Oita Prefecture is famous for its hot springs, particularly those in and around the city of Beppu, known as the 'hells', or jigoku. Many of the 'hells' are of tourist interest only and cannot be used as onsen (notably the Blood Pond Hell (reddish water) and the Oniyama Hell). The city's ryokan and public onsen are amply supplied by the same volcanic source.
Beppu offers a wide range of cultural experiences, from an annual international music festival, to the unabashed Hihokan Sex Museum, which nevertheless must follow the law and suspend a glass plate above ancient art with frosted areas censoring the overlarge genital depictions.
The elaborate public aquarium "Umi-tamago" on the shoreline outside Beppu features basketballing sea otters, performing archer fish, and puzzle-solving octopuses, along with more naturalistic displays of freshwater and marine fish from around the world.
Near the marine park, Mount Takasaki Monkey Park rises steeply from the shoreline. Two distinct troupes of wild macaque monkeys make regular visits to the feeding grounds here, which were initially established to entice the monkeys away from raiding the region's fruit crops, a behaviour that brought them into conflict with farmers. The wild macaques ignore the small crowds that gather at these feeding sessions, and may be observed at close quarters.
Beppu is a busy passenger port with regular ferry links through the inland sea to Osaka and several other destinations.
Other attractions of Oita Prefecture include the Sanrio theme park Harmonyland.