Last Wednesday, I had the chance to visit a place that I’d had my eye on for a while- Yufuin, in Oita Prefecture. Throughout the day, my friend and I meandered around the small town, exploring the Floral Village and Kirinko lake.

View from Yufuin train station into town

Seeing it was a public holiday, many of the shops were open and there were tourists everywhere. But that didn’t stop us from finding what I consider the best Italian restaurant in all of Kyushu (so far)- Pizzeria Kunugi no Oka (櫟の丘). Too full from our sampling of street foods, we opted to go for dinner- which did not disappoint!Tuna, black olive and anchovy pizza

We had the tuna, anchovy, black olive and mozzarella cheese pizza, which was baked to perfection! I have never had a crust so soft and crispy! I find many Japanese pizza places don’t heat their bases properly when cooking their pizzas, resulting in soggy crusts, but Pizzeria Kunugi no Oka’s wood-fired pizza oven is the real deal- it also helped to create a lovely, warm atmosphere inside. Impressive wood-fired oven at Pizzeria Kunugi no OkaHomemade fettechini pasta w/Spinach and Oyster cream sauce After the pizza (which I could’ve eaten for days), we sampled their Homemade fettuccine pasta with Spinach and Oyster cream sauce. I have to say, I’m not usually one for oysters, but these were cooked perfectly! They were fresh and warm, but retained their juiciness. The cream-base sauce and crisp, fresh spinach balanced out the dish, creating a pleasant, rounded dish- which was neither too sea-foodie, nor too creamy.

Mixed fruit parfait

We were waaaaay too full for dessert, so we headed back to Hakata by car and then stopped by Campbell Early (キャンベル・アーリー) for a dessert of fruit sorbet before I left to go back to Nagasaki. For approximately 1200yen ($15AUD) it’s a little pricy, but so scrumptious!!

Pizzeria Kunugi no Oka (櫟の丘)
893-1 Yufuinchō Kawakita, Yufu-shi Ōita-ken 879-5114
[Open] lunch/ 11:00am – 2:30pm (last order)
dinner/ 5:30pm – 9:00pm (last order)
Closed on Wednesdays (except national holidays)
Tel: 0977-85-4007
English Menu: Not that I recall, but really friendly staff who will do their best

 Campbell Early (キャンベル・アーリー)
9th Floor of JR Hakata City Amu Plaza Building
[Open] 11:00am – 11:00pm (last order 10pm)
Tel: 092-409-6909
English Menu: No, but plenty of photos to help you ‘point and choose’.