The Yamanami Highway is a tourist road in Oita that runs between near Yufuin towards Kurokawa Onsen and Aso. It crosses over a plateau that appears not very Japanese in character – it’s wide and open. There are wide plains, and some steaming volcanoes as magnificent scenery. A few times I caught myself thinking that I was driving along a road in New Zealand.
This is the Kuju Kogen (Kuju Highlands) in Oita Prefecture, which I visited during Golden Week recently. Both panoramas are taken along the “Yamanami Highway”, a scenic route across the mountains between Yufuin and Kurokawa Onsen. The scenery isn’t typically Japanese – if only because it’s wide and open. Yes, that’s volcanic steam churning out of that mountain – it was quite a spectacular view.
Click on either of the panoramas to see them full size.
Yufuin is a charming onsen resort town in Oita Prefecture, inland from Beppu. It is full of ryokan with hot springs, and is situated under a towering mountain called Yufu-dake. The spring flowers were still out – it was a nice town to walk around before heading back to the ryokan for a big meal and a soak in the rotenburo.