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October 11, 2013
Day 8 - Yufuin

Yufuin (z@) is a popular hot spring resort located about ten kilometers inland from Beppu, another hot spring resort that is much larger and more developed. Yufuin has a wealth of cafes, art museums and boutiques. Many travelers come to the city just to stroll about town for the day.

Yufuin is located on a flat river basin surrounded by mountains. The most prominent feature of Yufuin's skyline is the twin peaked Mount Yufu, which hovers over the town and serves as the backdrop for many scenic views. The area is rural and shortly after leaving the main walking route, travelers will come across rice paddies and farm houses that make up a considerable part of the town.

Today's Report
 
Yufuin and I've spent a week in Kyushu

The picturesque view from my room.

Leaving Aso, I headed towards Beppu. Ifve been told that Oita prefecture has 8 out of the 9 different types of hot spring waters in the world. Too bad I wasnft able to go on an onsen Tour de Oita. Not this time, but definitely next time!

When I first entered my room at Bokai Hotel, the first thing that caught my eye was the open window with a view of the sea. It is a beautiful sight and I headed there straight leaving my bags at the door. According to Kimura-san, the architect who designed the front entrance also made some decisions about the view. Having shogi windows to frame the view and for privacy instead of curtains, is definitely the better idea, and the empty walls emphasizes the view.

The front doors of Bokai Hotel.

The lovely members of the Oita branch of AJRA organised a welcome dinner for me on my first night at Bokai Hotel. It was a good opportunity to meet more new people and experience the Oita warmth (and I definitely messed up my speech at dinner haha).

Hello AJRA Oita members!

My mackerel has it's own serial number. That's mackerel number 311711.

An Oita member, Ogata-san, working in Yufuin, showed us a picture of the morning mist above the Kinrinko. It looked absolutely beautiful, and like yesterdayfs sea of clouds, the conditions had to be right.

Guess who woke up early, after the massive dinner the night before, to try our luck at seeing the morning mist over Kinrinko. Yep. Us three, Kimura-san, Tomosugi-san and I. We didnft get to see any mist above Kinrinko, but we got to see some low-lying clouds over the city. I donft know about the both of them, but I sure was sleepy for the rest of the day!

We didn't get to see the morning mist over the lake but it was still beautiful.

I see three people who got out of bed too early and the town of Yufuin in the valley behind them.

We saw a rainbow before we started our little side trip and took it to be a good sign for the day to come. Rain didnft stop us and it turned out to be a hot day in Yufuin when I did the walk later. Yufuin is really pretty with lots of little cafes between the station and Kinrinko. There were lots of tourists who come in by the busload, and the town was crowded by mid-day.

The rainbow we saw in the morning before we set off.

One of the many cafes in the area.

The path I took veered a little off the tourist track after Kinrinko and it was beautifully quiet and peaceful there. I saw dragonflies, butterflies and grasshoppers doing their own thing, and stepped over big rocks to cross the river. Almost a slice of the countryside in Yufuin town.

Ifll be sad to leave Kyushu tomorrow and canft wait to be back again. Till next time, Ifll see you all again soon!

Yufuin station

Loving the artfully cluttered decor.

Something about the red post boxes that draw me to them.

The backseat of this car has crazy controls. Back massage in the car anyone?

Yufudake's top covered in fog.

The gracious hosts, Kimura-san (l) and Tomosugi-san (r) looking a tad sleepy at the lookout point.

(l-r) Ogata-san, Ogawa-san, my dessert from dinner, me, Kimura-san

This Astro Boy isn't ready to leave Kyushu yet.

Today's Program
 
Today's Walk: Explore both the trendy and the rural faces of Yufuin

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Today's circular route leads along both the trendy main shopping street of Yufuin with its many boutiques and museums, and the rural part of the town characterized by fields and canals.

Date October 11, 2013
Start Time 10:30
Start Yufuin Station
Goal Yufuin Station
Distance 4 kilometers (about 2 hours)
Terrain Today's journey features an easy walk on mostly flat surfaces.
Weather Average daytime high: 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average nighttime low: 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit)
Weather Forecast for Oita
Access Yufuin Station is served by limited express trains connecting Fukuoka with Oita. The Yufu #1 limited express, which departs Hakata at 7:45, arrives in Yufuin in time for today's walk. Yufuin is also connected with Beppu by 1-2 buses per hour (50 minutes, 900 yen one way). The 9:35 departure from Beppu Station (bus stop #3) arrives at Yufuin Station in time for today's walk.
More details on how to get to Yufuin
Lodgings A lodging in Yufuin would make an ideal base for the walk. More lodging choices can be found in nearby Beppu.
Search hotels in Yufuin through Agoda, Booking.com or Japanican
Search hotels in Beppu through Agoda, Booking.com or Japanican

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Daily Quiz
The deadline for answering the quiz question for day 8 has passed.

Among Japan's 47 prefectures, Oita Prefecture ranks first in multiple categories. However, in which of the following categories does Oita not rank first?

18%   Most tunnels
9%   Most hot spring sources
0%   Most saffron produced
68%   Most shochu consumed
6%   None of the above

The correct answer is: Most shochu consumed

Oita is the leader in all of these categories except shochu consumption, which is dominated by Kagoshima Prefecture.

Current Standings: (after 30 days)

28 Points: Csabba, AlexanderStankov
27 Points: gladhiola, almoehi, ZoomX2, mikaelus
26 Points: Rabbityama, Proxy707

More about the quiz
 

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