Oita Things to See

Oita, Japan Jul. 23 Tues 2:57AM

23.6 / 74.5

The town of Usuki, on Oita’s eastern coast, is a quiet castle town with lines of buildings and streets that remain unchanged from the Japan of the past. Spared from the ravages of war, Usuki is one of the spots dotted throughout Japan where strollers can imagine the streets of a typical Japanese town before the Showa era. The main focus is the area known as the Nioza Historical Road, where visitors can enjoy some nice local shops while heading to Ryugenji Temple and its majestic pagoda.

Even older are the stone buddhas carved into a mountain a few kilometers from the city center. Most Buddhist statues in Japan are carved from wood or metal, making these a rarity. The slight erosion and distant location may help one imagine their respectable age of nearly a thousand years. It’s a bit of a trek to reach them (most visitors take a taxi, though bicycle rental is also an option), but the rustic setting where one can appreciate the Buddhas makes up for the trouble.

Here are some more breakdowns of interesting things to see in Usuki, Oita!


Myoken-ji Temple (Hydrangea Temple)Myoken-ji Temple (Hydrangea Temple)

This temple hosts the "Hydrangea Festival" every June, where around 2,000 hydrangea plants of 200 varieties are in full bloom.


Usuki Stone Buddhas

Usuki Stone BuddhasThe Usuki Stone Buddhas are said to have been carved over 1,000 years ago (from the late Heian to early Kamakura period). It remains unclear who created them and for what purpose, enveloping these sculptures in mystery. There are 61 of these stone mysterious Buddhas, and all are designated as National Treasures!


Nioza Historical Path

Nioza Historical Path

This area resembles a little piece of Kyoto. It retains the distinctive features of a castle town dating back to the Sengoku period when Usuki Castle was built. High stone walls, tiled roofs, stone-paved streets, white-walled buildings, temples, and slopes create a picturesque setting, especially suited for rainy days.


Usuki Castle

Usuki CastleUsuki Castle was the residence of the famous Christian daimyo Otomo Sorin. The stone walls of the castle feature engravings resembling alphabetic characters, and it is believed that there was a chapel within the castle grounds. When it was built, the castle stood on an isolated island, with the surrounding sea serving as a natural defense, making it highly secure. The castle is also renowned as a cherry blossom viewing spot in spring.


Fugu (Pufferfish) Cuisine


Usuki is an excellent destination for a fugu meal. From a luxurious restaurant to a casual lunchtime special, there are various options for you to try this delicacy!


Usuki-yaki Ceramics



Usuki Ware is pottery that was produced for only about ten years during the late Edo period, approximately 200 years ago. It began as an official kiln intended to create items for the local lord. After its brief period of production, it disappeared, becoming a rare and elusive type of pottery.


Yunosato Hot Springs

Yunosato Hot Springs
Yunosato Hot SpringsExperience the healing waters of Yakushi-no-Yu, bursting forth from 1,300 meters underground. These hot springs provide a soothing retreat for both your body and mind. Japanese hot spring inns offer an exceptional experience.


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