If you love enjoying local attractions, rural Japan and natural phenomena in your travel, you must come to Beppu. Located near Mount Tsurumi in Kanawa region, Beppu is famous for eight hells (jigoku) or hot volcanic mud pools that present stunning views. However, this area is also famous for other things such as public hot baths, culinary delights, cultural tourism, and of course Japanese style motels.
- How to Go to Beppu
The easiest way to go to Beppu is by plane; the plane is landed at Oita Airport, and Beppu can be reached using daily shuttle bus that costs around 1,450 Yen. If you are from Tokyo, you can use overnight train trip using The Fuji from Tokyo Station right to Beppu (about 17 hours of trip). You can also save money if you use Sonic Train from Fukuoka and Kokura, because you can apply for discount ticket to save money on several stops. If you use car, you can drive through Oita Expressway and make your exit at Beppu Interchange.
Meanwhile, if you use ferry boat, there are three routes you can try: using Uwajima Un’yu Ferry from Yamatahawa, and Kansai Kisen and Diamond Ferries from Osaka. However, unlike Uwajima Un’yu and Kansai Kisen that stops at Beppu Port, Diamond Ferries only stops in Oita.
- The Eight Hells of Beppu
The Eight Hells or ‘Jigoku’ in Beppu are something worth visit. These eight volcanic mud pools (one with geyser activity) presents really beautiful and a bit scary sight, especially because the super hot volcanic pools have various colors. Since they are protected natural phenomena, they are managed by The Beppu Jigoku Association, and you must buy tickets to enter the Jigoku areas.
The eight Jigoku are Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell), Yama Jigoku (Mountain Hell), Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell), Kamado Jigoku (Boiling Hell), Oniyama Jigoku (Demon Mountain Hell), Oniishibozu Jigoku (Shaven Monk’s Head Hell), and a geyser called Tatsumaki Jigoku. The best way to purchase tickets is by buying combination tickets for all eight pools with just about 2,100 Yen. However, if you only want to visit one of the time (not planning to visit all), each Jigoku ticket costs 400 Yen.
- Things to Do in Beppu
Besides visiting the Eight Jigoku, you can also take refreshing bath at onsens, or public hot bath with natural hot water. The best one is Takegawara Onsen, a hot bath from Meiji Era with only 100 Yen of admission ticket (another 1,000 Yen plus sand bath). Hyotan Onsen is perfect for family; not only it has indoor and outdoor pool with family friendly setting, but it also has restaurant. You can also bring family to Aqua Garden, a water park in Suginoi Palace Hotel.
For eating authentic Japanese dish in cozy place, you can visit Toyotsune, a small restaurant near Beppu Train Station that has operated for more than 20 years. Hanatokei Coffee and Tea is a nice coffee shop with cozy setting, while 68 Bistro serves both Japanese and Western dishes in casual setting.
Also, do not forget to close your trip with shopping trip to Tokiwa Department Store, B-Passage and You Me Town Department Store.
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