Kinrinko Lake is a representative tourist spot of Yufuin.
It is said that early in the Meiji period, Confucian scholar Kuso Mori saw the scales of the fish swimming in the lake glistening golden in the sunset and named it Kinrinko Lake ? Golden Scale Lake.
Clean water and warm geothermal water are said to spring from the lake’s bottom, such that the water temperature is warm year-round. If you visit the lake on winter mornings, you might just see steam rising from lake surface like something from a fairytale.
Kinrinko Lake is a representative tourist spot of Yufuin.
With twin peaks and a height of 1,584 m, Mt. Yufu is called Bungofuji ? Mt. Fuji in Bungo, and has been revered as a sight of worship since long ago.
Every year in the beginning of May a festival praying for safety is held here, and Mt. Yufu attracts fans of mountain climbing from all over Japan throughout the year.
You can see the Beppu Bay, the Kuju Mountains and Yufuin Basin from the summit.
At 1,167 m Mt. Jogadake can be climbed easily by novice hikers. You can even drive from Nakayori in Yufuin-cho, through the Mt. Jogadake forest path on the Suichi Road to the trailhead. From there it only takes 40 minutes and you can see the Yufu City area from the summit.
Mt. Yufu’s Brocken Spectre
A Brocken Spectre appears when you stand with your back to the sun and your own shadow, surrounded by a rainbow of light rings, is projected onto clouds or fog ahead. So named because of their frequent appearance at Brocken summit in Germany. Mt. Yufu is one of the few mountains from which one can be seen.
At 1,160 m Mt. Kuraki can be climbed easily by novice hikers.
From the summit you can see Mt. Yufu from its most impressive angle, and take in all of Yufuin Basin from above.
The trailhead is signposted from Amagoi forest path, and takes about 90 minutes to climb.
A natural lake in Aso-Kuju National Park
To the south-east of the lake lies a rarity in Kyushu ? a marshland built up over 6,300 years. In this treasure-trove of plants, fringed orchids and parnassia are cultivated.
This artificial lake, with a surface area of about 4 km, can be found in Aso-Kuju National Park.
A promenade is maintained along the lake shore so you can get the most from hiking there.
Genji Firefly Habitat
Clear water flows through Yufuin, and if you find yourself there between the end of May and the middle of June you can see the Genji fireflies.
That said, the area around the Hotarumibashi Bridge over the Yunotsubo River is famous for firefly-watching.
Jakoshi Viewing Platform
From this wonderful spot you can take in Mt. Yufu and Yufuin Basin together.
This viewing platform, found on Jakoshi Ridge named after the Orochi great serpent legend can be reached by a 15 minute drive from JR Yufuin Station towards Aso on Prefectural Road 11 (Yamanami Highway).
From fall through winter you can observe Yufuin Basin sinking in the morning fog.
One of the best spots next to Sagiridai Overlook for morning fog, many people visit to take photographs.
From this viewing platform you can see all of Yufuin Basin.
Located at the foot of Mt. Yufu, this viewing platform is popular as a place where you can really feel the grandeur of nature.
As it is found along the Kyushu Odan Road it is used by many as a rest-stop.
Also, it is the best spot for watching the morning fog envelope the basin so many people visit to take photographs here.
With a 12 m tall atrium in the lobby, and no ticket gates, you can march straight to the platform. Designed by architect Arata Isozaki, the all-black wooden station building is chic and modern. The waiting room-cum-hall also serves as a gallery space. There is also a footbath (paid) on platform 1.
Stone-paved streets of Yunohira Onsen
With more than 800 years of history as an Onsen said to cure stomach problems, even now many people visit seeking its healing powers.
The stone-paved street leading up the hill was created in the Edo period and helps bring out the ideal traditional Japanese inn town atmosphere.
Why don’t you enjoy a stroll up the stone-paved street while listening to the babble of the clear Kagonogawa River that runs through Yunohira Onsen?
Santoka Museum Shigurekan
An unmanned museum on the banks of the Kagonogawa River associated with Haiku poet Santoka Taneda who visited Yunohira in 1930.
The museum houses exhibitions of poetry and art from young artists from all over Japan.
Additionally, on the second floor, the 6-tatami-mat sized room has a writing desk, brush, ink and paper such that visiting travelers struck with inspiration can compose poetry there and then.
Admission Fee: 100 yen
Yufu Yunohira Shinrinkoen Park
This vast 19 ha natural park can be found along the Yunohira Onsen Prefectural Road from Yunohira Onsen towards Kuju and Aso.
You can enjoy a walk, or on clear days see all the way to Oita City from the viewing platform. Have your fill of nature here.
Kikubatake Koen Park
An elevated park looking down on Yunohira.
In the garden there are slabs engraved with Santoka Taneda’s Haikus, 13 Buddhas, Konpiragu, 88 shrines, and more. If you visit all of them, it is said to have the same miraculous effects as a pilgrimage around Shikoku’s 88 shrines.
On clear days you can see all the way to Oita City.
An area of rolling hills as far as the eye can see on the north face of Mt. Yufu.
A highland surrounded by untouched nature, ever-changing with the seasons. Those who visit are left astounded by its beauty.
As the cold winds of winter ease, burning of the fields is done signaling the coming spring. Temporarily a black wasteland, before long buds of bracken, fern and more begin to spring forth.
The summer draws a stark contrast between the verdant green below and blue sky above, and fall winds make the susuki grass sway.
Here you can enjoy the third best medicinal onsen ? the famous Tsukahara Onsen, driving, horse riding, gallery tours and more.
An active tholoid volcano on the border of Yufu City and Beppu City. 1,045 m tall and sometimes called Iouyama ? Sulphur Mine.
There is an onsen nearby from which you can go on viewing excursions.
Admission Fee: Adults: 200 yen/Children 100 yen