Curative Thermal Waters
Beppu is located in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu. Like many cities in Japan, it is sandwiched between the sea and mountains. It is best known for its onsen (hot springs) and in fact, produces more natural hot water than any other resort in Japan. Beppu boasts more than 2,900 hot spring vents within the city limits which produce more than 130,000 tons of hot water every day.
Prior to and throughout the Edo Period (1603-1868) Beppu was considered inhospitable due to the large plumes of steam and fumes created by the hot springs. The plumes of steam can also be credited for giving Beppu its nickname, Jigoku Onsen or Hell Hot Springs. It was not until the early years of the Showa Era (1925-1989) that Mr. Kumahachi Aburaya created the Jigokumeguri, or Hell Pilgrimage, which brought locals to Beppu. Mr. Kumahachi Aburaya is considered the father of Beppu and is the reason why we can now enjoy these amazing hot springs.
Hot spring baths or onsen are believed to help numerous ailments and are a great way to relax after a long day of sightseeing. There are a variety of hot spring baths available in Beppu including hot water baths, sand baths, steam baths, and mud baths. The hot springs of Beppu are divided into 8 different areas called Beppu Hatto. The areas are Beppu, Kannawa, Kankaiji, Myoban, Kamegawa, Shibaseki, Horita, and Hamawaki. Each has its own unique character and place in the hearts of the locals who take hot spring baths daily. While in Beppu you can purchase a hot spring guide book called Onsen Bon for about 300 yen. It has many nice photos and a free bathing ticket which you can use in Beppu. You can find Onsen Bon at most book stores and it will make a nice souvenir.
Beppu locals often take hot spring baths daily and will visit one of the 200 community bathhouses. These are not nearly as nice as the bathhouses built for travelers but they are less expensive. If you wish to truly connect with the people of Beppu then take a chance with a community bathhouse. They are all over so you should not have a problem finding one. Beppu is also famous for fugu (blow-fish) cuisine, hot spring flowers (bathing salts), shiitake mushrooms, hot spring steamed food, bamboo crafts, and rantai shikki lacquer ware. Beppu is an easy day trip to Yufuin Onsen.
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It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
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Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
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