Yufuin (Oita, Kyushu)
Hello! Let me introduce Yufuin to you today!
It’s been snowing the past few days. Right now it’s raining.
This makes me feel lucky about the weather I had during my winter vacation, although it was cloudy most of the time!
Anyways, after leaving Nakatsu I arrived in Yufuin (湯布院) which is also situated in Oita Prefecture.
Oita is quite famous for onsen, but if you speak of hot spas, then Beppu is probably the first thing that comes to your mind!
Beppu is also a city in Oita and I highly recommend going there.
Yufuin is maybe less popular, but still a lot of people come there for only one reason: RELAXATION!
With a population of roughly 11.000 it’s a really small town, featuring mountains, lakes and onsen. Also, the NHK drama “Kaze no haruka” (風のハルカ) took place in Yufuin!
Are you ready to spend a relaxing day in Yufuin with me?
After confirming when most shops would open (~9am) I left my hotel. It also had a small onsen, but nothing special. The nicer ryokan and hotels were all already booked out.
I recommend to reserve hotels, hostels etc. in advance especially during high season.
This is the long shopping street that leads from Yufuin Station towards the mountains.
Right opposite to my hotel I ran into the best shop EVER, so I’d like to introduce it here:
Maybe “shop” is not the right word … it was just a very small sales booth.
It was all about cats, so I just couldn’t resist!!! Most of the items are wooden and the cats are carved into it by the man who owns the small “shop”.
He owns a lot of cats and he brought one of them with him! I don’t know if you can see the very small yellow heart, that’s where it was sleeping. So cute!
I talked quite a bit to him (for almost an hour)!
He even made a few items for me while we were talking, also carving in my name!
The wooden items are quite expensive, but very unique, especially if you get your name (or a friend’s name) on them! Absolutely highly recommended!!!!
The shop is really easy to spot: it’s on the right side if you come from the station and opposite to “Yufuin Burger”!
And then it was shopping time! It was too cold to do anything else anyways!!!
Left: Totoro shop (also featured other Miyazaki Hayao characters)
Right: Cat shop (OMG!!! I could have spent hours there!)
The cat shop had 2 floors featuring various cat products (e.g. maneki neko). Obviously I couldn’t resist and bought a few things.
Also, in the 2nd floor there were a few REAL cats!!
All that shopping made me really hungry, so I had a little snack as it was still too early for lunch.
I love “takoyaki” and “okonomiyaki”, but I’ve never seen “bakudanyaki” so far. “Bakudan” means “bomb” and refers to the food in ball/bomb shape.
It was super yummy!
While you’re shopping you can also enjoy the awesome landscape (despite the cold).
And what would a onsen town be without the obligatory “onsen tamago“?
Apart from all the small shops there are also a few art museums in Yufuin.
In this glass house they had a lot of awesome wooden artwork!
Awww, so cute! Is this the Japanese version of Herbie?
Ice cream? No, thank you! I’m already freezing! XD
Finally it was time for lunch! As it was so cold I went with a dango vegetable soup. The dango in the soup were kind of strange … similar to mochi in soup, I guess.
Warmed up by my lunch, I continued to explore Yufuin.
Kappa lady and more beautiful landscape.
There were a lot of tourists around the lake that had some hot spots where you could warm up your cold feet or hands.
Yufuin: truly a onsen village!
A cute Monchhichi shop!! (*am I the only one who is confused about that additional “h”?)
And then it was time for a coffee break.
I’ve seen everything I wanted. I shouldn’t have planned a full day for Yufuin, it’s not really necessary! You can easily use this as a short side trip from Oita or Beppu!
Took some more photos on my way back to the station.
Yufuin Burger: looks yummy, too bad that I didn’t have the chance to try any.
Remember, the cute cat sale booth is right opposite of that burger shop!
Aww, now that’s cute!
And this is Yufuin Station. Quite small, but with a nice waiting hall.
Then it was time to leave. This time I was heading to Miyazaki.
All in all I have to admit that I didn’t really like Yufuin all that much.
However, that’s just because I LOVE sightseeing more than relaxing and shopping.
Also, it’s definitely not a place where you should go alone – but I didn’t have a choice! ^-^;
Apparently there were mostly couples, families and female university students with their friends. I also saw a few foreigners.
My next entry will be about: Takachiho (Miyazaki Prefecture)
That was one of my absolute highlights, so I hope you’re looking forward to the post!
Thank you for reading!~
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