One day trip in Yufuin, Kyushu
Traveling in Japan, besides the crazy shopping scene, we must not forget to enjoy the natural scenery, the best thing to do is to go for a spa. If you want to do both at the same time, it is possible, because most of the spa attractions in Japan have a “Spa Street”, where you can indulge in some shopping too. Today I am going to introduce to you, the Japanese girls’ number 1 favourite hot spring, which is located in Kyushu –Yufuin Onsen (湯布院)!
If you take the JR, once you get off from the station, you will see a long shopping street and Mount Yufuin.
Even though the street is not very long, you can pay for a carriage and enjoy being chauffeured around the street,if you want to experience it.
Yufuin is located in central Kyushu, most of the tourist will slot in half a day to one day itineraries in between their Kumamoto/Beppu trip. Basically, stepping out from Yufuin Station, there aren’t many activities on Yunotsubo Street (湯の坪街道), the most attractive part are the unique boutiques, if you are a dessert and leisure enthusiast, and you might spend the whole day shopping. If you are here for the hot springs, there are many high quality and grand hot spring hotels that you can choose from, it is suitable for families or even for having a girls day out.
The population in Yufuin is not very high, if you don’t feel like walking, there are a lot of bicycles up for rent.
The stores in Yufuin are mainly focused on desserts and handcrafts, such as ice-cream, honey, crystal, cartoon and etc., they are mostly girls’ favourites. Even thoughYunotsubo Street is not very long, if you don’t like to shop, it might only take you an hour to finish walking around the street, but the shops definitely have the magic to attract your attention (and spend some money). Hence, it is best to schedule more than half a day, and we recommend thatthose who are not in a rush, can consider staying a night in the hot spring hotel, enjoy a Japanese holiday.
This is a dessert store「ゆふふ」 which I would definitely recommend!
There are a lot of beautiful and delicious desserts in the store; most of the desserts have received Golden State Awards, especially the smooth pudding and the Swiss roll.
The street is filled with unique boutiques, if you pass by, you will definitely be attracted by them.
This shop is always very crowded, it is a shop which sells Miyazaki products -「どんぐりの森」.
The entrance has a big Totoro and Kiki’s Service Delivery (魔女の宅急便) doll, if you are a fan you must not miss it!
The shops are decorated uniquely, it will take you the whole day if you visit each of the shops.
The street is filled with ice-cream shops.
Yufuin is also famous for its honey, this shop – Bee Honey sells all kinds of honey product. The honey ice-cream is not very sweet, delightful!
Besides shopping, there is a famous tourist attraction worth visiting – Lake Kirin「金鱗湖」, the surface of the lake reflects the golden shine of the sun, hence it is also named Lake Kirin (Golden Lake). If you are tired of walking, you can take a rest here, or try the foot bath or the lakeside western restaurant, it would give you a different travel experience.
Talk a slow walk along the lake!
A special reminder, as I am not sure if most of the tourist will choose a hot spring hotel with meals, or maybe the snacks on the street are good enough, there are not many restaurants on the street, and most of them only open for lunch. Most of the stores close around 5-6pm in the evening, hence, if you are not staying in Yufuin, maybe you would want to leave by then.
After 7-8pm, the street is mostly empty, so do enjoy your night in the hotel!
If you want to try staying in a hot spring hotel and don’t want to pick somewhere very rural, and want to do some shopping, I will definitely recommend Yufuin. If you are heading to Kumamoto, maybe you should consider staying a night in Beppu/Yufuin (if you are a spa lover, then you should try both!), it is the best place to relax your mind and body.