Over the February public holiday, me and my family stayed in Oita prefecture for a few days, enjoying the slight snowfall we had.
One of the places we went to in Kokonoe is called Chojabaru. It’s a really beautiful place to go for a walk. My son is 3, and we told him we will go hiking, this “hiking” is very easy for small children. Chojabaru is a kind of marshland area overlooked by some dramatic mountain scenery. A wooden boardwalk is raised over the marsh, it’s very flat and wide, so perfect if you are using a pram/baby stroller or are pushing a wheelchair. My son also really enjoyed having a “snow fight” too!
The views are beautiful and I think lovely throughout the year. Across the street was a Montbell shop with a cafe on the first floor and a restaurant on the 2nd floor so we had lunch followed by ice cream here after our “hike”. The kabosu and honey soft cream was really nice and refeshing. Also good shop to pick up souvenirs of the area.
Address: 255-33 Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita 879-4911
We drove to the Chojabaru Visitor Centre, which is open from 9am-5pm, free to look around and has ample parking. It is possible to do some real hiking starting off at the Chojabaru Visitor Centre, you can enquire inside for more information and maps. Also in this area are lots of places to go horse riding. Me and my husband several years ago went to a place just down the road from here and we had a nice time.
http://kujufanclub.com/ (Website for the Chojabaru visitor centre, and general information for visiting the Kuju Alps).
http://kujujoba.web.fc2.com/ (Website for nearby horse riding)