Yufuin is a popular hot spring resort, located about ten kilometers inland from Beppu, another, much larger and more developed hot spring resort. Yufuin has a wealth of art museums, cafes and boutiques, and many travelers come to the city just to stroll about town for the day.
Yufuin is located on a flat river basin surrounded by mountains. The most prominent feature of Yufuin's skyline is the twin peaked Mount Yufu, which hovers over the town and serves as the backdrop for many scenic views. The area is rural and shortly after leaving the main walking route, travelers will come across the rice paddies and farm houses that make up a considerable part of the town.
The ryokan and hotels of Yufuin are spread out around town, and not clustered along the main street like in many other resort towns. Instead, the main street is lined with cafes, boutiques and small museums, giving Yufuin an atmosphere more like a trendy shopping area than a traditional onsen town. Nonetheless, there is a large number of lodgings with hot spring baths, some of which open their baths to non-staying guests during daytime.
Another natural landmark of Yufuin besides Mount Yufu is Lake Kinrinko. The small lake is located at the end of the town's main walking route, about a kilometer and a half from the station. Walking paths surround the lake as well as more small shops and cafes, and there is a small shrine located at the lake's southern end. There are also a few public bath houses, one of which, the Shitanyu, can be used by tourists, while the others are for use by local residents only.
Kamenoi Bus operates 1-2 buses per hour between Beppu and Yufuin Stations. The one way trip takes 50 minutes and costs 900 yen.
Train travel between Beppu and Yufuin requires a transfer of trains at Oita Station. By local trains, the one way journey takes about 80 minutes, costs 1110 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Kyushu Rail Pass.
By Kyusanko Kyushu Odan Bus
The Kyushu Odan Bus operates between Beppu and Kumamoto, stopping at Yufuin along the way. The one way journey between Beppu and Yufuin takes one hour minutes, costs 980 yen and is covered by the Sun Q Pass.
By JR Aso Yufu Kogen Bus
The JR Aso Yufu Kogen Bus travels once per day between Beppu (Beppu Station) and Mount Aso, passing Yufuin (Yufuin Station) along the way. The one way journey between Beppu and Yufuin takes about one hour and costs 1000 yen. The Sun Q Pass, Japan Rail Pass and Kyushu Rail Pass are not valid on this bus.
By highway bus
A direct highway bus runs about once per hour between Fukuoka (Hakata Station, Tenjin Bus Center and Fukuoka Airport) and Yufuin (Yufuin Station). The one way trip takes two hours and costs 2880 yen. A round trip ticket is available for 5140 yen. The bus is covered by the Sun Q Pass.
There are about five daily JR limited express trains between Fukuoka (Hakata Station) and Yufuin. The one way trip takes around 2.5 hours, costs about 4500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Kyushu Rail Pass. Discounted sets of two tickets (2枚きっぷ, nimaikippu) to be used by one or two persons in either direction are available for 7920 yen.
The Kyusanko Kyushu Odan Bus connects Kumamoto (Kumamoto Station, Kumamoto Kotsu Center and Kumamoto Airport) with Yufuin (Yufuin Bus Center). The one way trip between Kumamoto and Yufuin Stations takes 4-5 hours, cost 3550 yen and is covered by the Sun Q Pass.
Train travel between Kumamoto and Yufuin is fastest via Kurume. By limited express trains the one way journey takes around 2 hours 45 minutes, costs about 5500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Kyushu Rail Pass.
information source: japan-guide.com
Airport: Oita Airport