Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone

Unravel One Thousand Years of Memories. A Completely Undiscovered Japan
- Millennium Heritage Journey -

This area boasts a history spanning over 1,000 years from the distant past, through ancient times, the Middle Ages, and up to the present day. The history that has shaped modern Japan is ingrained in its memories and has been carved into this region.
The start of history in this area is the combining of Buddhism and Shinto religions, ‘Shinbutsu shugo’ , at the Usa Shrine about 1,300 years ago. This belief culture which fuses Shinto gods and Buddhas is a kind of culture not seen anywhere else in the world, and perhaps it is precisely because of this that it has become a cornerstone of the essential Japanese spirit. This culture of fusing religions which originated in Usa and the Kunisaki Peninsula has proved to be timeless, and still remains today as the Rokugo Manzan culture.
The Usa Shrine owned about one third of the territories in Kyushu, but this power has been lost with the passage of time. Since then, each area has continued to develop in its own way; Nakatsu, Kitsuki, and Hiji have the characteristic shape of castle towns, while Beppu is prospering as an international onsen resort. Even after all the time which has passed, the Rokugo Manzan culture is still concentrated at the temples, and even today is being passed down through generations of local people.
Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone is a place where you can immerse yourself in a completely unknown Japan. The Millennium Heritage Journey will unravel its history. The landscape and culture, the lives of the local people, the shrines and temples are still passing on this history. With each experience and encounter you will uncover something that has been forgotten, and perhaps this will be a journey that leaves you with unforgettable memories…

The Characteristics of this Area
■ Climate

Clear days are plentiful with a pleasant climate coming from the Seto Inland Sea. Sunny days are the norm in summer, and in winter the seasonal winds can bring snowfalls seen accumulating in the mountains.

■ Nature

The Kunisaki Peninsula is characterized by its steep terrain and volcanic soil which is easily permeated by rain water. As a result there are very particular sustainable systems of agriculture, forestry and water in the oak forests and ponds, which have been designated as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System.

■ Culture

The region has various historical cultures that have come from ancient times to the present day. With the Usa Shrine at its center, Buddhism and Shintoism have been mixed and 'Shinbutsu Shugo Culture' was formed, and has spread over the Kunisaki Peninsula. Nakatsu, Kitsuki, and Hiji developed as castle towns, and these days they have become large towns with the old castle towns at their heart. With one of the world's leading onsen towns, Beppu, there is still a heritage of precious modernization, back alleys, and the public bathhouse culture that escaped the destruction of war.

■ Cuisine

With all eight municipalities facing the Seto Inland Sea, fresh seafood is in abundance. Nakatsu is famous for conger pike, Himeshima for Japanese tiger prawns, and Hiji for Shiroshita flounder. In addition, Oita's toriten and kara-age fried chicken are famous all over the country, The famous onsen resort in Beppu has a traditional method of cooking using steam from the onsen nicknamed 'steamed in hell’s kitchen'.


Experience program

Gyoukoue, Tracing the Traditions of Japan

We trace the route that inspired a thousand years of history.

Walking along the Kunisaki Hantou Trail

This trail is a nature trail that traverses mountain paths, ancient roads and the like.

Senpukuji Temple・Experience Zen meditationand hand-copying sutras

Senpukuji Temple is a Zen temple located in Kunisaki.

Castle Town Stroll

Step back in time to the Edo period in the castle town of Kitsuki City.
Information Center


Toyonokuni Millennium Heritage Tourism Zone
11-8 Kyo-machi, Beppu-shi, Oita
TEL 0977-85-8511