Today, I take you to discover the Oita prefecture, on the island of Kyushu, in the south of Japan. This is a video I made for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan to promote Japanese game through a trip to the Onsen and historic towns of Oita Prefecture.


Head first to the old town of Kitsuki which offers a real dive in time with Kitsuki castle which has the distinction of being the smallest in Japan as well as the two historic districts from the city. They are located on hills and separated by a long shopping street below which has earned Kitsuki the nickname of Sandwich city.

Kitsuki, the Sandwich town.
Kitsuki Castle, the smallest in Japan.

You can visit many old Samurai houses there and enjoy a Kimono or Yukata ride, Kitsuki being one of the most popular places in Japan for that. Free entries and discounts in shops are also automatic for people wearing Kimono or Yukata.

The Oharatei house in Kitsuki.


Oita Prefecture is very famous for its Onsen, the famous Japanese thermal springs. Superb village with some of the most beautiful onsen in the country, Yufuin is a must-see destination on a trip to the region. There is a large shopping street with many specialties to taste, it is very pleasant to walk there.

The pretty village of Yufuin!
Popo cards galore here!

And above all, Yufuin hostels offer Onsen of rare quality… They are all intended for fairly high budgets but the experience is there… I spent the night at the hostel Nihon No Ashitaba and it was really exceptional!

A huge room on two floors with private outdoor onsen, a dreamlike atmosphere in the hostel which is in the middle of nature and on top of that 9 private onsen open all night including 1 incredible large Rotenburo, among the best in Japan!
As all of these Onsen are private, it means that there is no worry about tattoos and that you can even enjoy them as a couple or as a family.

nihon no ashitaba
The large Rotenburo of the Nihon No Ashitaba hostel.


The next day, I went to discover the most famous place in Oita prefecture: Jigoku-Meguri, the hells of Beppu. These are the Onsen that we only come to admire because they are far too hot to take a bath. They are organized in several small complexes with payment at the entrance of each. I think it is not necessary to do them all, the first 3 being more than enough.

jigoku meguri
The underworld of Beppu.


Another original experience to do during a trip to the prefecture of Beppu: the Sunayu, a hot sand bath. We let ourselves be buried in sand previously heated by thermal water and we enjoy the beautiful sea view for about 10-15 minutes. We come out all perspiring but relaxed!

Sunayu, the Japanese sand bath.


The reason for my coming to Oita prefecture was to taste the famous forest and mountain game from Oita Prefecture. I was therefore able to taste dishes such as country pâté with deer and wild boar, roast deer or roast wild boar.

We rarely get to game when we talk about Japanese cuisine, but there is in fact a real game culture in Japan, especially because the territory is made up of 70% forests. The consumption of game tries to register as much as possible environmental balance by hunting only the surplus game in the regions where they cause damage to the rice fields.

Oita’s game.

So much for this journey between history, Onsen and game in Oita prefecture! Many thanks to the Japanese government for their trust for the second year in a row after my video on Takachiho and his game last year.

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