Arts & Culture
Stimulate the senses.
Opened in 2015, the Oita Prefectural Art Museum (OPAM) is an art museum and community exhibition venue located in Oita City.
The museum aims to stimulate visitors through all five of their senses and to appeal to their individual creativity. With changing exhibitions that follow this mantra, OPAM is a museum that constantly challenges visitors to make new discoveries and be inspired.
The museum was designed by world-renowned architect Shigeru Ban and boasts a modern, accessible spacious design which allows it to showcase its treasures as effectively as possible.
Light placement plays an important role within the museum.
The Beppu Bamboo Crafts Center showcases woven bamboo works and other important hand made craftwork that is hundreds of years of years old.
Bamboo craftwork has been an important part of Beppu’s history, in fact, references to it are even mentioned in Nihon-shoki, the oldest chronicles of Japan. The Nihon-shoki states that on a trip to Beppu, the 12th Emperor’s chef concluded that the type of bamboo stalks in the region were ideal for basket weaving, thus fueling the rapid growth of the industry in the region
For anyone wishing to learn these traditional techniques, several classes can be attended in Beppu.
The stunning complexity of some of the works on display in Beppu's works is a joy to behold.
Fine art in the wilderness.
Overlooking the vast Kunisaki countryside may not be the most obvious place to see the work of one of the world’s most renowned sculptors, however it is exactly where you can find a piece of Antony Gormley’s work.
Part of his ‘Another Time’ exhibition which includes similar icon cast statues all over the world, this particular one was installed on 2013 and has since become a fixture of the region.
Although getting to the statue requires a brisk 20 minute hike, we highly recommend doing so for some of the best possible views across the Kunisaki Peninsula, and of course to post for a photo with the statue!
The lone bronze statue overlooks the Seto Inland Sea.
Oita’s rich heritage of arts and crafts is perhaps no more evident than in the history of its pottery production industry.
The city of Usuki and small mountainside village of Onta have particularly rich history in the pottery industry, the latter being the center for Mingei, an influential Japanese arts and crafts movement in the 1930s.
To this day, many of the kilns at both locations are still in operation and traditional ‘Usukiyaki’ and ‘Ontayaki’ is still being created using techniques passed down through several generations.
A workshop which continues the traditional methods of producing Usukiyaki.
Popularized through anime!
Completed in 1934, Bungo Mori Roundhouse is a former turning station for steam locomotives and has been featured the animations ‘Nisekoi’ and more recently ‘Love Live!’.
At its peak, 25 steam locomotives carried over 5,000 passengers per day along this line, however with the transfer to diesel-powered trains, it was closed in 1970.
Inside the park, there is a railway museum, where you can learn more about the history of the Roundhouse, what’s evening cooler is it was built by Eiji Mitooka, designer of the Seven Stars luxury train in Kyushu.
The Bungo Mori ROundhouse was formally part of the Kyudai Main Line.
Steam filled streets.
One of Japan’s most synonymous locations for hot springs, Beppu has every type of hot spring you can imagine. The city is divided into eight major hot spring areas, known as ‘Beppu Hatto’ and includes everything from mud baths, to sand baths to the Eight Hells, the steam rising from all over the city is often the first thing visitors notice when they arrive.
As beautiful as the city is during the day, the night view is definitely worth taking in when you visit. The Yukemuri Observatory point is a raised deck that spoils visitors with a view across the entire city, where you can capture the contrast between colorful lit up buildings and the incessant flowing steam.
The city is home to more than 2,000 (hot springs).