Yufuin: An Underrated Hot Spring Town

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Yufuin: An Underrated Hot Spring Town
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Yufuin is a small village nestled not too far from Beppu. Set at the foot of Mount Yufu, Yufuin is perfect for a day trip as most of the must-visit places are situated very near to one another. Although Yufuin is not one of the popular tourist destinations, those who have set their foot here know how incredibly beautiful this town is. We will show you Yufuin’s famous spots so you’ll know where to go and what to do.

For starters, Mount Yufu is one of a few mountains in Japan that have two major peaks. The people of Oita constantly described Mount Yufu as their Mount Fuji. The mountain stands proudly at 1,583 meters and is open for hiking and mountain climbing.

Mount Yufu. Image Source: Wikimedia.

In addition, Yufuin is also known for their magnificent hot springs, mainly thanks to its neighbour, Beppu. The most recommended time to visit Yufuin is during spring or autumn when the leaves are changing its colour and while Sakura is still blooming. Expect a quiet atmosphere, adorable shops and natural landscapes here in Yufuin.

The first place you must go to is Yunotsubo Main Street. The street is considered as the most popular road in Yufuin because of the countless number of shops lining along the street. You can shop for souvenirs, desserts as well as other sundry items such as dogs and cats statues. As you wander around the area, find a Totoro shop selling a vast collection of Totoro-themed stuff. Then, explore the street to discover more hidden café and shops.

Yunotsubo Street. Image Source: Just One Cookbook.

Other than Totoro, Yufuin has a Snoopy Tea House. This is the only Snoopy-themed café in the world which makes this place even more special. The tea house was opened in 2014 and it is furnished in Japanese-style interior. Moreover, you can obtain Snoopy’s related goods as well as enjoying Snoopy-themed food and drinks here. The café mainly uses matcha for most of their desserts and one of the must-try is matcha parfait.

Image Source: Chanwon.

Whenever you feel exhausted from all the walking, simply drop by to any ice cream shops you can find there. This one particular ice cream shop caught the people’s attention when they offer bamboo charcoal vanilla, black bean kinako, tofu milk and black sesame flavoured ice creams. It is located near Yufuin Food Station. If you like to try something out-of-the-ordinary, opt for these unusual flavours instead.

Black Sesame Ice Cream. Image Source: Jugorum on WordPress.

On the east side of Yunotsubo Street, lies Yufuin’s famous spot known as Lake Kinrin. In the morning, you will see mist flooding the water’s surface because apparently, there are two hot springs beneath the lake’s surface. Every morning, the hot spring water will warm up the lake’s cold temperature.

A morning mist appearing on the lake’s surface. Image Source: Japan Travel.

This particular part of Yufuin is constantly being compared to a small town of Cotswolds, United Kingdom. The entire area is purposely designed to look like Cotswolds because of the town’s authentic beauty. Yufuin Floral Village was opened by a local businessman back in 2012. Every shop is decorated with flowers and vintage accessories.

Image Source: Chanwon.

If you watch Kiki’s Delivery Service, an animated film by Studio Ghibli, you will instantly recognise this bakery shop. Kiki’s Bakery was built similar to the shop as seen in the film. You can buy Danish pastries, handmade European bread and other confectioneries here.

Kiki’s Bakery. Image Source: Simone Armer.

On a side note, we totally recommend you to spend a night here so you can immerse in Yufuin’s hot spring baths. For a luxurious experience, make your way to Yufuin Luxury Villa –Zakuro-. This villa is located in a secluded part of Yufuin while facing the scenery of Mount Yufu. However, the villa has only two rooms which are Dadaroma and Guest Room 14R.

                                             Dadaroma.                                                                                           Guest Room 14R.

Why luxurious? Because both rooms have their own private rotenburo (open-air hot spring bath) and once in a while, you will see a train passing through the field right in front of your suite. The price per night is quite expensive, given the fact that this villa is very private and you will definitely be treated like kings and queens.

If you don’t mind splurging your money here, you can reserve one of these rooms through their official website.

For a cheaper price, Kamenoi Bessou boasts complete facilities such as hot spring, café, souvenir shop and bar. In total, there are 15 Japanese-style guesthouses and 6 Western-style rooms that can accommodate up to at least four people in a room.

                                             Indoor bath.                                                                                         Outdoor bath.

In addition, there are outdoor hot spring baths plus an indoors and they are separated according to genders. Their souvenir shop, Kagiya, sells all kind of local snacks and products such as jams, cakes and Kamenoi Bessou’s handmade bowls.

Kagiya. Image Source: Japanican.

Another two hotels recommended for tourists are Yufuin Tamanoyu and Sanso Murata.

If you are not in a rush, you should also visit some of Yufuin’s interesting museums. The first museum is a Yufuin Retro Motor Museum that showcases a collection of over 70 vintage cars and 30 motorbikes. Most of the vehicles are not in perfect condition as the majority of them are as old as the early post-war period. Nevertheless, it is worth a visit especially if you are an avid motorhead.

Classic cars as seen in the museum. Image Source: Wandering Sneakers.

To see beautiful European stained glass windows, make Yufuin Stained Glass Museum as your next pit stop. The museum was opened in 1996 and features a collection of stained glass as well as glass crafts. There is also a workshop for those who are interested to make their own glassware for photo frames and as such. Besides that, the building is easy to recognise from the distance as it looks like a European cathedral, furnished with antiquities.

Yufuin Stained Glass Museum. Image Source: Japan Hoppers.

Overall, you can easily finish off your tour around Yufuin town within a span of one day. To go here, you can take a one-hour train ride from Oita Station to Yufuin Station. By bus from Beppu to Yufuin, it will take around 45 minutes.


A fun-loving group of editorial team on the mission to introduce Japanese culture and lifestyle to the masses.


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