Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
Unravel One Thousand Years of Memories. A Completely Undiscovered Japan
- Millennium Heritage Journey -

In the northern region of Oita Prefecture there are eight municipalities with a history spanning over 1,000 years from the distant past, through ancient times, the Middle Ages, and up to the present day. The history that has shaped modern Japan is ingrained in its memories and has been carved into this region.
The start of history in this area begins with the combining of Buddhism and Shinto religions at the Usa Shrine about 1,300 years ago. The fusion of the cultural beliefs between Shinto gods and Buddha is a kind of culture not seen anywhere else in the world, and perhaps it is precisely because of this that it has become a cornerstone of the essential Japanese spirit. This culture of fused religions from Usa and the Kunisaki Peninsula has proved to be timeless, and still remains today as the Rokugo Manzan culture.
The Usa Shrine reigned over about one-third of the territories in Kyushu, but this power has been lost over the passage of time. Since then each area has continued to develop in its own way; Nakatsu, Kitsuki and Hiji have the characteristic shape of castle towns, while Beppu is prospering as an international hot spring resort area. As time passes, the Rokugo Manzan culture is still concentrated at the temples, and even today is being passed down through the generations of local people.
Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone is a place where you can immerse yourself in a completely unknown Japan. The Millennium Heritage Journey will unravel its history. The landscape and culture, the lives of the local people, the shrines and temples that are passing on this history, and with each experience and encounter you will uncover something that has been forgotten, and perhaps this will be a journey that leaves you with unforgettable memories…

The Characteristics of this Area


Clear days are plentiful with a pleasant climate coming from the Seto Inland Sea. Sunny days are the norm in summer, and in winter the seasonal winds can bring snowfalls seen accumulating in the mountains.


The Kunisaki Peninsula is characterized by its steep terrain and volcanic soil which is easily permeated by rain water resulting in a very particular sustainable system of agriculture, forestry and water in the oak forests and ponds, which have been designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System.

Hot Springs

This area is full of hot springs,especially in Beppu,in which you can enjoy a variety of colorful waters. It is one of the main hot spring areas in Japan and it has the most sources of hot springs in the world.


The region has an array of historical cultures that have come from ancient times to the present day. With the Usa Shrine at its center, Buddhism and Shintoism syncretized forming the 'Shinbutsu Shugo Culture',which spread throughout the Kunisaki Peninsula. Nakatsu, Kitsuki, and Hiji developed as castle towns, and these days they have become large towns with the old castle town at their heart. With one of the world's leading onsen towns, Beppu, there is still a heritage of precious modernization, back alleys, and the public bathhouse culture that escaped the destruction of war.


With all eight municipalities facing the Seto Inland Sea, fresh seafood is in abundance. Nakatsu is famous for conger pike, Himeshima for Japanese tiger prawns, and Hiji for Shiroshita flounder. In addition, Oita's tori-ten and kara-a-ge fried chicken are famous all over the country, The famous hot spring resorts in Beppu have a traditional method of cooking using steam from the hot spring nicknamed 'steamed in hell’s kitchen'.

Access Information

From Fukuoka Airport

By Train

【JR Hakata Station】(Nakatsu)-(Usa)-(Kitsuki)-【JR Beppu Station】 Limited Express train(About 2 hours)

By Bus

【Fukuoka Airport】【Beppu】 Highway bus(About 2 hours)

By Car

【Fukuoka】(Nakatsu)-(Usa)-(Hiji)-【Beppu】 Higashi-Kyushu Expressway(About 2 hours)

【Fukuoka】【Beppu】  Kyushu Expressway/Oita Expressway(About 2 hours)

From Oita Airport

By Bus

【Oita Airport】(Kitsuki)-(Hiji)-【Beppu】 AIRLINER(About 1 hour)

【Oita Airport】(Kunisaki)-(bungotakada)-(Usa)-【Nakatsu】 NORTHLINER(About 1 hour 40 minutes)

By Car

【Oita Airport】【Usa】 National road/Prefectural road(About 1 hour)

【Oita Airport】【Bungotakada】 National road/Prefectural road(About 1 hour)

By Car/By Ferry

【Oita Airport】(Imi Port)【Himeshima Port】 (About 1 hour)

Experience Program

1,300 Years of History – Rokugo Manzan Culture – Training Experience at Monjusen-ji Temple (Area:Kunisaki)
Shinto gods and Buddha are complexly intertwined in the unique culture of this region which one can partake in at a training experience at the temple.

Stroll around a castle town that still retains the Edo atmosphere while wearing a Kimono(Area: Kitsuki)
A step back in time to the Edo period. Stroll around the old town which has a uniquely Japanese-style castle while dressed in a kimono.

Wander the back alleys of Takegawara(Area:Beppu)
Take a guide and walk the backstreets of Beppu where there are still traces of the good old days.

1-Day Sightseeing Bus

【Bus Depots】Oita Station,Beppu Station, Beppu Kitahama,Beppu Kotsu Center,Hiji, Usa Station
【Bus Routes】Oita Station=Beppu Station=Beppu Kitahama=Beppu Kotsu Center=Usa Station―――Usa Jingu Shrine―Fukiji Temple―Kumano Magaibutsu―Zaizen Family Graves―Futagoji Temple――Oita Airport=Beppu Kotsu Center=Beppu Kitahama=Beppu Station=Oita Station

【Bus Depots】Oita Station,Beppu Station, Beppu Kitahama,Beppu Kotsu Center,Nakatsu Station
【Bus Routes】Oita Station=Beppu Station=Beppu Kitahama=Beppu Kotsu Center=Nakatsu Station―――Fukuzawa Kyutei―Ao no Domon―Rakanji Temple―Yabakei Dam Lake―Shin-Yabakei Canyon―History Museum―――――Usa Station=Beppu Kotsu Center=Beppu Kitahama=Beppu Station=Oita Station