Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Explore Beautiful Yufuin in Oita through the Ebisuya Rickshaw Tours!
Yufuin is a popular onsen resort, and one unique way to tour the area is by the Ebisuya Rickshaw. In this article, we will share a report of our rickshaw experience.
Written by Norihisa Hasegawa
Yufuin is a popular travel destination thanks to its onsen (hot springs), as well as its beautiful cityscape and nature-rich environment. We have previously introduced the horse drawn carriage tours as a unique way to sightsee in Yufuin.
Today, we'll be sharing another interesting way to get around in Yufuin: the rickshaw.
Shafu (Rickshaw Man) Introduction
Reo-san recommends Mt. Yufu
"I'm from Beppu, but when I visited Yufuin, I fell in love at first sight with a shafu (a person who pulls a rickshaw), and that was how I started this job." Our shafu today, Reo Shirakawa-san explained to us with a smile. She says her experience as a shafu is still short, but she promised to pull us around enthusiastically.
Ebisuya offers the following four courses for visitors to enjoy Yufuin. You can choose the one that best fits your needs.
Yufuin Yuran (about 13 minutes)
This plan is great for those who don't have much time. It's a 1.2 kilometer course around the Yufuin Station area.
・1 person 3000 yen, 2 people 4000 yen, 3 people 6000 yen
Yufuin Fureai no Tabi (about 30 minutes)
This course will take you through the rural landscape, visiting Mt. Yufu, and heading toward Lake Kinrin.
・1 person 7000 yen, 2 people 9000 yen, 3 people 13,500 yen
Yufuin Nukumori no Tabi (about 60 minutes)
This course will circle around the peaceful townscape while passing by beautiful scenic views, such as a spot where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Yufuin Basin.
・1 person 13,000 yen, 2 people 17,500 yen, 3 people 26,250 yen
Yufuin Iyashi no Tabi (about 120 minutes)
This is a luxurious course that will take visitors around the whole Yufuin area, including temples and shrines located in the mountains.
・1 person 23,500 yen, 2 people 32,500 yen, 3 people 48,750 yen
Choose A Course And We're Off!
They took us on a special course for our coverage.
We started by Yufuin Station, where many residential buildings and shops line the streets.
After a while, we arrived at a spot with a view of a rural landscape and Mt. Yufu, one of Reo-san's recommended spots. The shafu will stop at photo spots like this one and even explain a little about the area. According to Reo-san, it's very rare for the summit of Mt. Yufu to be so clearly visible, as it was on this day.
From here, we traveled through some rural areas.
Reo-san says that this field area is most beautiful in the fall, when visitors can enjoy a combination of the golden rice and the green Mt. Yufu, if you visit before the rice is harvested. When you encounter a special place that you like, you can ask the shafu to stop for a moment and admire the view.
The next place of interest was the stonewall alley, which was so narrow that it was difficult to pass by another vehicle. It's a small road, but it will give visitors a sense of nostalgia.
Lake Kinrin is a popular sightseeing spot
The usual Yufuin Fureai Tabi Course would continue by visiting the temples and arriving at Lake Kinrin.
From here, we entered a residential area. Many water tanks can be seen in residential areas of Yufuin. These are used to store hot spring water so that it can be enjoyed at home. How great it must be to bathe in hot spring water every day!
The greatest appeal of sightseeing by rickshaw, is that they will share with you various details and information that you wouldn't learn walking alone. Just moving through the town on a rickshaw, the people we passed by on the streets and inside the shops would wave to us. You can really tell how much the rickshaws are a part of the daily life in Yufuin.
This was my first time riding a rickshaw, and it was amazing! I was moved by the beautiful townscape of Yufuin and the magnificent Mt. Yufu. If you're traveling to Yufuin, we recommend enjoying the city on a rickshaw!