Jan
27
2012

Yufuin (Oita, Kyushu)

Hello! Let me introduce Yufuin to you today! smilie

It’s been snowing the past few days. Right now it’s raining. smilie
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. smilie

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!

 

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Visited: December 30th 2011 Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Are you ready to spend a relaxing day in Yufuin with me?

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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.

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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:

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Maybe “shop” is not the right word … it was just a very small sales booth. smilie
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! smilies

I talked quite a bit to him (for almost an hour)!smilies
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!!!! smilie

The shop is really easy to spot: it’s on the right side if you come from the station and opposite to “Yufuin Burger”!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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!)

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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!! :D

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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. smilies
It was super yummy!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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“?

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Awww, so cute! Is this the Japanese version of Herbie?

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Ice cream? No, thank you! I’m already freezing! XD

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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.

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Warmed up by my lunch, I continued to explore Yufuin.

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Kappa lady and more beautiful landscape.

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

There were a lot of tourists around the lake that had some hot spots where you could warm up your cold feet or hands. :D

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Yufuin: truly a onsen village!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

A cute Monchhichi shop!! (*am I the only one who is confused about that additional “h”?)

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

Aww, now that’s cute!

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

And this is Yufuin Station. Quite small, but with a nice waiting hall.

Yufuin, onsen village in Oita Prefecture, Kuyshu

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. smilie
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!~smilie

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