This soup is famous throughout Oita and therefore can be found in many places around the prefecture. It consists of a miso soup base, with boiled or steamed vegetables such as carrot, taro (also called 'satoimo'), burdock root, and Oita's local shiitake mushrooms. The main ingredient is the 'dumplings', which are different to normal dumplings as they are long and flat, more like noodles. Due to this, dango jiru in Oita sometimes confuses Japanese people from other areas, as usually 'dango' refers to round dumplings like those you get in the sweet snack, 'mitarashi dango'.
It is said that Oita's dango originate from China, and were brought here somewhere between the Nara (710 - 794) and Heian (794 - 1185) periods. These noodles were originally called "houtou", which people believe was changed over time to become "houchou" - some places in Oita still refer to dango jiru as "houchou-jiru". Yamanashi prefecture has its own local specialty called "houtou", which is similar to Oita's own dango jiru.