The Ultimate Glamping Experience in Oita at the Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa

©Ian

If you love the idea of camping but don’t want to forgo the comforts of home then the glamping experience at Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawais for you. We recently had the fortune of heading out to Bungo-ōno cityin Oita prefecture where we got to experience the ultimate glamping experience without breaking the bank.

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Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa ??

Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa is located in Bungo-ono, is one of the very few cities in Oita prefecture that do not have any hot springs. Instead they make up for it by being surrounded by the lush greenery of the forests, canyons and rivers. What makes Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa so special is the Okudake river that runs along the lodge.

The crystal blue water of Okudake river

Image via\- During the summer, many visitors often take a dip in the river to cool off.

4 Different Types of Accommodation

Nestled in the lush greenery, you’ll be able to choose from four different types of accommodation which range from a tree house shaped cabin to a log house, a dormitory style cabin and cabin house. All guest houses are air-conditioned and other than the log house, all showers and toilets are communal, located in a different building.

Tree House?

This cute mushroom is trying to grow as tall as the treehouse ?

Total of 8 tree houses. Max 2 adults and 2 kids. 7000YEN/night.

Image via\- the soft light entering through the window

Log House

If you prefer the log house option, they offer three log houses in total. There can be a total of five people per log house. Two single beds + additional bedding offered. Comes with a private bathroom and shower. 8000YEN/night. Max of 5 people allowed. 3+ people or more, each additional person is 2500YEN/night.

Dormitory Style

They also offer dormitories where the dormitories are separated between male and female. A total of 8 people can stay in each of the dormitories as it offers 4 bunk beds. The cost is 2500YEN/night.

Cabin House

2 cabin houses in total. 3~4 people max allowed. 10,000YEN/night. Pets are allowed in the cabin house. A max of 2 pets allowed at 2500YEN/pet.

To get a better overview of what the accommodations look like, refer to the following video:

https://youtu.be/WxZZHVZ7SDE

Accommodation images taken from Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa website.*

Is it pet friendly? ?

Yes, Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa is pet friendly, however, the only accommodation that can be booked is the Cabin House at 2500YEN per dog (up to 2 dogs allowed). They also offer a spacious dog run that can be used.

Experiences

Here at the lodge, you’ll not only be able to get your rest and relaxation in, you’ll also be able to enjoy a number of activities that they have to offer.

Walk Along the Okudake River ?️

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A perfect way to take in the beautiful scenery of Bungo-ono is going for a light walk along the Okudake river while enjoying the sloping hills. The perfect time is to go is just before dawn. The sound of the river along with the birds truly makes it a zen like place. ?

Go on a Water Geo Tour On a Raft Boat ?

For more images and videos, click here.

Another activity that many will enjoy is the water geo tour. Jump onto a raft boat and head down the Okudake river where you’ll be able to take some magnificent scenery. Drift along the river to witness cliffs that are more than 70m tall! Along the way, pass under the stone bridge that’s said to be the #1 or #2 tallest in Japan! For more info, please check with the staff at the lodge.

Duration: Approximately 3 hours

Enjoy a Sky Tour on Your Private Cessna Aircraft ?

If you’re feeling adventurous, take to the sky to enjoy your very own private sky tour of Bungo-ono! The pilot will take you on a flight where you’ll be able to see a 360 degree view of the top 3 waterfalls in Bungo-ono. At the end of the flight, receive a special souvenir photograph for this one of a kind experience. For more info, please ask the staff at the lodge.

Duration ~15 minutes, requires 1-week notice

Enjoy an Art Picnic Experience ?️

Head to Asaji station (朝地駅) where you’ll be able to take in 10km of beautiful artwork and sculptures created by famous artist Fumio Asakura, commonly referred to as “Rodin of Japan”. For more info, please ask the staff at the lodge.

Duration: Not stated, requires 1-week notice

Experience What It’s like to Be a Hunter ?

Not for the faint of heart, this is for those who are interested in what it’s like to be a hunter. Learn from a professional hunter about hunting mannerisms, how to pursue your prey and how to set up a trap. At the end of the experience, enjoy the food that you caught prepared by your guide hunter. For more info, ask the staff at the lodge.

Learn the Ancient Shinto Music and Dance — Kagura ⛩️?

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Take in the performance of the ancient form of traditional Shinto dance and music called Kagura (神楽). Not only will you be able to learn why this traditional form of dance and music is passed on generation to generation, you’ll also be able to learn the choreography and perform on stage yourself! For more details, ask the staff at the lodge.

Farming Experience ??‍? ??‍?

Last on the list is learning what it’s like to be a farmer. There are two types of farming experience you’ll be able to try. For those that are serious about moving out to Oita to become a farmer and for those who want to experience what it's like. For more details, ask the staff at the lodge.

Enjoy the Sato Gourmet by the Okudake River ?

Once you are back from a day of exploring, fill your stomach up with freshly prepared meals using only the finest vegetables and produce grown in Bungo-ono. What perfect way to end the day than by relaxing and enjoy your meal on their beautiful terrace overlooking the river.

Being greeted by that smile

Guests have the option to have breakfast (600 YEN) and dinner (starting from ~1600YEN) at the lodge where everything is made in houseand all of the ingredients are sourced from Bungo-ono, aka.the vegetable field of Oita.

Homemade bread aka. Bungo-ono style lightly toasted manju. Delish ?

All of the pizzas are baked using their stone oven!

Bunolita pizza: Uses local Kiyokawa tomatoes as their special sauce. *?1600 YEN

Geno-Ono pizza: Home-made genovese sauce topped off with some juicy bacon. *?1900YEN

Kentaro pizza: Uses the local Toyo-no Shamo chicken, a specialty of Oita. ?1900YEN

Note: *The Bunolita and the Geno-Ono pizza are only available during the spring & summer months.

Dinner: Enjoy the Toyo-no shamo (豊のしゃも)chicken — a specialty of Bungo-ono.? 2200YEN

The famous Bungo beef steak (A5 grade) ? One of the most tender and delicious steaks ever. 4200YEN

Is There a Vegetarian Menu Available? ?

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Yes. With the increasing number of foreigners visiting, they do offer vegetarian dishes such as the one shown above. This is fried Koya tofu. Looks delish. ?

BBQ by the waterfront ??

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For those of us that want to barbeque by the waterfront, you’ll be able to rent out the space and equipment which is a very popular activity during the summer. For more info, refer to their site, or ask the staff.

Exploring Bungo-ono

If you’d like to explore off grounds the lodge, there are many spots to see closeby.

Deai Bridge & Todoro Bridge ?

Image via\- Deai bridge

Just 14 minutes away from the lodge, you’ll discover, not one but two separate stone arch bridges that pass over the Okudake river. The Todoro bridge is the #1 largest stone bridge to exist in Japan followed by the Deai bridge.

For more info, head here.

Address: Kiyokawamachi Hiraishi, Bungo-ono City, Oita Prefecture

Harajiri Falls

Image via\- Harajiri falls

Just ten minutes away by car from the lodge, head to Harajiri Falls (原尻の滝) to take in the magnificent view of Oita’s Niagara falls. Here, you’ll be able to take in the 360 degree view by walking around the falls on the suspension bridge.

There’s also a staircase which leads you very close to the waterfall.

After you’ve taken in the scenery, stop by the service area where you’ll be able to buy souvenirs, fresh vegetables and fruits. There’s also a restaurant along with an ice cream shop where you can grab a bite to eat.

Address:936-1 Ogatamachi Harajiri Bungoono, Oita 879-6631

See Harajiri fallson Instagram

Inazumi Underwater Cave

If you’re seeking for an adventure, then head to the Inazumi Underwater Cavewhich is around 17 minutes away by car. Known as the largest underwater cave in Japan, it’s said that the Inazumi Underwater Cave was formed almost 300 million years ago! It’s one of the rarest of its kind due to its limestone composition.

Zig zag your way through the cave to take in the marvel feat.

Address:300 Miemachi Nakazuru, Bungoono, Oita 879-7263

Website with video

See Inazumi Underwater Caveon Instagram

Mount Aso ?

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If you drive a little over an hour west of Lodge Kiyokawa, you’ll not only cross to Kumamoto prefecture, you’ll also be able to see the largest active volcano in Japan, Mount Aso. Known for having one of the largest calderasin the world, the size of the caldera is 17 kilometre east to west and 25 kilometre, north to south with the area covering roughly 350 square kilometers! However, due to its increased volcanic activity as of late, please make sure to check online first before heading out!

Address:Takawara, Aso, Kumamoto 869-2223

See Mount Asoon Instagram

How Do I Book a Reservation?

Type, “Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa” in your search engine and book your stay using one of the travel booking websites. Cancellation policy is:

  • 7 days before, 30% of the booking fee
  • 3 days before, 50% of the booking fee
  • 1 day before, 80% of the booking fee
  • The day of your reservation, 80% of the booking fee
  • No show, 100% of the booking fee

For any inquiries about Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa, you can reach them at +81-0974-35-3601.

Check-In & Check-Out

Check-in is at 4:00pm and check-out is at 10:00am.

Note: Please try arriving before it gets dark as the area becomes pitch black when nighttime falls.

Getting There ?

You will be able to get to Satonotabi Resort Lodge Kiyokawa by either car or by train. If you get off at Bungo Kiyokawa Station, the staff will come pick you up for free.

Finally, the staff are very friendly (see reviews on Tripadvisor) who are very knowledgeable about Bungo-ono. Also, they do have a nativeEnglish speaking staff so feel free to ask any questions that you have!

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And don’t forget to tag #lodgekiyokawa. ?