Known for its onsens and seafood, Oita has become a popular travel destination in Japan, especially for those wanting to take a break and relax. With the many different onsens you can stumble upon in Oita, we thought it might be easier to explain our favorites that we recently visited and tell you what makes them stand out from the rest.

Beppu Onsen Hoyoland

First up is the Beppu Onsen Hoyoland found in Beppu city. While there are many types of baths at Beppu Onsen Hoyoland, the most popular is the open air mud onsen which is comprised of mineral water mixed with corroded clay. With the addition of gases, the onsen leaves you buoyant as if you are floating.

The mud bath has many positive effects like improving blood flow, relieving arthritis pain, and correcting skin conditions. It is even said that the onsen was visited by Kukai, a famous Japanese monk from the 8th century. Feel free to go with anyone since this onsen is mixed with just a slim barrier separating genders. For an affordable price of only 1100YEN, relaxing in a bath full of mud is a lively way to start your day in Oita!

If you’re looking for accommodation while in Beppu, look no further than at Beppu Onsen Hoyoland, where you’ll be able to stay overnight for 7500YEN which includes 2 meals, as well as the fee to enter into the onsen. For more info, please check the friendly staff.

Address: 5 Myoban, Beppu, Oita 〒874-0843

Hours: 9:00 - 20:00

Phone: 0977-66-2221

Website: http://hoyoland.webcrow.jp/

Price: Adult - ¥1,100 | Child - ¥600

Tsukahara Onsen “Kakó no Izumi”

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If you are looking for a more seclusive experience, head towards Tsukahara Plateau in Yufu. There you’ll find Tsukahara Onsen “Kakó no Izumi,” bath houses consisting of separate indoor male and female baths, an open-air bath and four family indoor baths which can be used privately. The healing benefits of this onsen come from the hot, acidic water that draws attention to your eye with its light green color. What makes the water green is the iron and aluminum ions mixing with minerals from the water. The Tsukahara Onsen has even been recognized as the second strongest acidic hot spring in Japan with a pH value of 1.4!

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After you take a dip in the bath, try Tsukahara Onsen’s kakó mushi tamago, an egg steamed by the local hot spring. ♨️🥚

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And in case you were wondering, the flavor is only intensified by the eggs steaming for about 20 hours until they are ready to be devoured. The onsen is surrounded by picturesque nature scenes so end your experience by walking around the craters where you can see actual volcanic steam rising from the ground.

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Address: 1235 Yufuinchō Tsukahara, Yufu, Ōita

Hours: June - August: 9:00 - 19:00 (last entry 18:00) | September - May: 9:00 - 18:00 (last entry 17:00)

Phone: 0977-85-4101

Price: Indoor Bath: ¥500 | Open-Air Bath: ¥600

Shiosai no Yado Seikai

The next stop on our journey to relaxing onsens in Oita was to Shiosai no Yado Seikai. This is a luxurious onsen/ryokan right along the beach in Beppu. There are many services offered at Shiosai no Yado Seikai including a spa, massages, and even a salon. Each room has its own private, open air bath with a beautiful view of the ocean. Feel free to also take a dip in the public, open air onsen before heading to the restaurant for a wide variety of dishes from seafood to Japanese, and a Japanese-Western fusion menu.

The Japanese and Western fused environment allows you to enjoy your time at Shiosai no Yado Seikai knowing that you are also getting a little taste of Japanese culture. If you are looking for an all inclusive experience, this is the perfect onsen destination for you.

Address: 6-24 Shouningahama Beppu Oita. 874-0023

Business Hours: 11:30am - 2:00am

Entering into the onsen: Lunch 11:30 - 15:00, Evening until 22:00* *Please ask the staff to make sure of the hours.

Phone: 0977-66-3680

Website: https://www.seikai.co.jp/english/

Price: To be able to access the onsen, you’ll need to enjoy a meal at their restaurant. For more details, please ask the staff.

City Spa Tenku

Our last scenic spot is City Spa Tenku which is less than a minute walk from the JR Oita station. With an admission fee of only ¥1,900, for an all-inclusive experience access to healing spas and lounge, you can enjoy a full day at City Spa Tenku. Not only can you witness a breathtaking view of Oita from the open-air onsen 80m above ground, you can also spend time in a wide variety of spa rooms like a Finnish Spa, Cooling Spa, and the Aroma Salt Spa.

Aside from the beautiful open air bath and spa rooms, there is a restaurant that also has an amazing view, a reading room, and massages (these are for extra charge). Don’t worry about having to walk from onsen to onsen when you can spend your whole day just at City Spa Tenku!

Address: 1-14 JR Oita City 19-21F, Kanamemachi, Oita 870-0831

Hours: 11:00 - 24:00

Phone: 097-513-2641

Website: http://www.cityspatenku.jp/language/english/

Price: ¥1,900, for an all-inclusive experience access to healing spas and lounge or ¥1,500 to enjoy the onsen

With the many ways that onsens can rejuvenate and replenish our bodies, it’s no wonder why Oita is one of the main travel destinations for people that just want to relax. We hope that this list helps you find the perfect place to take a break, whether this is your first onsen experience or not. These are just some of our favorite onsen experiences but we know there are a lot more out there! ♨️

Daniel L. Jenwei