Yufuin Travel Guide

Yufuin Travel Guide
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Are you looking for a nice town to enjoy hot spring in Japan?

Yufuin (由布院 – 湯布院) is definitely a good choice!

Located approximately 10 km from Beppu, Oita (another famous onsen destination), Yufuin is a lovely onsen resort that you can easily spend a day discovering.

In this article, you can find tips on Yufuin transportation, places to go in Yufuin, best things to do in Yufuin, what to eat in Yufuin Japan and more. 

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

One of the most beautiful places in Yufuin – Yufuin Floral Village

I. How to travel to Yufuin – 湯布院?

Depending on your location, there are several ways to travel to Yufuin.

1) From abroad

If you’re outside Japan, you’ll need to travel to Fukuoka first by airplane or ship. There is no direct flight to Oita airport from abroad, but hopefully, there is in the future.

 

2) Inside Japan

By Train

  • From Fukuoka to Yufuin: Hakata Station -> Oita Station -> Yufuin station
  • From Oita to Yufuin: Oita Station -> Yufuin station
  • Note: According to JR Kyushu Train, due to heavy rain, Yufuin no Mori (the green luxury train) operation between Teruoka station and Hita station is stopped. It will be operating as an extra train between Hakata station and Yufuin station via Kokura/Oita station for an indefinite period of time.
湯布院 Yufuin station train

Scenic train to Yufuin – Just sit back and enjoy the beautiful landscape of Southern Japan, you’ll love it!

 

By Bus

  • Bus from Beppu to Yufuin: Approximately 45 minutes. There are 12 roundtrips on weekdays, and 17 round-trips on Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays. You can check the transportation between Yufuin and Beppu here.
  • Bus from Fukuoka to Yufuin: Approximately 1 hour. You can search for the timetable here.

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

 

II. Places to visit in Yufuin, Oita

1) Main shopping street

Are you a big fan of shopping?

Even when you’re not, I’m sure you’ll still love the Yufuin shopping street.
Along the main street of Yufuin, there are several cafe, restaurants, shops, and museums. As each shop has different products, and it’s really interesting to get in and discover all those local products.

Also, wandering along the shopping street is lovely!

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

湯布院 Yufuin onsen Japan

As every corner in Yufuin is Instagrammable, you will be amazed by the architecture of the buildings. Each house has a different color, and the landscape makes it even better!

Also, observing traditional Japanese houses’ architecture is a great activity to do here. If you’re interested in traditional Japanese houses, it’s a good idea to go off the main road to see some houses.
Japanese house in 湯布院 Yufuin

 

2) Yufuin cafe & restaurants

As I mentioned above, Yufuin cafe and restaurants are the main attractions in this lovely town. Each cafe and restaurant has its own design and dishes, so you’ll never get bored!

湯布院 Yufuin roll cake restaurant

Yufuin cafe

湯布院 Yufuin

Would you like to try some traditional Japanese food? This restaurant is for you!

湯布院 Yufuin

There are only a few chairs outside this Soba shop, so you’ll have to be hurry!


However, not all the cafes are on the main road. Some of them are hidden somewhere, and your mission is to find it!

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

 

3) Yufuin shops

There’re several shops in Yufuin, but no shop is alike.

If you’re into manga and anime, you’ll love visiting every single shop. Snoopy shop, Totoro shop, Cat shop, Dog shop, … You name it!

湯布院 Yufuin Japan travel guide

Yufuin snoopy shop

湯布院 Yufuin

Need some haircut while traveling in Japan? There’s a hair shop in Yufuin as well!

Tips: Don’t forget to visit Totoro shop!

Have you heard of Totoro, one of the most famous movies from Ghibli production?

Totoro shop in Yufuin 湯布院

Totoro shop in Yufuin

Totoro shop in Yufuin 湯布院 Japan

When stopping by these shops, don’t forget to buy some souvenirs back home. They are usually made by the locals, so buying these souvenirs will remind you about a good time at this lovely town, and they are beautiful gifts as well.

what to do in Yufuin 湯布院

Yufuin’s gift shop


what to do in Yufuin 湯布院

I’d suggest buying Japanese footwear – Geta (下駄)

Japanese wooden footwear, or Geta (下駄), resembles clogs and flip-flops. They are usually used with Yukata or Kimono, and they keep or feet above the ground with wooden base.

Have you tried walking on this wooden footwear yet? If not, you should try at least once!

Tips: You can rent Yukata/ Kimono to wear around Yufuin along with Geta.
Japanese shoes in Yufuin 湯布院

 

4) Yufuin Floral Village

Yufuin Floral Village is my favorite place in Yufuin.

In order to visit Yufuin Floral Village, you will need to walk along the main street from Yufuin station and then turn right. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost (There’s a huge sign!)

The village is quite small, but it’s really lovely. Each house presents one cartoon character, and you can buy some souvenirs back home.

There’s a little Ghibli vibe, some English vibe, some other famous Japanese cartoon as well. A small playground for kids is a big bonus here 🙂

湯布院 Yufuin Floral Village

Yufuin Floral Village

湯布院 Yufuin

The Rabbit House in Yufuin Floral Village

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

Yufuin Floral Village Cafe

There’s an Alice in the Wonderland theme cafe shop, but you’ll need to pay to enter and have coffee there.

 

5) Lake Kinrinko

Lake Kinrin is one of the must-visit destinations in Yufuin.

It takes around 30 minutes from the train station to the lake (according to Google map), but believe me, it will take way longer cause you’ll stop by many places.

I suggest visiting this place at the end of the trip, so you don’t need to rush here 🙂

 

 

6) Onsen

It’s one of the purposes of your trip to Yufuin, isn’t it?
From a long time ago, immersing in the warm water of onsens has become an indispensable activity of Japanese people and tourists visiting this country.

Why do people love onsen?

There are several benefits of visiting onsens, such as curing disease and relieving stress, pain, and aches. If you are looking for a recommendation for onsen in Japan, Yufuin is one of the best places to go.

 

7) Mount Yufu

Since Yufuin is surrounded by mountains, the landscape here is really stunning.

Leaving the main walking route, you can discover the rural area of Yufuin, with paddle fields and farmhouses.

湯布院 Yufuin travel guide

If the weather is nice, you can try hiking Mount Yufu, or also known as Yufudake.

This mountain is considered as the “little Fuji of Oita” thanks to its beautiful twin peaks. You can reach the top of the mountain around 2 or 3 hours.

湯布院 Yufuin mountain hiking

 

8) Yufushi Yufuin Chuo Jido Park

Going with kids? Here is the place for them!

This park has a nice playground for children. Also, while letting them play, you can observe the head of the train here.

 

9) Museums

There’re some small museums in Yufuin, and it will cost a bit for the entrance fee.

Are they worth visiting? I’ll let you answer it 🙂

湯布院 Yufuin museum

Owl Museum in Yufuin – 湯布院, Japan

 

10. Bonus activities: Hunting cute things

Do you love cute little things?

It’s quite hard not to see cute things in Yufuin, cause they are everywhere. You might feel overwhelmed by the cuteness of this town. Each decoration or signs look really cute.
湯布院 Yufuin Japan travel guide

湯布院 Yufuin Japan travel guide

湯布院 Yufuin Japan travel guide

湯布院 Yufuin Japan travel guide

湯布院 Yufuin Japan

How about finding bicycles around the town?

Even though you cannot ride bicycles in this town because it’s usually full of tourists, you can still find them here. Besides cars, bicycles are the main vehicles in Japan.
bicycle in 湯布院 Yufuin

 

III. What to eat in Yufuin? – Yufuin restaurants

Disclaimer: These reviews for shop and restaurants are based on my taste, so you may like it or not. However, if you’d like to hear some honest reviews of delicious food, don’t leave yet!

1. Cheese products

Yufuin is famous for cheese!

The residents have their own milk and cheese supply from the city, so cheese is the local product.

You can see cheese everywhere: melted cheesecake, cheese cookie, bacon wrap with cheese, cheese ice-cream, cheese souvenirs, etc. There’s even a Cheese factory in Yufuin! They’re a bit crazy for cheese here, I know, but if you’re a cheese lover, you’ll love everything here.

Anyway, back to our topic here, you may wonder where you can have the best cheese product in Yufuin, right?

The best cheesecake ever~

While wandering around Yufuin, I was stopped by the tastiest cheesecake scent at Milch.

So what is Milch? In Trip Advisor, they name this shop as “The best cheesecake in Yufuin”.

Cheesecake here is actually the best cheesecake I’ve ever had in my life.

With only 120 Yen, you can purchase a small cup of melted-cheesecake. They serve both hot and cold version, but I prefer the hot one. It’s actually warm, not too hot, so you can eat it right after buying. However, if you’d like to buy some back home, there’s only cold version.

Address: 3015-1 Yufuincho KawakamiOita 879-5102, Oita Prefecture 
Phone: +81 977-28-2800

 

2. Yakiniku (Japanese Grilled meat)

where to eat in Yufuin 湯布院

Yufuin BBQ restaurant

Japanese people love eating Yakiniku just like their neighbors – the Korean. Having Yakiniku with a few drinks is one of the best activities to do in the evening. Also, you can understand more about Japanese living style if you experience it like a local 🙂

 

3. Famous Korokke (Japanese Croquette) stand

湯布院 Yufuin shop

It’s really difficult to miss this food stand, cause there’s always a long line waiting to buy this famous Korokke.

What is Korokke?

Korokke is made by mixing cooked chopped meat, seafood, or vegetables with mashed potato. This food stand is really famous for this, so you might wanna give it a try 🙂

 

IV. Where to stay in Yufuin?

Staying at a Japanese traditional room is one of the must-do activities in Japan.

These ryokans were built few hundred years ago, so they still maintain the charming vibe and appealing architecture.

The service at the ryokan is also amazing, and you’ll be served traditional Japanese food. Normally, the waitresses or waiters will serve meals into your room for dinner, and you’ll eat in the common room for breakfast.

It’s may be more expensive than a normal hotel, but it’s totally worth the try.

Tips: It will be cheaper if you choose the room without meals, but if you’ve never stayed at the ryokan before, you should try the full course!

湯布院 Yufuin onsen ryokan

Staying at Ryokan in Japan – A must-do activity!

The hotels and ryokans are located around the town, but not the main road. I didn’t stay there because I live in Beppu, which is just 10 km from there, but it will be better if you spend the night over and relax in the hot springs.

湯布院 Yufuin onsen ryokan - best Yufuin hotel

  • Click here to book places to stay in Yufuin!

 

V. Tips to visit Yufuin

  • You should visit Yufuin in the morning in order to escape the crowd. It’s really crowded in the middle of the day.
  • Trying some local cheese products is a must-do activity!
  • Autumn is the best time to visit Yufuin because all the trees change their colors
  • If you visit Yufuin in the winter, don’t forget to wear warm clothes because it’s really cold on the mountain.
  • Taking your camera with you!!!
  • If you’d like to have a tour guide, you can check out and book tours to Yufuin here!
  • You should stay at least one night in Yufuin. Click here to book places to stay in Yufuin!

yufuin travel guide

Pin it for later!

Discover the fairytale town to enjoy hot spring in Japan - Yufuin (湯布院). Read here for tips on Yufuin transportation, best things to do in Yufuin Japan, what to eat in Yufuin, Yufuin ryokan and more. #yufuin #japan #ryokan

This article was updated on 1st April 2018.


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22 replies
  1. Lisa says:

    This is a frigging adorable town! I’m sold on everything about Yufuin! From the sweet shops named after animals to the narrow streets, and that gorgeous lake! I need to go to Japan, the yearning is getting stronger each year! Will definitely visit during autumn, it looks incredible in your photos.

    Reply
  2. Dann Castillo says:

    Oh my god! This looks like a fairy tale place! I does seem like a combination between a Miyazaki movie and an English village. I got so excited when I read the part about the Alice in Wonderland café. And an owl museum? Hell yeah! I had read a lot about Japan lately, but nothing about this place. Now I am really yearning to go! It is charming!

    Reply
  3. lisa says:

    I love the sound of this town and this has got me really excited and I am going to be spending just over a month in Japan from September, so I have been looking for some placed to go and this has certainly made the list of places I must go. Great post.

    Reply
  4. Juliette S says:

    This looks unbelievably charming! I absolutely love Japan and this looks like a stunning town to visit. I want to explore all those cute shops (anything with cats!) and wander up and down the streets, find cute cafes…I am totally putting this on my list for our future Japan trip!

    Reply
  5. Rosie says:

    Wow – so much to do in a place that I’d never heard of! We are hoping to go back to Japan next year so will definitely keep Yufuin in mind. Yufuin Floral Village looks like such a cute and unique place to visit. We’ve always wanted to try an onsen too!

    Reply
  6. Denny George says:

    Wow! Yufuin, as captured in your photographs looks as if scenes from a children’s fairytale had come alive. I also really enjoyed the jiggliness of the cheesecake in the gift. I would love to visit sometime.

    Reply
  7. Manjulika Pramod says:

    Yufuin looks so damn pretty. I have never heard of this place. The first picture of floral village was enough to grab all my attention. I am already charmed by its beautiful vibes. Such cute things and lovely houses. I haven’t been to Japan but I will definitely look for this one whenever I get a chance. Thank you for sharing this one.

    Reply
  8. Ami Bhat says:

    I like the pristine, uncrowded feel of the place. And you are so right about the hunt for cute things. I doubt you will have to hunt too deeply. They seem to be everywhere. I like the floral market too, it seems so vibrant and lovely. Nice to know about this place.

    Reply
  9. Yuanita Misnan says:

    It’s been a pleasure to read tour entry on Yufuin! I am going with my family early May to Kyushu island. And we are going to visit Yufuin. Your blog is certainly helping me in planning the trip there! Do you probably know where I can rent a kimono while walking around Yufuin in it? We would love to experience Yufuin in a kimono. I think would be awesome! And one more thing…is it possible to enjoy the onsen here without staying for the night? I am thinking whether I can enjoy the onsen in the afternoon and take the night train back to Fukuoka. Because I already booked all nights in Fukuoka… 😊😊😊 Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Ha Truong says:

      Hi Yuanita, I don’t remember exactly the name of the Kimono shop, but it’s really easy to find it because the shop is on the main shopping street (it’s only 1 street).
      I think it’s possible to enjoy onsen without staying. You can ask at the tourist office about the places that provide the service. I found Kotori Onsen (http://www.yufuin-kotori.com/english/onsen.html) provides public onsen and private onsen (1500 yen for 50 mins), but I think there are cheaper places as well.

      Reply

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