Travel to hell, where there's tattoo-friendly onsen, and don't forget to grab some fried chicken while you’re there.
Oita City, the prefecture’s capital where the 2019 Rugby World Cup matches will be held, is a bit less hellish—but is luckily located only 45 minutes away from the hot spring action.
Chill out, get some R&R and kick back in between catching the rugby games in this coastal prefecture on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu.
Oita Stadium was designed by famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa and was completed back in 2001. It has the biggest retractable roof of any stadium in Japan!
Sometimes called Oita Bank Dome, the stadium hosted two games of the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and holds the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon annually.
To get to the stadium, walk from Oita Station to Oita Ekimae #6 bus stop and catch a bus to the Oita Sports Park East.
What to do before or after the Rugby World Cup
Go to hell, of course! We mean that in a good way.
The Hells of Beppu
The eight “hells” of Beppu are not your typical onsen (hot spring baths). The scorching baths located in nearby Beppu city are way too hot to safely bathe in.
They are, however, a unique sight to behold. Here you’ll find a range of breathtaking springs, from the cloudy Shiraike Jigoku (The White Pond Hell) to the Chinoike Jigoku (The Blood Pond Hell) which is a whopping 78 degrees Celsius!
Walk between these infernal pits and grab an egg cooked in the searing hot onsen from the local souvenir shop. Enjoy your trip to the other side.
- ¥550 to visit one hell or ¥2100 to visit all eight
- Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 986 Kannawakami, Beppu-shi, Oita - Map
- Getting there: From Oita Station take the Nippou line three stops to Beppu Station. Exit the station on the western side and take the Shin Minatomachi/Kannawa/APU bus to Umijigoku Mae.
What to eat
Karaage (fried chicken)
People in Oita Prefecture love fried chicken. There’s even a festival in September dedicated entirely to the stuff where vendors sell fried chicken-flavored ice cream!
We can’t vouch for the taste of that, but you can try Oita Prefecture’s fried chicken at almost any restaurant in the prefecture. After your steamy sojourn in hell, stop into Beppu’s Karaage Kon Chan and go for the Max Karaage lunch box.
The huge portion of crispy fried chicken is big enough to feed two people—or one person with an inhuman appetite.
- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- 1-5 Ekimae Honmachi, Beppu, Oita 874-0934 - Map
Sightseeing around Oita
Oita Prefecture has many tattoo-friendly onsen to explore. You can even get up close with some wild monkeys!
Yufuin is a peaceful little resort town right next to Beppu that’s full of traditional shops and lovely onsen!
These hot springs are extremely therapeutic—and safe— to bathe in! Slow down, take some time to peruse the scenic streets and take a load off, enjoying the town’s idyllic beauty.
- 8-2 Yufuinchō Kawakita, Yufu, Oita - Map
- Getting there: Take the Kyudai line from Oita Station to Yufuin station. Many onsen are located around here.
Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden
This zoo is known for its wild Japanese monkeys! Located on Mount Takasakiyama, the park is home to over 1200 free-roaming Macaques. Hang out with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
- ¥500 for adults; ¥250 for children aged six to 15; free for children under five
- 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- 3098-1 Kanzaki, Oita City, Oita - Map
- Getting there: From Oita Station, take bus AS71 (Oita Station Sekinoe Shako Mae) to Takasakiyama.
How to get there
- Catch the shinkansen (bullet train) from Shin-Osaka Station to Kokura Station. This will take around two hours. From there, catch the Express Sonic train via the JR Nippo line to Oita Station (an additional hour and 20 minutes). This route is covered by the JR Pass!
- Oita Airport is only a 55-minute flight away from Osaka International Airport.
- A flight from Haneda Airport to Oita Airport takes an hour and a half. From Narita Airport, it’s about an hour and 40 minutes.