At 600 meters above sea level you will find the northern area of the Tsukahara Highlands on Mountain Yufu. The clear and blue sky is your canvas, and you will experience the colors and scents of the four seasons. Fresh spring breezes, richly verdant summers, sparkling pampas grass in the autumn night, and a coating of white snow in winter. The clear air and spacious environs make every season here one of soothing relaxation. You are sure to find scenery that soothes your soul.
The Yufu and Tsurumi mountain areas of Oita offer gently rolling hills and grasses. Since time immemorial, these have been used for farms, making the site the birthplace of animal husbandry and livestock in Oita. Making use of the ample terrain and rich grasses for fodder, the result is a pastoral landscape of farms that remain in use today.
Home-grown natural pasture is fed to cows in the Mount Yufu foothills, with each cow being raised with love and care. Fresh-squeezed milk and homemade ice cream are delicious and fresh, with the signature rich taste of fresh milk.
The Tsukahara Highlands have a high acidic property that is second highest in all of Japan, and they are considered among Japan’s top three medicinal baths.
Eggs can be boiled in hot springs. Doing so causes the shell to stay on the egg. This allows them to be cooked for almost 20 hours slowly in the volcanic heat of the springs, locking in the natural minerals.
There are virtually no other hot springs of this level of acidity, so it is considered a very rare and precious site.
The front of the mountain can be ascended (2.5 hours up, 2 hours down). The top of the mountain has an east and west side. The west is closed in points, so the east side is easiest to ascend. Not that there are rocky paths and unstable footing along the route, so please wear hiking boots. Depending on the season, you may need a change of clothes or coat. Note that there are no places to get drinking water en route, so you should bring an ample supply of beverages. Gloves, canes, and other accessories are available.
Kirishima Shrine holds a special festival every December that is designated as an intangible cultural property. This is the Sweet Sake Festival, a 400 year-old tradition. Parishioners give thanks for a bountiful harvest and pray for good health. The area is also known for being home to a famous site of water that is soft and delicious to drink. Many people come on the weekend to collect water.
This route takes about 2.5 hours to traverse. While it is of a greater difficulty than the frontal route on the mountain, it looks out onto numerous natural foret groves and feels bright and uplifting. Proceed past the Eco Line and through the east hiking trail towards Mount Yufu. Reach the Beppu and Oita area at a higher elevation and look out onto beautiful scenery. Note that, while this route offers great views, it has craggy routes and poor footing in some areas. From the mountaintop, you can gaze out at Mount Tsurumi, Beppu Bay, the Kunisaki Peninsula, Oita, and Mount Kuju.
Pass through Tsukahara Onsen and ascent the mountains as you hear the bubbling volcanic craters and see smoke whisking past. You will find a large rock that is said to have been split in two by the legendary Minamoto no Tametomo. The top of the mountain offers unbroken 360-degree views of the Tsukahara Highlands. The route is a 2.5 hour round trip hike, so it makes a nice little walk.
The pleasant season of fresh greenery on the Highlands is your invitation to experience French cuisine, organic restaurants, char-grilled free-range chicken, naturally-baked bread, and other delicacies. After your meal, enjoy woodcrafts and examine various artisanal goods. In the afternoon, check out one of the local sweet and coffee shops.
Go wild! Splurge! Tsukahara is a place to have fun. You might even be rewarded with a lovely gift if you respond to our questionnaire on your return home.
2,100 JPY (700 JPY each x 3)
Held every autumn
The Komorebi Cafe is a day of lively music, fun workshops, and lunch and sweets that are good for body and soul.
The event is styled as a one-day only cafe in Miruku-mura. Comfortable breezes and beautiful music flit past. Forget the hustle and bustle of the city in this special environment. Sample a delicious lunch and dessert while being soothed by the cries of birds.
Early June, Sunday 11:00 AM Location: Miruku-mura