Though a bit far from many of Japan’s big cities, a trip to Oita Prefecture (大分県, Ōita-ken) is well worth it for the hot springs alone. Oita boasts the most onsens in Japan (over 4,500), including Beppu and Yufuin, the country’s two largest hot springs areas.
When you’re not bathing and relaxing, experience a bit of Japanese culture first-hand by visiting Usa Jingu Shrine and the unique Usuki Stone Buddhas. Hikers will enjoy the nice views from Mount Yufu and Mount Kuju, while children are in for quite an adventure at the African Safari Park and Umi-Tamago (literally “sea egg”) aquarium.
Tourists can also participate in “green tourism” and “blue tourism,” short-term homestays at farms and fishing villages respectively. Don’t forget to have some tori-ten, or chicken tempura, while you’re in Oita too.
A special exhibition taking place at the Oita City Museum of Art looks at works from Kumamoto-born Tatsuya Tanaka, a photographer..
The Beppu Fireworks Festival is a must-see summer event. It is held annually on either the last weekend of July or first weekend..
The great fireworks display is a part of Oita Tanabata Festival in summer.