Yufuin Onsen Guide

Located in the central part of Oita Prefecture in the Kyushu region, it is a popular Onsen resort blessed with abundant nature and hot water. Yufuin Onsen is located in the Yufuin Basin area at the foot of Mt. Yufu. In the Yufuin Basin, the countryside spreads out against the backdrop of Mt. Yufu, and it is shrouded in morning fog from autumn to early winter.

Get to know Yufuin Onsen

Area guide

Oita Prefecture is famous for Beppu Onsen. Yufuin Onsen has flourished as a back room of Beppu Onsen. Originally, it was a secluded Onsen town lined with small inns, but it attracted attention for hosting cultural events such as art and film festivals, and is now known as one of Japan's leading Onsen towns.

In the Yufuin Basin at the foot of Mt. Yufu, the countryside that can be said to be the original scenery of Japan spreads out.

In the open-air bath, you can spend a relaxing time in the Onsen while looking at Mt. Yufu, the symbol of Yufuin Onsen, and the countryside. The rooms and restaurants of the ryokan have a view of Mt. Yufu. Nourish your spirits in the Onsen and refresh your body and mind by eating delicious food.

Many of the Onsen in Yufuin Onsen are not stimulating even if they take a long bath. Some of the hot water has a skin-beautifying effect. Mt. Yufu is not only a place to look, but also a mountain climb where you can experience the majestic nature of the four seasons.

The fantastic morning fog that occurs from autumn to winter can be seen in Sagiridai and Kinroku Lake.

Sagiridai is an observatory where you can overlook the Yufuin Basin. Lake Kinrinko is a mysterious lake where Onsen and water spring up from the bottom of the lake with a torii gate standing on the surface of the lake.

Yufuin Onsen is characterized by a cityscape that is an exquisite blend of tradition and modernity.
Yunotsubo-Kaido Street is a street located a 5-minute walk from Yufuin Station. From souvenirs selling Oita's specialties, to sweets, gourmet foods, and general stores, there are unique shops. There are many sweets shops that can only be found here, and it is a spot that you should definitely visit on a stroll.

Yufuin is also known as a town of art, with film festivals being held and an art hall in the station building. It is also recommended to visit the museums scattered around the Onsen town and experience local handicrafts.


Yufuin Onsen can be reached by train or plane. It is faster in terms of time to go via an airplane than via a bullet train. If you are traveling by plane, go to Oita Airport and transfer to a direct bus. It takes about 55 minutes by bus from Oita Airport to Yufuin Onsen.

If you are heading to Yufuin Onsen by train, the nearest station is JR Yufuin Station. From Hakata Station on the Shinkansen, transfer to the JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori. All seats at the JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori are reserved, so you need to make a reservation in advance.

From Tokyo

<Airplane / Train>
Haneda Airport →Oita Airport→<direct bus>→ Yufuin Onsen (about 2 hours 30 minutes)
It takes about 1 hour and 35 minutes from Haneda Airport to Oita Airport. It takes about 55 minutes from Oita Airport to Yufuin Onsen.

Narita Airport → Oita Airport →<direct bus >→ Yufuin Onsen (about 3 hours)
It takes about 2 hours from Narita Airport to Oita Airport. It takes about 55 minutes from Oita Airport to Yufuin Onsen.

<Shinkansen / Train>
<Shinkansen>→Tokyo Station→ Hakata Station→< JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori>→ JR Yufuin Station (about 7 hours 20 minutes)
It takes about 5 hours from Tokyo Station to Hakata Station.

From Nagoya

<Airplane / Train>
Chubu Centrair International Airport →Oita Airport→<direct bus>→ Yufuin Onsen (about 2 hours)
It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get from Chubu Centrair International Airport to Oita Airport. It takes about 55 minutes from Oita Airport to Yufuin Onsen.

<Shinkansen / Train>
<Shinkansen>→ Nagoya Station→ Hakata Station→< JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori>→ JR Yufuin Station (about 5 hours 35 minutes)
It takes about 3 hours and 20 minutes from Nagoya Station to Hakata Station.

From Osaka

<Airplane / Train>
Itami Airport (Osaka International Airport) → Oita Airport →<direct bus >→ Yufuin Onsen (about 2 hours)
It takes about 1 hour from Itami Airport (Osaka International Airport) to Oita Airport. It takes about 55 minutes from Oita Airport to Yufuin Onsen.

<Shinkansen / Train>
<Shinkansen>→Shin-Osaka Station→ Hakata Station→<JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori>→ JR Yufuin Station (about 4 hours 45 minutes)
It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station.

From Fukuoka

<Shinkansen>→ Hakata Station→< JR Limited Express Yufuin no Mori>→ JR Yufuin Station (about 2 hours 15 minutes)

Water quality

Most of the springs are simple or alkaline simple hot springs, but there are also salt springs such as chloride springs and bicarbonate springs. Simple hot springs are suitable for everyone without a habit. Alkaline simple hot springs, chloride springs, and hydrogen carbonate springs have a skin-beautifying effect. These Onsen are recommended for women who care about their beauty. Yufuin Onsen also has a rare blue Onsen with beautiful skin where you can enjoy  hydrogen carbonate springs and chloride springs.

A simple hot spring is an Onsen in which the amount of ingredients contained in hot water does not reach a certain value. Since the ingredients are thin, there is little irritation, and it is colorless and transparent to the touch. People of all ages, from children to the elderly, and women with delicate skin can bathe with peace of mind. In addition to general benefits such as fatigue recovery and health promotion, simple hot springs are also effective for autonomic instability, insomnia, and depression. It is less irritating, so even if you take a bath for a long time, it will not put a burden on your body. If you soak in the Onsen while looking at the rich natural scenery of the Yufuin Basin, you can relax both physically and mentally and relieve stress.

Alkaline simple hot springs are simple hot springs with a pH of 8.5 or higher. It removes unwanted keratin from the skin and makes it beautiful.

Chloride springs are salt-containing springs that are similar to the composition of seawater. It is a colorless and transparent hot water, and when you bathe, salt adheres to the skin and blocks the pores and prevents sweat from evaporating. Therefore, it has a high moisturizing effect and does not cool down.

Yufuin Onsen has a beautiful milky blue chloride spring. The blue color of the water is due to the action of metasilicic acid, which is abundant in Onsen. Metasilicic acid is a natural moisturizing ingredient found in Onsen. Metasilicic acid replenishes moisture to the skin, and the salt film covers the skin like a veil, making the skin moist and glossy.

Hydrogen carbonate springs are a type of salt spring. Basically, it is often colorless and transparent, but it can also be yellowish-brown or greenish-brown. Hydrogen carbonate spring has the effect of removing unwanted dead skin cells and dirt from pores. It has a thick texture and moisturizes the skin after bathing.

Yufuin Onsen has an Onsen called Aoyu, which is a rare hydrogen carbonate spring in Japan. The quality of the spring is a hydrogen carbonate spring, but it seems to have changed because it spontaneously erupts at a high temperature and high pressure of about 100°C. When it erupts from the ground, it is transparent, but turns blue over time. It is a mysterious Onsen like a natural lotion that has a skin-beautifying effect. After bathing, the skin becomes smooth but does not dry out, and it remains moist and moisturized.


It is thought that Onsen gushed here and there in the Yufuin Basin in primitive times, but it does not seem to have been recorded.

In the middle of the 18th century, it was reported to the government that Onsen were gushing out in Yunotsubo and Ishitake. The Onsen of Yunotsubo have a reputation as medicinal baths, and it is stated that there are people who visit the Onsen and will prosper in the future. The Onsen of  Ishitake were used to steam hemp and other products. Other than that, it seems that no one visited the Onsen for Onsen treatment, and the locals only used it as a watering place.

The impetus for the rise of Yufuin Onsen was the construction of "Kamenoi Villa" in Yufuin in 1921 by Kumahachi Aburaya. Kumahachi Aburaya is a businessman who made Beppu Onsen famous nationwide. "Kamenoi Villa" was built as a back room in Beppu.

In 1924, Dr. Seiroku Honda, a doctor of forestry, gave a lecture in Yufuin called "Measures for the Development of Yufuin Onsen" and introduced the German Onsen resort of Baden-Baden. In the lecture, he presented a stay-type recreational Onsen resort that resembles a forest park as a guideline for development.

In 1955, the town of Yufuin and the village of Yuhira were merged. The mayor of the town has scrapped the dam plan for the area around Yufuin Onsen and has come up with a recreational Onsen resort concept that does not rely on dam development.

In 1959, Yufuin Onsen was designated as a People's Recreation Spa. In order to promote the health of the people and ensure a healthy rest, the Environment Agency designates Onsen resorts with excellent conditions. Prior to that, Yufuin Onsen was not a tourist destination, and in contrast to the bustling Beppu Onsen, it was an Onsen inn scattered in the countryside at the foot of Mt. Yufu. Since then, young inn owners have taken the lead in implementing various measures to attract tourism to Yufuin.

At Yufuin Onsen, we aimed to be an Onsen resort in harmony with nature, and adopted a policy that was the exact opposite of the tourism development centered on facility construction at the time.
In 1975, the recovery from the earthquake in central Oita Prefecture led to the creation of an event that has become a tradition today.

In 1981, it was designated as a National Health Onsen Area. A national health Onsen resort is an Onsen resort that can be expected to use Onsen for health purposes, especially with the cooperation of doctors.

In 2005, the town of Yufuin, the town of Shonai, and the town of Hasama merged to form the city of Yufu. As a result, the definition of a national recreational Onsen resort has been revised. In 2019, Yufuin Onsen, along with Yunohira Onsen, Tsukahara Onsen, Shonai Onsen, and Shoma Onsen, was expanded and designated as a People's Recreation Spa as Yufuin Onsen Town.

The town development of Yufuin Onsen, a People's Recreation Spa, incorporates the concept of German quaort therapy. The direction of urban development, which is to go against the wave of resort development in the past and aim for a hot spring resort in harmony with nature, has not changed significantly. At Yufuin Onsen, citizens are still playing a central role in community development.