Yufuin is located in Oita Prefecture, 10 Kilometres from Beppu, this charming Onsen town is spread across the foot of Mt.Yufu, and the view of this very extinct volcano just takes your breath away. It’s also an amazing place for anyone to visit as there are no tall buildings here, only boutiques, café, and mother nature.
To enjoy your trip further, do catch the Yufuin no Mori Express Train to Yufuin. This particular locomotive has a beautiful green exterior and there is a lounge area with a wooden interior where passengers can avail themselves of this space. Combined with the gigantic glass windows, passengers can’t help but stare at the scenic view as it’s very mesmerizing.
Upon arriving Yufuin station, you have the opportunity to soak their legs in the footbath instantly at platform 1 before they continue on their journey.
If you love a good soak, there’s a total of 12 different public Onsen that’s available for use. Musoen has a beautiful outdoor bath that is 250 sqm wide that’s made exclusively for woman.
When soaking in the hot springs, you get to take in a panoramic view of Mt Yufu. Indulge in their signature Crème Caramel after your bath with a cup of tea. On the other hand, Shitanyu Onsen has a mixed gendered hot spring where you get to soak on the shore of Lake Kinrinko.
As Yufuin is surrounded by traditional Japanese houses and snowcapped mountains, Mt.Yufu is visible in the backdrop, a prominent feature of Yufuin’s skyline on a beautiful sunny day.
For nature lovers who love a good scenic walk, please take the forest route and walk for 1.5km. At the end of the path, Lake Kirinko would come into view, and oh boy it is stunning.
The bottom of this lake consists of both Hot Spring and Crystal Water. The flow of the water runs through so frequently that it completely changes twice a day. You can also hike Mt.Yufu and it’ll only take 90 minutes 1 way.
Another attraction of this town is that it has an abundance of art galleries. One of them being – The Yufuin Kiyoshi Yamashita Museum which showcases eccentric artist work. Yamashita was known as the Japanese “Van Gogh” and is famous for his art that’s made from the cut or torn pieces of paper.
If you’re a big fan of Van Gogh, I do recommend checking his art pieces out. The other being the Sueda Art museum, established by artists Ryusuke and Shiori Sueda. The interior of the museum is also the same architect who designed Kyoto Station – Hiroshi Hara.
If you’re wanting to interact with animals, head over to the Yufuin Floral Village. This village looks like it’s been cut out from a children’s fairytale book as everything is just so cute.
Walking through the shop really does feel like you’ve stepped into a different world as it feels so magical. They have an Alice in Wonderland cat café, Owl Forest and petting zoo there as well. You can even buy some food to feed the squirrels.
A gourmet must-try dish in Yufuin would be the Bongu Beef Mabushi. Bungo Beef is a type of black-haired cow from Bungo, Oita Prefecture. When combining the beef with delicious Yufu rice, it’s a match made in heaven.
Another must-try would be the Yufuin Kinsho Croquettes. The croquettes have a crunchy exterior with beautiful minced Japanese beef on the inside.
Dorayaki lovers would be thrilled as they sell “purindora” here. Dorayaki filled with pudding instead. They not only look amazing, but it tastes heavenly as well. Feel free to grab a couple to satisfy that sweet tooth of yours!
Yunotsubo street is the street connecting Yufuin Station with Kinrin Lake. The pathway is filled with traditional Edo period styled tile buildings that consist of cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
The items that they sell are unique to Yufuin and you could spend hours and hours exploring the shop as it’s so interesting. The handicrafts here are hand made locally using high-quality materials. Do take your time and wander around the beautiful shops!
In a nutshell, Yufuin is a beautiful onsen town that’s popular with the locals. It not only offers a charming magical atmosphere to anyone who comes to visit but it the experiences made here that are very memorable thanks to its unique gourmet food, art, and its scenic surroundings. So if you happen to be in Kyushu and would like to find a unique destination for the weekend, do stop by Yufuin as it really does give you that little magical spark!
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