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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'.

Long Trips
Adventure Travel
Short Trips

GYOUKOUE is a sacred ceremony that was held until 400 years ago to replace the enshrined god at USA JINGU shrine. Priests carried an object of worship made at Komo shrine for 100km on a palanquin called "Mikoshi" while visiting other holy sites of the region.
We trace the route that inspired a thou

In ancient times, northern Kyushu is believed to be the first area to have interactions with China and the Korean Peninsula. The more advanced cultures were brought over and Japan's ancient culture fused them together, creating a uniquely Japanese culture that spread throughout the country. Startin


This is a trail based on the ancient "Rokugo Manzan Mineiri Pilgrimage Route" on the Kunisaki Peninsula.This reconfigured course,which can be modified by adding further mountain climbing or walking routes,allows participants to experience the real pleasures of hiking and walking trails in a fun and

【Local guides take you through the historical hot-spring culture of the area.】

The town of Kannawa Onsen takes its name from its famous onsen (hot springs). This spa resort town has long flourished as a therapeutic hot-spring destination, and guests can use a 'jigoku kettle' to steam food with on

Would you like to wear Kimono and walk around the famous hot spring city Beppu?

We offer not only a wide selection of elegant Kimonos but also Obi (sash) and Geta(traditional Japanese clogs) to match your choice of garment, so feel free to visit us empty-handed!

Senpukuji Temple is a Zen temple located in Kunisaki,where many adherents to the Tendai school of Buddism are found,and was founded by the Zen monk Mujaku Myoyu.It is the head temple in Kyushu of the Soto school of Zen Buddhism.Here,you can experience full-fledged zazen(seated Zen medhitation) and c

【Cycling through Yabakei,one of the top spots in Japan for viewing autumns leaves】

Oddly shaped rocks and natural gorges make this a unique cycling experience. Ride through pastoral scenes that resemble a landscape painting. Enjoy the breath-taking Yabakei scenery in three seasons: autumn leaves,

【The origin of Hachiman culture and the origins of where the gods dwell 】

This tour includes hiking along the Omoto Historic Trail, an ancient trail on Mt. Omoto.

Mt. Omoto is a sacred mountain where three goddesses are said to have alighted from the heavens. It has been a sacred mountain with

【Harvesting Oita's speciality shiitake mushrooms 】

Shiitake mushrooms are famous worldwide as a source of umami, the "fifth taste" after sweet, sour, salty and bitter. What gives the umami taste to shiitake mushrooms is guanyl acid. This broth from the mushrooms is widely used alongside kombu in

【 Fishing boat cruises and a tour of the fish market! 】

Experience a cruise on a fishing boat around the clear blue waters of Beppu Bay. The cruise offers unique views from the sea such as Mount Tsurumidake, and billowing steam from the hot springs.

Beppu is a hot spring resort that developed

You can gain first-hand experience of learning dyeing from our dyers.

There are two courses: a light course in which you can experience lightheartedly by using designs we have already prepared and finished applicating glue and a full-scale course in which you can experience application of glue t

This is a walking tour in the Kannawa hot spring area, one of the eight hot spring concentrations in Beppu. Walking along the traditional streets, you will see how hot springs have been closely linked with the local people's lives.

Hot spring steam ovens, the city's hot spring steam bath house, "

Nakatsu Castle Town was built by many great Lords during the Warring States period. Surprisingly, even now, we can easily touch on the wisdom, culture and lifestyle of this Samurai society.

Let's walk the castle town of Nakatsu city with a friendly guide. We visit some historical places and local shops! You can also experience Indigo Dyeing.

In ancient times, agricultural rice cultivation culture was first introduced from China and the Korean Peninsula. The northern Oita area is still influenced by this culture more than 1,000 years later. Usa Jingu Shrine is the birthplace of "Shinto-Buddhism syncretism," a harmonious blend of foreign

Rice, the staple food in Japan, is not only a food but it is also a significant part of Japanese culture. Rice farming began with the knowledge of rice cultivation, civil engineering, and reservoir techniques being handed down from generation to generation.
There are times when rice production may

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

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



Highway bus (About 2 hours)

By Car


(Nakatsu) - (Usa) - (Hiji)



Higashi-Kyushu Expressway (About 2 hours)



Kyushu Expressway / Oita Expressway (About 2 hours)

From Oita Airport
By Bus

Oita Airport

(Kitsuki) - (Hiji)



AIRLINER (About 1 hour)

(Kunisaki) - (bungotakada) - (Usa)



NORTHLINER (About 1 hour 40 minutes)

By Car

Oita Airport



National road/Prefectural road (About 1 hour)



National road/Prefectural road (About 1 hour)

By Car / By Ferry

Oita Airport


Imi Port


Himeshima Port

(About 1 hour)

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