Exploring Yufuin Floral Village: Japan’s Quaint English Countryside Replica

Yufuin Floral Village

The Yufuin Floral Village is a slice of the English countryside in Japan. This gem in Yufuin, Oita Prefecture, opened by a local businessman in 2012, was designed to resemble the Cotswolds area in England. It features classic architecture and influences of Beatrix Potter’s “The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit” throughout the park as well as spots resembling where the Harry Potter movies were filmed, in addition to spots influenced by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  It’s a cute and geek-out-worthy tourist spot lined with a variety of themed shops based on popular literary, film, and anime characters.

The Yufuin Floral Village is without question one of the must-see places to visit when in Japan. So, if you’re planning a trip, here’s what you need to know before going.

How to Get to Yufuin Floral Village

There are several ways to get to Yufuin Floral Village. Hakata Station, Oita Station, and Oita Airport are three access points to get to the village. All of these will ultimately stop at Yufuin Station, where it’s a 15-minute walk to the village. Another access point is from Fukuoka, where a highway bus can be taken to Yufuin.

If you’re coming from Hakata Station, take the JR Nichirin Limited Express bound for Saiki. This will stop at Oita Station, after which take the Kyudai Main Line bound for Yufuin. And from Yufuin Station, the village is a 15-minute walk away.

If Oita Airport is your access point, take the Oita Airport Line Bus bound for Yufuin Station. Upon arrival, take the 15-minute walk to the Yufuin Floral Village.

The most popular train that tourists take to get to Yufuin is the Yufuin no Mori. It’s covered on the Japan rail pass. Because of its aesthetic, it’s best to reserve a seat in advance before coming to visit.

Yufuin Floral Village
Photo Credit: Suchart Boonyavech

Visiting the Village

Upon entering the Yufuin Floral Village, visitors are greeted by the Mouth of Truth at the entrance. While most of the shops and attractions are inspired by the English countryside, certain spots still remind visitors that they’re in Japan. Included in the mix of shops is Kiki’s Bakery, after the Studio Ghibli movie Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Much like in Harry Potter, the shop Owl’s Forest is a cafe where visitors can feed and pet owls. And inside Owl’s Forest is the Owl’s Photo Studio, where visitors can wear Hogwarts robes and pose for photos with the owls.

Cat cafes can also be found in Yufuin Floral Village. Gallery Alice’s Tearoom Cheshire Cat Forest will transport visitors to the world of Alice in Wonderland. This particular cat cafe only has the rare Bengal cats as its feline residents. The Rabbit, a shop inspired by Peter Rabbit, also sells goods inspired by the classic story.

For fans of the character Moomin, there’s Moomin’s Shop, which features goods of the character. The Pokemon Shop is also in the Floral Village, for fans of the popular anime and its characters to buy goods and souvenirs. The Sheep Shop also sells cute sheep plushies, mostly resembling the character Shawn the Sheep.

As its name suggests, the Yufuin Floral Village has plenty of species of plants and flowers that bloom every season. But the Village doesn’t just have owls and cats; it also has other animals like hedgehogs, turtles, horses, squirrels, and parrots.

The village’s aesthetic makes it a perfect place for photos. So be sure to include time to wander around and snap some good photos! 

Exploring the Local Cuisine

There’s no shortage of food and drinks in the Yufuin Floral Village. Kiki’s Bakery sells baked goods such as European breads and even pretzels. Guests can enjoy some handmade scones and soft-serve ice creams in flavors like rose and lavender.

For foodies, there’s the Kyushu Food Market, which sells a variety of local delicacies for guests to try and take home as souvenirs. Inside the Heidi shop, named after the literary character, visitors can indulge in popcorn in three different flavors.

Outside the floral village, there are other sights to see while in Oita, such as the Yufuin Chagall Museum. Also known as the Marc Chagall Yufuin Kirinko Museum, named after the artist. A cafe terrace in the museum, Cafe La Ruche, allows guests to enjoy coffee and pastries while taking in a stunning view of the lake. 

Yufuin Floral Village
Photo Credit: Mai.Chayakorn

Tips for Visiting Yufuin Floral Village

The best time to visit the Yufuin Floral Village is in the morning. It’s also best to know a few Japanese phrases to better communicate while shopping or taking photos. When shopping, it’s best to have cash and cards on hand to make buying souvenirs and snacks easier. This is because not every store may accept credit cards.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the tourist site is a no-smoking site. The floral village is also closed during the year-end holidays in Japan, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

As said earlier, while admission is free, there are parking fees to keep in mind when traveling by car. There are also no parking spaces nearby as the village can only be accessed on foot. There are also fees to consider when accessing the various attractions like the petting enclosures.

To avoid the long travels, book a room at a nearby hotel or, if looking to make an overnight visit, stay at a local onsen or spa, which caters to overnight guests. The village is also pet-friendly, so visitors are allowed to come with their pets.

Within the Yufuin Floral Village is a hotel where tourists can stay for the night. Guests can also make use of the Yufuin Floral Village Onsen, which is free of charge.

It’s also worth noting that the town where the village is located is also famous for being a resort town with its hot springs. Yufuin is a district within Yufu, one of the three towns in the Oita district that merged to create the city of Yufu. The two other towns were Hasama and Shonai. Yufuin is in a green valley under Mount Yufu, with a view of Lake Kinrin and rivers that flow through the valley.

Planning a trip to the village? Already been and have some travel tips to share? Let us know in the comment section below!


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