Yufuin has a good reputation among hot-spring lovers, so it has been on my list for some time. My experiences there were somewhat different from my expectations, but I ended up enjoying the place quite a lot.
First of all it’s bigger and more crowded with tourists than I thought it would be. Not nearly as bad as Arima or the neighboring Beppu, but it does not have that lost in the woods feel of Nikko Yumoto or Kurokawa (my absolute favorite in Japan). That is not to say that it does not have its charm.
The charm was there, but I found in in totally unexpected things, like shopping. Oh, I loved shopping in Yufuin, checking out all those little boutiques and souvenir shops that line the main street. And the street is long, and there’s so much stuff that I spent half a day there and got tired before I could see all. And it’s nice stuff, lots of handmade, artsy things – of my favorite sort. Lots of cafes and yummy street food to try out as well.
This is why I don’t have many photos from Yufuin – I was busy with other things. My stay at the local ryokan was also very nice. Good food, good soak.
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I arrived by train from Beppu with one transfer at Oita station. It just so happened that the train I caught at Oita was a fancy Yufuin-no Mori express (available with JR pass), and it was nice.