Many tourists travelling around Kyushu make their way to Yufuin to admire the landscape, beautiful scenery, hot springs and the calmness that is dominant in the town. Yufuin was once an independent town, and is now joined together with Hasama and Shonai in “The town of Yufu” – drawing its name from mount Yufu, that is the representative sight of Yufuin.
Before taking one of the many packages that are offered to tourists to go sightseeing in Yufuin – you might want to consider taking the local bus there, and enjoy the many sights that are available on the way, as it isn’t always the destination – it’s the journey that counts.
Coming from Beppu, a round ticket to Yufuin costs 1500¥, but that ticket allows no flexibility so it is recommendable to buy the “All day Kyushu” pass, which will only cost you 100¥ extra, and allows you to hop-on and hop-off any bus run by the Kamenoi bus company on that given day. That way you can stop wherever, whenever you want and explore more on your way to Yufuin.
Start the journey by taking the bus from Beppu Station and get off at the deserted theme park “Utopia” (ユートピア).
Unfortunately you are not allowed to enter the park due to strict regulations, but walking around the park gives you an insight into the life that once used to prosper there. The park itself is located on a hill, which makes it possible for you to walk all around it, seeing signs and abandoned houses without entering the closed off premises. Be careful though, as most of the buildings lack of maintenance and might collapse at any time.
After walking around the park you can head over to lake Shidaka, which is a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains and stunning scenery. The lake also offers a campsite so you can stay there over night and enjoy the company of the fishes and swans that populate the lake. The lake offers you to rent cheap kayaks and boats for you to venture on to the lake to further enjoy the serenity that the area has to offer.
You can even buy snacks to feed the fishes for 100¥, either from the boat or from the side of the lake, and don’t be surprised by the number of fishes that you will attract!
After enjoying the lake you can continue your journey to Yufuin. Make sure to check the timetable beforehand though, as the busses run throughout the day on a seldom occasion.
After arriving at Yufuin, there are many things you can do, but the most important thing for you to do is to relax. That is what Yufuin is notorious for, and should be enjoyed in such manner. Another thing Yufuin is known for is their burgers, and after a long eventful day they will surely please your taste buds as well as your stomach.
Walking around Yufuin, you will see numerous shops and café’s, all equally attractive and “kawaii”. Those shops consist mainly of handcrafted things, home made food and jams (oh, the jams!), most of them made by the locals, and all of them making it harder for you to stick to your budget.
Yufuin is a town of harmony and balance. You find a wide range of shops, but also delicious food and scenic places. Walking around there will not leave you unsatisfied, no matter the season. In winter the snow will fall there, making this a true winter wonderland, the “Sakura Season” will leave nobody disappointed, and a vivid color change occurs in the fall.