Yufuin (由布院 as onsen resort, 湯布院 as city district) is a popular hot spring resort, located about ten kilometers inland from Beppu, another, much larger and more developed hot spring resort. Yufuin has a wealth of art museums, cafes and boutiques, and 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 the rice paddies and farm houses that make up a considerable part of the town.
A shopping area along the main walking route
The ryokan and hotels of Yufuin are spread out around town, and not clustered along the main street like in many other resort towns. Instead, the main street is lined with cafes, boutiques and small museums, giving Yufuin an atmosphere more like a trendy shopping area than a traditional onsen town. Nonetheless, there is a large number of lodgings with hot spring baths, some of which open their baths to non-staying guests during daytime.
Another natural landmark of Yufuin besides Mount Yufu is Lake Kinrinko. The small lake is located at the end of the town's main walking route, about a kilometer and a half from the station. Walking paths surround the lake as well as more small shops and cafes, and there is a small shrine located at the lake's southern end. There are also a few public bath houses, one of which, the Shitanyu, can be used by tourists, while the others are for use by local residents only.
Below is a list of some of Yufuin's best baths:
best of the best
best of Japan