The Ōita Rundown
The Ōita Prefecture is a popular destination in Japan. Located on the island of Kyushu, Ōita is surrounded by the Shikoku Island and the Iyo Channel to the East, and island of Honshu and the Suo Channel to the North. Ōita is also bordered by the Miyazaki, Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures. All these places have treasures of their own, making Ōita a very popular hub for tourists.
Ōita also has many attractions. Among them is Fukiji Temple in Bungo-Takada. This temple is the last remaining wooden structure in Kyushu dating from centuries ago. The prestigious Usa Jingu shrine in Usa has quite a dramatic history. The Usuki Stone Buddhas, which are 60 cliff carvings, are found in Usuki City and are a sight to see. Note that some of the onsens, or hot mineral springs, are for sightseeing only, rather than dipping, and are known as jigoku, or hell. The Blood Pond Hell has reddish waters. There are public onsens, however, making for a relaxing and restorative activity.
There are also many cultural traditions to enjoy in Oita, including the Koyo Shrine Puppet Show held at the Hachiman Kohyo Shrine in Nakatsu City and the Gion Festival in July.
When To Go
The Ōita Prefecture is within the Seto Inland Climate Zone, which means the region is relatively mild temperature-wise compared to the rest of Japan. Despite its location, Kyushu Island is actually infrequently visited by heavy weather. The weather in Ōita is moderate and has few rainfalls throughout the year, although it can be quite humid.
- Max temperature at 33.3°C (92°F) in August
- Coldest during January, at 2.9°C (37°F)
- Average humidity at 60-70 per cent
Many of the tourists that travel to Ōita choose to fly into Ōita Airport from another airport in Japan, typically the international airports in Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya. There is a direct international flight to Ōita Airport from Seoul. From the airport, you can take taxis and busses to your destination in Oita.
By rail, there are three JR Kyushu train lines that service Oita Station. JR Kyushu’s Sonic is your best bet if you want to get there as quickly as possible. If you are driving, you can reach Oita via the East Kyushu Expressway, which is a tolled highway running from Fukuoka to Usuki City.
- By air: Oita Airport
- By rail: JR Kyushu train lines
- By car: East Kyushu Expressway