Posted by: Darrell | December 23, 2008

Beppu

Kamado Jigoku (Boiling Hell)

Kamado Jigoku (Boiling Hell)

Another famous city in Kyushu, Beppu is famous for it’s onsens and jigoku (boiling hells).The first thing you notice when you get to Beppu is that everything is on mountain. In fact, Ritsumeikan APU is located on this mountain, much in the same way SFU is – away from civilization. However, despite the steep and narrow mountain roads, large public buses service almost all of Beppu. Although the bus drivers are talented being able to navigate such tough roads, the buses are far and few in between leaving visitors with vary negative view of Beppu public transport. Don’t let that deter you though, from the great sites of the jigoku as they truly are unique.

Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell)

Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell)

Most of the 10 jigoku are within walking distance from each other (although to get to one it is a 40 min bus ride after a 1 hour wait). It is very commercialized in that, all of the jigoku has something else to keep you entertained. This is in stark contrast to the vast untouched beauty of the temples, shrines and mountains in Japan. And some of the entertainment was pretty interesting, but don’t forget the reason you went there in the first place: the jigoku. These boiling hells are a very interesting site, varying in color, temperature and composition. Naturally forming and awe inspiring, they are on any must see list for Beppu.

Takegawara Onsen

Takegawara Onsen

Another one of Beppu’s famous things to do is the onsens. The information table at Beppu train station have the descriptions of all the onsens and can also point you in the right direction, so don’t forget to stop by there. They vary from the ultra luxury, to the beach front sand spas and the ancient (some would say ghetto) bath houses. However, because we had not yet been disappointed with the historical choice, we decided to go to Takegawara Onsen, the oldest and most famous onsen in Beppu.¬† I was incredibly blown away by Arima, but prepare to be underwhelmed by Takegawara. It is nice and cheap, but that is as much as I can really compliment on. However, if there is something I have learned from this trip; it is to just take a chance and you never know where it may lead. At least I can say that I went to one of Japan’s oldest and most famous onsen.

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