The Pressure Cooker Onsen in Kyushu
Beppu is a Japanese city in Oita prefecture, on Kyushu Island in the south of the archipelago. This small town is famous for its numerous and abundant hot springs and was built like a kind of pressure cooker from which the onsen’s steam oozes throughout the city.
Beppu is primarily known for its Hells Tour (Jigoku Meguri) but it is only a part of a larger city. As they are Beppu’s main touristic attraction, the town is sometimes nickamed "the city of Hells".
One thing is certain: downtown Beppu is not so great. Shops are quite rare, and except for a few 'themed' bars, everything closes early. As a matter of fact, the city is in the countryside near Oita, east of Kyushu, and isn't served by the Shinkansen 🚅. Beppu’s whole central part, between the station and the coast, is very moist and surprisingly dirty, swarming with aggressive bugs.
Kannawa, the touristic center of Beppu
Therefore, it's a better idea to visit Kannawa, a typical neighborhood of beautiful small buildings littered with onsen ♨️ and the starting point to explore the Hells. The visits are relaxing and the scenery very welcoming. The older population is very calm, so take the opportunity to spend a few days in Beppu’s thermal facilities to unwind over a busy sightseeing travel in Japan.
Beppu City has published a promotional clip to introduce itself:
As for the local specialties, at the restaurant Jigoku Mushi Kobo, you will enjoy cooking your own traditional Japanese food to the volcanic steam in the same manner as during the Edo period (1603 -1868). You can bring your own ingredients or chose a dish in the menu.
The city is also known for its monkey 🐒 park (Takasaki Yama).
Beppu is located to close to Yufuin, another famous onsen resort in Oita prefecture, only a few kilometers away on the other side of Mounts Tsurumi and Yufu. A destination for bath enthusiasts indeed!