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Hon-Yabakei, Oita. One of Japan's Most Beautiful Sightseeing Destinations

The video “Drone Trip 本耶馬渓(大分県 中津市),” was created by “大分県中津市” (Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture) as a promotional video to introduce recommended sightseeing spots at the popular sightseeing destination Hon-Yabakei.

Hon-Yabakei, with its unique landscape due to lava flow, as well as its collection of historical landmarks, is an immensely popular sightseeing destination.
Yabakei is located in Kyushu’s Oita Prefecture, Nakatsu City, Kusu Town (大分県中津市・玖珠町, Oita-ken Nakatsu-shi Kusu-machi). The vast scenic area of historical and cultural importance was even designated as a Heritage Sight of Japan in the year 2017.
Besides Yabakei, other famous sightseeing spots, such as Aonodomon Tunnel (青の洞門, Aonodomon), Fururakan (古羅漢, Fururakan), and Kyoshuho Cliff (競秀峰, Kyoshuho), all come together to make up Nakatsu, Oita’s Hon-Yabakei.

In this video, drone recordings and time-lapses are used to introduce Oita’s Hon-Yabakei.
The video is chock-full of impressive aerial views.

Information About Hon-Yabakei, Oita’s Foremost Sightseeing Location

Image of Aonodomon Tunnel
Photo:Aonodomon Tunnel

Shown at 0:06 in the video, as the camera moves along the Yamakuni River (山国川, Yamakuni-gawa), what comes into view on the right-hand side is the Aonodomon Tunnel, which is especially popular in the fall.
The Aonodomon Tunnel is one of Hon-Yabakei's representative sightseeing spots.
It was constructed during the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to enable monks to safely cross the treacherous cliffs along the river.
Though dug by hand by stonemasons using only chisels and hammers, the tunnel was completed in a mere 30 years.
After completion, tolls were collected for passage, making this tunnel Japan’s very first toll road.

Next is Yabakei Bridge (耶馬渓橋, Yabakei-bashi), characterized by its 8 arches.
This bridge is also known as the Holland Bridge (オランダ橋, Oranda-bashi), and is one of the "Top 100 Famous Bridges in Japan."
The Yabakei Bridge is also Japan’s longest stone-masonry bridge.
This is introduced at 0:23 in the video.

Hon-Yabakei, Oita’s Popular Sightseeing Spot: Fururakan

Image of Rakan-ji Temple
Photo:Rakan-ji Temple

At the top of the mountain lies the Fururakan View (古羅漢の景, Fururakan no kei).
After viewing the Rakan statues, you can pass through Tenjin Bridge (天人橋, Tenjin-bashi) and the stone mountain gate of Fururakan.
Tenjin Bridge is the main entrance to Rakan-ji Temple (羅漢寺, Rakan-ji), a mysterious area where man and nature coexist. Here, you can worship with peace of mind.
From 0:35 in the video, you can see the Fururakan towering over the mountains and expanse of nature. Next is the Running Dog View (犬走りの景, Inu-hashiri no Kei), a low-water crossing named for its river stones which are shaped like dogs. On bicycle, you can proceed to the entrance of the Kyoshuho Cliff Exploration Path (競秀峰探勝道, Kyoshuho tansho-do).
Go through the mountain path full of greenery and proceed to an area where ancient statues of Buddha and other deities remain. Then, travel down the chain to reach the steep cliff "The Rock of Jin" (陣の岩, Jin no iwa).

The Rock of Jin at Kyoshuho Cliff offers a 360-degree panoramic view that'll definitely look great on Instagram. This is a popular spot not only for people in Japan, but also people from overseas as well as mountain climbers.
The Kyoshudo Cliff Exploration Path also has a beginner’s course that takes only about 70 minutes.
It's a rock exploration course where you can experience Mother Nature.

Summary of Hon-Yabakei, Oita

Image of Kyoshuho Cliff
Photo:Kyoshuho Cliff

Hon-Yabakei is located in Nakatsu, Oita in the Kyushu region of Japan.
It's 1.5 hours from Fukuoka Airport by limited express train (特急列車, Tokkyu-ressha), and 45 minutes away from Oita Station, similarly by limited express train.

As seen in the video, this is an incredibly scenic area full of mysterious mountains.
However, as it is not yet particularly well-known in Japan, it can be said to be a hidden sightseeing area.

The sight of autumn leaves clinging to the steep cliffs is especially popular, with many tourists visiting in the fall.
Furthermore, in recent years, Nemophila​ flowers (ネモフィラ, Nemofira) have been blooming in the fields in front of the Kyoshuho Cliff (Aonodomon Tunnel). The Nemophila Festival, to celebrate these refreshing blue flowers, is held from mid-April to Golden Week, and it has become a new sightseeing attraction.

You can feel the majesty and beauty of this scenic area in the video.
We hope that were were able to convey the charm of Hon-Yabakei through this article and video. Experience the mysteries of nature in the lava plateau of Hon-Yabakei!

【Official Website】Oita Prefecture, Nakatsu City Municipal Office Homepage


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Last Updated : Nov. 1, 2020
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The Breathtaking Beauty of Nakatsu, Oita's “Hon-Yabakei.” Enjoy a Powerful, Aerial Video Showing Its Spectacular Cliffs!
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