Oita (大分市 Oita-shi) is the capital city of Oita prefecture.
This article is about Oita City, the capital of Oita Prefecture.
Oita City Hall, the management center for Oita City, can be found next to the old castle ruins. The old castle ruins now consist of the old moat which surrounds a modern building called Oita Cultural Hall (Bunkakaikan). With Oita Cultural Hall and the Grand Theater and Otonoizumi Hall in the Iichiko Culture Center, Oita City is also the center of activity for events such as musical concerts and other stage events. The area near Oita Station has many shops, restaurants, and bars.
Despite its reputation as an out-of-the-way city, Oita has multiple points of access.
Located approximately 40 km northeast of Beppu, Oita Airport is the main commercial airport in Oita Prefecture and has daily services to and from Tokyo, Osaka (both Kansai and Itami) and Nagoya by JAL and ANA, and a single international flight to Seoul, Korea with Korean Air.
Travel between the airport and surrounding cities and towns are handled by bus, unfortunately lacking any train access as of yet. The bus has an approximate travel time of 45 and 60 minutes to Beppu and Oita, respectively.
Three JR Kyushu train lines run through Oita Station, located downtown: Nippo Honsen, Hohi Honsen and Kyudai Honsen. The Nippo Honsen could be considered Oita's main rail access line, running JR Kyushu's Sonic trains from Hakata Station and reaching as far south as Miyazaki. Sonic express trains take approximately two hours to and from Hakata Station. The Kyudai Honsen has local service running to the west and reaching as far as Saga Prefecture. Finally, the Hohi Honsen runs local and express service as far as Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture (about 3 hours).
Oita is most easily accessed by car via the East Kyushu Expressway, a well-maintained toll highway that runs from Fukuoka and through Oita, as far as the city of Usuki. Though expensive to use the highway is undeniably swift.
Buses from virtually every major city on Kyushu have service to Oita, the main ones being the multiple highway buses that run to and from Fukuoka. Oita Bus, Oita Kotsu, Kamenoi Bus and a handful of others offer this highway service and travel time is approximately two hours, nearly identical to JR Kyushu's Sonic.
Ferry Sunflower runs a daily ferry between Oita and Kobe. This service is a "sleeper ship", starting in Kobe in the early evening and running through the night until passengers disembark in the morning.
The Oita Station area hotels, shops, and restaurants can be accessed easily on foot.
You can rent a bicycle for ¥200 a day at Oita Station and ride it to scenic spots like the West Oita waterfront (also accessible by train) and Oita River.
Buses leave from Oita Station and Tokiwa Department Store to other points in Oita City.
- 1 Funai Castle (府内城). Funai Castle, also called Oita Castle, was completed in 1602. At that time, it had a 4-story keep, but wars and fires destroyed the keep and much of the castle grounds. Only two structures dating back to the Edo Period remain, the Shumon Turret dating back to 1859, and the Hitojichi Turret which dates back to 1861. Other structures, such as the Otemon Gate and surrounding walls, are modern reconstructions. The keep was never rebuilt.There are some cherry trees in the park surrounding the castle. Free.
- 2 Oita Prefectural Art Museum (大分県立美術館, Ōita-kenritsu-bijutsukan, OPAM), 2-1 Kotobuki-Machi. Built by renowned architect Shigeru Ban, the building is as much of an attraction as the art inside. The museum's permanent collection contains over 3,000 works from artists from around Oita Prefecture. There are also special exhibits, including international exhibits, that change throughout the year. ¥300 for permanent collection, additional costs for special exhibits.
- 3 Oita City Art Museum (大分市美術館, Ōita-shi bijutsukan). The permanent collection features art from Oita from the end of the Edo Period to the present, including many nanga art, which was particularly popular in Bungo Province (part of modern Oita Prefecture). There are also special exhibits which change throughout the year. ¥300 for permanent collection, additional costs for special exhibits.
- 4 Oita City History Museum (大分市歴史資料館). The museum contains exhibits and information related to the city's history, including Bungo Kokubunji Temple, the ruins of which are located in a park just outside the museum. ¥210.
- 5 Bungo Kokubunji (豊後国分寺). This was the head temple of the former Bungo Province. Today there are very few structures remaining, but the park has markers over each place where a building once stood with information and pictures of the structure.
- 6 Takio Tunnel Tomb (滝尾百穴横穴古墳群).
- 7 Oita Marine Palace Aquarium (大分マリーンパレス水族館). 9:00-18:00. Nicknamed "Umitamago", this is the local aquarium with walrus and dolphin shows.
- 8 Hoashi Honke (帆足本家). 9:00-16:30. A sake brewery established in the Edo Period. Visitors can enter the historic building, see displays about sake production, and view a small garden. The site also has a restaurant and a souvenir shop where you can buy sake and other goods. Free.
- 9 Takasakiyama Monkey Park (高崎山自然動物園). 8:30-17:00. A mountain of hundreds of monkeys that can be visited in a pleasant surrounding. ¥520.
- 10 City Rooftop Place (シティ屋上ひろば). A popular hang-out place for locals on the roof of Oita Station. There is a train for kids to ride, a pagoda-shaped look-out, a shrine, and restaurants. It's even more attractive at night when everything lights up.
Worth seeing is the Oita Prefectural Library, designed by architect Arata Isozaki, an early Metabolist masterpiece, finished around 1965. A remarkable brutalist concrete building, it was converted into an Isozaki museum in 1998.
- 1 City Spa Tenku (City Spaてんくう). The onsen is located on the 19-21 floors of Oita City Building offering a spectacular view over the city from the hot springs. ¥1500.
Oita has two large, Western-style malls. You can try out "Wasada Town", a traditional fully-enclosed shopping center with an attached "K`s Denki" for any electronics that you need, as well as a "Tokiwa" that has the latest fashion and clothing for any situation. Don't be surprised about high prices even though it's a small city. The other big mall, "Park Place", is newer than Wasada Town, has store entrances within and without its main enclosed area and it is 20 minutes walking from the "Big Eye" multi-purpose stadium. Here you`ll find another comprehensive shopping experience, plus it has some more attractions for the younger crowds. The movie theater features both domestic and international titles and if you have a student or exchange student ID make sure to show it to get a discount.
Oita overflows with cheap and tasty ramen restaurants and stalls, most specializing in tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen that compete in flavor with Fukuoka's famous variety.
Takoyaki aficionados would be wise not to miss the Tettako chain of takoyaki stalls scattered throughout the city.
Chicken nanban, a kind of fried chicken cooked with rice vinegar and served with a tartar sauce-like topping that originally hails from Miyazaki Prefecture, has taken off spectacularly in Oita. This dish can be found at almost any low-budget restaurant around the city
Karaage, that ever-present Japanese answer to chicken nuggets or buffalo wings, can be had on the cheap at any of the Oita Karaage chain stands around the city.
- 1 Kitchen Maruyama (キッチン丸山). 11:00-14:30. Arguably the most famous restaurant serving Oita's famous tori-ten (chicken tempura).
- 2 Nahamura (花邨). 11:30-14:00, 17:00-23:00. A good place to get tori-ten even in the evening.
Downtown Oita abounds with mid-priced izakaya, particularly in the Miyako-machi and Funai areas. Notable among these izakaya is Kamifusen, a small, popular chain that caters to groups large and small.
For diners willing to pay a premium for authentic Japanese gourmet, a handful of Oita restaurants serve Seki-aji and Seki-saba, special kinds of mackerel caught in and around the swift currents of the Hoyo Channel between Kyushu and Shikoku. Also available in Oita, though in rarer quantities than the special breeds of mackerel, is fugu(blowfish), caught by fisherman in the city of Usuki.
Like most Japanese cities, Oita has compressed virtually all of its drinking establishments into one general entertainment district called Miyako-machi. Located approximately 1 km north of Oita Station, Miyako-machi's streets are lined with multi-story buildings packed with countless bars, hostess clubs, snack bars and izakaya.
- 1 Hotel My Stays Oita (ホテルマイステイズ大分). Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. A local business hotel. Singles from ¥4100.
- 2 [formerly dead link] Comodo Hotel, 金池町1丁目2番1号, ☏ , fax: . Very convenient business hotel, right next to the main train station. Clean and neat rooms. Price includes breakfast and free use of an amazing onsen hot spring on the top floor. The men's section even has a rooftop rotenburo outdoor bath! Singles ¥5,190, doubles ¥7,440.
|Routes through Oita|
|Kumamoto ← Aso ←||W E||→ END|
|Kurume ← Yufu ←||W E||→ END|
|Kitakyushu ← Beppu ←||N S||→ Saiki → Kagoshima|
|into Oita expwy ←||N S||→ Usuki → Saiki|
|Tosu ← Beppu ←||W E||→ into Higashi-Kyushu expwy|