A laid back and sleepy little city, Beppu wasn’t really a city on my original travel plans. But it turned out to be an enjoyable and relaxing place, perfect for making day trips elsewhere, like the postcard perfect city of Yufuin.
Situated right on the Iyo-Nada Sea, Beppu is often hot and humid, and in the summers, extremely hazy. Now that I think about it, I had a pretty bad headache everyday I was there…
But with the city nestled in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains (which on some days were barely visible behind the summer haze) and lots and lots of onsens, I easily overlooked that slight issue.
Onsens are Japanese natural hot spring bathhouses and Beppu is the place to be enjoying them. The area is bursting with onsens. So much so, that even my budget hostel had a private onsen! Obviously I took full advantage of it.
Hells of Beppu
Aside from hot springs you can soak in, there are also ones that are enjoyed from a distance, as they’re way too hot to relax in. The Hells of Beppu is a pretty popular tourist attraction in the area, with about eight hot springs.
I only went to one, Umi Jigoku, which is also the largest of the set. Personally, I didn’t find them particularly interesting or beautiful. Each hell requires an individual entrance ticket, which costs 400 yen. And after seeing how small Umi Jigoku is, and how bad it smelled (like rotten eggs), I decided I wanted to spend my time doing other things – like relaxing in the onsen!