another wonderfully whacky offering is the Japan Railways’ “Yufuin no mori”, or resort train, that is designed to make you feel like you are in a resort on rails!
Discover Oita with ANA
ANA has 8 flights per day to Oita with great connections in both directions via Tokyo when flying from Australia. Flying time from Tokyo to Oita is approximately 1hr 40mins.
Written by Paul Chai, KarryOn contributor
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