The Ultimate Weekend in Ōita, Japan: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Imagine stepping off the train into a world where nature’s embrace is as warm as the steam rising from its renowned Hot Springs. Welcome to Ōita, a hidden gem on Japan’s Kyushu Island, where a weekend can whisk you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With just 48 hours in this enchanting prefecture, you’ll want to dive right into the heart of its culture, cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes. Let’s embark on a journey to make the most of a weekend in Ōita, a place that might just steal a piece of your heart.

Day 1: Embracing Ōita’s Natural Wonders

Morning has broken, and there’s no time to waste. Kick off your weekend with a visit to the famous Beppu Onsen. This hot spring resort town is dotted with ‘hells’ (jigoku), each a natural hot spring with its own unique characteristics. Umi Jigoku, with its cobalt blue waters, is a sight to behold. After a soothing dip, head over to the Mud Hell (Oniishibozu Jigoku) to witness bubbling mud pools that resemble the shaven heads of monks.

Afternoon adventures await at the African Safari Park. Yes, you heard that right – an African safari in Japan! Get up close and personal with lions, giraffes, and other exotic animals. It’s a thrilling experience that feels worlds away from the traditional Japanese setting.

As the sun begins to dip, make your way to the Kunisaki Peninsula. Here, the Futago-ji Temple, nestled among cedar trees, offers a serene end to an action-packed day. The temple’s twin dragons carved into the main hall are a must-see.

Day 1 Evening: A Taste of Ōita’s Culinary Delights

With nightfall comes hunger, and Ōita’s got you covered. The region is famous for its succulent kabosu Citrus and juicy Bungo beef. Find a local izakaya and order a platter of seared Bungo beef, its flavors enhanced by a squeeze of kabosu. Pair it with a cold glass of local sake for a meal you won’t soon forget.

After dinner, take a leisurely stroll through the Yufuin Floral Village. This quaint shopping area, with its cobblestone streets and European-style buildings, is enchanting at night. Pop into a boutique or two, or simply enjoy the fairy-tale atmosphere.

Before you call it a night, why not indulge in one more onsen experience? The Yufuin Onsen area, with its backdrop of Mount Yufu, offers a tranquil setting for a nighttime soak under the stars.

Day 2: Cultural Immersion and Scenic Splendors

Wake up refreshed and ready for another day of exploration. Start with a visit to the Usa Jingu Shrine, one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. Its grand architecture and peaceful grounds provide a spiritual start to the morning.

Next, take a scenic drive along the coast to the picturesque town of Saiki. Here, you can savor some of the freshest seafood in Japan. Don’t miss the chance to try the local uni (sea urchin) – it’s a delicacy that’s simply divine.

In the afternoon, set off for a hike in the Kuju Mountains. The trails offer varying levels of difficulty, but each promises panoramic views that are well worth the effort. The sight of the Kuju Flower Park, a riot of color in the right season, is particularly breathtaking.

Day 2 Evening: Relaxing and Reflecting

As your weekend in Ōita draws to a close, take a moment to unwind at the Takegawara Onsen. This historic bathhouse, with its sand baths and traditional atmosphere, is the perfect place to reflect on your adventures.

For your final meal, venture into Ōita city and find a cozy restaurant serving dango-jiru, a hearty local noodle soup. It’s comfort food at its best and a fitting end to your culinary journey.

End your evening with a gentle walk along the Oita River. The city lights reflecting on the water create a peaceful ambiance, setting the stage for a restful night’s sleep.


  • What’s the best way to get around Ōita?

    While Ōita has public transportation, renting a car gives you the freedom to explore more remote areas at your own pace.

  • Are there English signs and guides available?

    Major tourist spots often have English signs and pamphlets. However, having a translation app can be handy in more rural areas.

  • What should I pack for a weekend in Ōita?

    Bring comfortable shoes for walking, a swimsuit for the onsens, and layers for changing weather. Don’t forget your camera – the sights are unforgettable!


There you have it – a weekend in Ōita that’s as rejuvenating as it is exhilarating. From the steamy embrace of its hot Springs to the fresh zing of its local cuisine, Ōita offers a feast for all the senses. Whether you’re soaking in an onsen under the stars or marveling at the natural beauty of the Kuju Mountains, you’re sure to leave with memories that linger long after your return home.

So, when you’re planning your next getaway, consider Ōita. It’s a place where time slows down, and life’s simple pleasures are magnified. And who knows? You might just find yourself planning your next visit before the weekend is even over. Here’s to an unforgettable 48 hours in Ōita – a jewel in Japan’s crown that’s waiting to be discovered.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.