Last April we spent 6 days in Oita Prefecture.
*Oita is a prefecture on the Japanese Island of Kyushu. Capital of the prefecture is Oita City.
After arriving at Oita airport we boarded a local bus and headed to Kitsuki city.
Kitsuki is and old town that has preserved its historical image.
The town is crisscrossed with stone steps that lead up and down the hills.
It's popular for visitors to dress up in Kimono to thoroughly enjoy the experience of strolling the town's streets.
We visited a local shrine.
Every path leads to beautiful scenery and serene atmosphere.
This is a great place to get a little exercise in. All slopes seem to go up for adults and down for children..
Smile for the camera!
Next morning we started early with a walk around Beppu city.
This building is a local hot bath. One of the most famous in Beppu.
It's a hazy morning.
While walking along some back streets we discovered the local train line.
The entrance to Higashi-Beppu station is covered with pink cherry blossom petals.
Locals hanging out at the station. I thought they were waiting for a train but it turned out that they were just there to chit-chat with anyone willing to stop and chat with them.
A cozy place to sit while waiting for the train..
With no place special to be we decided to ride the train to Oita City and see what there is to see there.
Here comes the train!
Oita city is a pretty nice place to visit.
The moat around this ancient castle site is a pleasant place to go for a walk.
It's also a great place to have a picnic.
After returning to Beppu city we went to the park in the middle of town and discovered a beautiful bamboo forest.
What a great place to bring a date; great atmosphere and it's free too!
I'm a Big Bamboo fan.
I could have stayed here for hours but it was time to move on.
We caught a local bus and headed to Kannawa Onsen where we would be based out of for the rest of our trip.
The town is tightly packed with hot spring Inns. Steaming hot water from the many baths runs off in drainage ditches throughout the town.
This is one steamy town!
Emi practises her shuji calligraphy in our room.
Next morning it was time for a big adventure; we took the Beppu rope way to the top of Mt. Tsurumi. And, we froze to death!
Actually, I was the one that froze to death. I had no idea it would be so cold on top of the mountain and I was ill prepared - no coat! These Chinese tourist took turns taking pictures in front of the big thermometer.
A cable car emerges from the mist.
A view of the Beppu coast line.
Passing by on our way down.
A ninja cat stealthily waits for us next to our Inn.
Stay tunned for part 2!