@Jackie San

Yufuin (由布院/湯布院) is a renowned onsen town in Oita prefecture, not too far from two other popular onsen paradise that is Kurokawa onsen and Beppu. However, each of them has its charm and couldn’t be any more different. Surrounded by mountains, the little onsen town Yufuin is renowned for its hot spring. (of course!) However, there are many boutiques, art museums, antique toy, restaurants, and shops can easily spend your time discovering.

Strolling aimlessly, surprised by the handmade artisan, try some good food and enjoying the idyllic atmosphere in town. That’s exactly what we did during our Yufuin itinerary. It was always short of time when you appreciate a place.

In this impressive Yufuin travel guide blog, you can find some useful tips on transportation, the best things to do, what to eat, best stay in Yufuin and more. Ready to follow us on to tour around Yufuin? Let’s go.

Yufuin Getting There

Before we go further on the Yufuin travel guide, let us have a quick view on how to get to Yufuin. Being a popular onsen town, Yufuin is well connected with buses and trains from Fukuoka, Beppu, Kumamoto. Both ride rewarded with breathtaking scenery and very therapeutic with forest and mountain views along the journey.

The train ride is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR Kyushu Rail Pass. While  Kyushu SunQ Pass is covered on the bus ride. Both bus and train stations in Yufuin are just a step away from each other.

From Fukuoka to Yufuin

By TrainThere are about six daily limited express trains running between Fukuoka (Hakata station) and Yufuin station (150 minutes, ¥4500). The Yufuin no mori (ゆふいんの森) is the popular scenic train with reservation is the must for the ride.
By BusDirect highway bus departed from Hakata station, Tenjin Bus Center and Fukuoka Airport to Yufuin with once per bus per hour. One way trip takes 120 minutes at costs ¥3000.

From Beppu/Oita to Yufuin

By TrainFrom Beppu, it required a transfer at Oita station to Yufuin. The one-way train journey takes about 90 minutes at ¥1,200 with local train.

By BusThe Yufuin is located not too far from Beppu and it takes about 50 minutes by car. For visitors traveling with public transport, the bus running with one to two buses per hour between Beppu and Yufuin Stations. The one-way trip takes 50 minutes and costs about ¥1,000.

From Kumamoto to Yufuin

By Train: No direct train connection between Yufuin and Kumamoto as the railway track was damaged due to the earthquake in 2016. The fastest route is transferred at Kurume if you wish to travel between Kumamoto and Yufuin.

By Bus: Kyushu Odan Bus connects Kumamoto and Yufuin with about 5 hours at ¥4,500. This bus will run along the Kumamoto, Aso, Kurokawa onsen to Yufuin and Beppu.



@Jackie San

As you exit Yufuin station, you can walk straight ahead to the Yufuin main street (湯の坪街道) which lined with shops, restaurants and souvenir shops. If you stroll through the path, it’ll reward you with quaint Kinrin Lake (金鱗湖). There are no tall buildings except traditional houses with snow-capped mountains surrounded.

Further walked in, the shops will change into a variety of artisan boutiques, cute shops and food stalls along the path. Plenty of shops selling local specialties, souvenirs, and snacks.


(900m from Yufuin Ski or about 13 minutes walk)

@Jackie San

Is is said that KOZENIN TEMPLE, a Zen Temple of the Soto sect, was opened by Muchaku, a Zen priest, in 1370. This is a temple where Priest Zenkai, who constructed the Blue Tunnel in Yabakei Valley, Nakatsu, by himself, entered the Buddhist priesthood and received thorough training. There are Sixteen Arhats, statues of Priest Zenkai and his wife Oyumi, thirteen Buddha images, a horse-headed Kannon Bosatsu image, and a variety of other stone Buddha images in the quiet precincts. Furthermore, the hydrangeas in the precincts in the rainy season are beautiful.


(1.8 km from Kozenin Temple or about 25 minutes walk)

@Jackie San

An agricultural deity is enshrined in Ogosya Shrine, which is one of the six subordinate shrines of Unaguhime-jinjya Shrine. It is said that Ogosya Shrine and Unaguhime-jinjya Shrine were opened about the same time. There are comparatively large and small miniature shrines, where Fukutoku Inari (a deity) is enshrined. Three is a sacred cedar that has been designated as an important cultural property of Japan since 1934 in the precincts. This tree is said to be more than 1,000 years old with a periphery of 13.5 meters and a height of 35 meters. There is a large cavity on the back (south side) of the trunk, which is wide enough to accommodate three tatami mats (approximately 5.5 square meters). It was reported that flames leaped into this cavity from a garbage fire in the New Year`s Eve of 1897 and the cavity continued burning for two years, two months, and two days, when smoke erupted from a hole of the trunk that was located 30 m above the ground. People thought that the big cedar would die, but it has been alive vigorously with lush foliage.


(1.4 km from Ogosya Shrine or about 19 minutes walk)

@Jackie San

This shrine is familiar for the local people of YUFUIN by the name of Rokusho-gu or Rokusho-sama. Rokusho, which literally means six places in Japanese, refers to six god images enshrined. Yufuin has a swamp with ruins of the Yayoi and succeeding periods, and it is said that eels, were believed to be the spirits of the swamp and enshrined as ancient deities. Yufuin has been used as a logging area several times in the past. According to an ancient document that still exists, timbers were collected from Rokusho-gu to construct Yusuhara Hachiman Shrine in Bungo Ichinomiya late in the age of Civil Wars in Japan, when Otomo Yoshimune ruled the area. The precincts are more than 33,000 square meters wide, and they used to be surrounded by old cedar trees. Typhoon number 19 of 1991, however, struct down most of the big cedar trees there. These trees included a sacred tree estimated to be 600 years old, but the stump of the tree has been enshrined since then.


(850 m from Unaguhime-JInya Shrine or about 13 minutes walk)

@Jackie San

This temple surrounded by the nature of Lake Kinkiro, Mt Yufu, and YUFUIN, is one of the important temples for the local people of YUFUIN. The temple opened approximately 1,000 years ago, when the founder constructed a hermitage on the mountain`s breast and enshrined the sculpture of a Kannon image there by a divine revelation at Kirishima Shrine in Hyuga, the temple has been popular since ancient times as a place of worship in Mt Yufu. The temple was damaged by a great earthquake that occurred in the Keicho period, and then the temple, was moved to the current location. The main gate with a thatched roof in particular, as well as the Main Hall with a copperplate-thatched roof and the cypress-made Kannondo Hall is impressive. In the quiet precincts, visitors can enjoy seeing seasonal flowers and trees, such as rhododendron flowers, ginkgo trees, Goshiki-yae-chiritsubaki camellias with flower petals falling one after another. (Ginkgo trees and Goshiki-yae-chiritsubaki camellias have been designated as protected species).


(500m from Bussanji Temple or about 7 minutes walk)

@Jackie San

Lake Kinrinko is a natural rich symbol of YUFUIN. This lake was called "Taken seitan ike" in the dialect of Oita, which means the pond on the foot of the mountain, because it is located on the foot of Mt. YUFU. It reportedly got its name from Mori Kuso, a Confucian scholar, who spotted a fish with scales that glittered like gold swimming there at sunset in 1884. It is an unusual lake with an outer periphery approximately 400 m, into which hot spring water flows while fresh water gushes from the bottom of the lake. Therefore, the water temperature is high throughout the year, and you can see fantastic scenery, where mist rises from the surface of the lake when the outdoor temperature falls from autumn to winter. It is said that this beautiful morning mist that surrounds the basin is vapour from the lake that contains hot spring water. There is a promenade where you can stroll slowly.


@Jackie San

Mt. YUFU which is 1,584 meters high, stands towering in the northeastern part of the YUFUIN BASIN and consists of an east peak and west peak. This mountain is cone-shaped, and that is the reason the mountain is known as Bungofuji (i.e., the Mt. Fuji of the Bungo area). Mt. Yufu has been revered as a holy mountain, and the name of the mountain is found in Bungo Topography and Man` Doshu (the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry). People can see the unique shape of the mountain from any part in town, and that is the reason the mountain listed in the Hundred Famous Japanese Mountains, are seen from the summit. Visitors can view as far as Mt. Hiko in the border of Oita Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture and Mt. Unzen in Nagasaki Prefecture, if weather permits. At the foot of the mountain, people can see yellow violas in spring, Miyama-Kirishima azalea flowers in summer, red leaves of mountain cherry trees and maple trees in autumn, and rime in winter. This is a mountain with many climbers throughout the year. The hilly mountain in front of Mt. Yufu is Mt. Limorigajo with an altitude of 1060 meters. This mountain consists of an area of pasture with no trees growing. The foothill landscape of Mt. YUFU and the prairie landscape of Mt. Imorigajo are maintained with open burning in order to prevent pests and forest fires.

@Jackie San


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