Exploring Oita: Best places to visit in the city

Exploring Oita: Best places to visit in the city


Oita prefecture is famous for hot springs as it is also home to the onsen town of Beppu (別府). Oita has many natural tourist attractions. But in this feature, we introduce spots in Oita city within walking distance from the station.


Recommended tourist spots

Oita Prefectural Art Museum (大分県立美術館)


Oita Prefectural Museum of Art (OPAM) is an art museum and exhibition facility for locals in Oita prefecture. Located in the heart of Oita city, it is just a 15-minute walk from Oita station.


The staircase and pathway leading to the museum matches the aesthetics of the building.


Opened in April 2015, this museum showcases a diverse range of art, from Japanese to European masterpieces, inviting visitors to engage all their senses.


The museum features both free and paid sections, with complimentary art on the first floor. Appreciate the beautifully lit exhibits, and enjoy the gift shop and seating area.


At the top floor, a grand oval roof lets you immerse in the ever-changing atmosphere and view smaller adorned artworks. This floor houses the entrance to the paid exhibits, where you can explore works of interest.

Official website: https://www.opam.jp

Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/MNYQgQmhJ24K381W8?g_st=ic

Art Plaza (アートプラザ)


Art Plaza is a vibrant contemporary art gallery that welcomes local artists from the city to exhibit their creations. The building's captivating design features a remarkable arrangement of concrete boxes, forming a compelling architectural masterpiece. Recognized for its significance, the structure earned the status of cultural art in 2022.


In front of the building, captivating art installations serve as unique time indicators, adding to the allure of Art Plaza. Photography may be restricted for certain artworks, but the abundance of artistic treasures and captivating architecture awaits art enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike.

Official website: http://www.art-plaza.jp

Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/sVhrfyexfk4dc2KHA?g_st=ic

Oita Funai Park (大分城址公園)


Oita Funai Park, formerly Oita Castle Ruins, is a serene oasis enveloped by a protective moat. Inside, a tranquil Japanese garden is perfect for leisurely strolls. A cherished public park for Oita residents, it offers a glimpse of its historical past. While the castle may stand as remnants, its walls and other sections remain well preserved.


The back has a torii gate and a small red postbox—a captivating blend of the past and the present, rarely found elsewhere. This remarkable juxtaposition symbolizes the harmonious coexistence of historical heritage with the modern world.


This garden is also renowned as the city's beloved cherry blossom viewing spot during springtime. Locals gather to sit and marvel at the blooming Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms, adorning the roadsides alongside the moat. The shaded ambiance offers a perfect setting for relaxation and, being a historic location, it provides a rare opportunity for a delightful picnic amid nature's beauty.

Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/zkrFN6QxWCqEVaW6A?g_st=ic

Birthplace of karaage (fried chicken)


Oita holds the distinction of being the birthplace of karaage. Kiwami Karage Torisho (極からあげ鳥匠) is a renowned karaage chicken restaurant and there are several such establishments in the city. Kiwami Karage Torisho enjoys popularity among the locals, making it a must-visit destination for aficionados of this delectable dish.


Indulge in the simplicity of a karaage & rice set at this charming restaurant. Customize your meal by selecting your preferred chicken part and portion size. Amidst a warm ambiance, customers and chefs engage in friendly chats, creating a welcoming atmosphere. If you find yourself in Oita prefecture, a visit to this delightful spot is a must.

Google map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/TAqCh1hmaZWbkq9U6?g_st=ic

Next time you have the opportunity to visit Japan, make sure to include Oita prefecture in your itinerary. Don't miss the chance to explore the vibrant downtown area of Oita and experience all the cultural delights it has to offer.

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