The Hells of Beppu
Jigoku Meguri is the Japanese name of the eight "hells" (seven officially) of Beppu. They are spectacular natural hot springs, located in Beppu’s Kannawa and Kamegawa neighborhoods in Oita Prefecture, on Kyushu Island in the south of Japan.
As explained in our visit of Beppu, one of the city’s main attractions is the Jigoku Meguri tour. This several thousand-years old itinerary offers a very original and picturesque touristic highlight on the city. Moreover, they were designated "National Place of Scenic Beauty" by the Japanese government. This site is well-known among the Japanese, and it is very interesting to include it in a sightseeing tour of Kyushu.
The Hells of Beppu are scattered throughout the city. Six are located in the north, in Kannawa district:
- Umi-Jigoku ("sea hell"), with cobalt blue steaming water and with giant water lilies leaves sturdy enough to withstand a weight up to 20kg;
- Oniishibozu-Jigoku ("monk head"), with large bubbles of grey silt at its surface and a foot bath;
- Kamado-Jigoku ("cauldron"), with an old-fashioned kitchen and a picturesque decor – our front picture;
- Oniyama-Jigoku ("demon mountain"), home to crocodiles since 1923;
- Shiraike-Jigoku ("white lake") with a cloudy water and old tropical plant species;
- Yama-Jigoku ("mountain"), with a small zoo and steam rising to the mountain – however it has recently been removed from the list of the Jigoku’s included in the pass.
...and two are closer to the coast, in Shibaseki:
- Chinoike-Jigoku ("blood pond"), the oldest of all with its sea of red clay;
- Tatsumaki-Jigoku ("geyser") and its powerful fountain with perfect regularity twice a day.
These very special onsen ♨️ each have specific benefits, but you can not bath in them as their temperatures frequently exceed 100°C / 212°F. Therefore, be aware of the heat, even in their surroundings, after all they are named "Hells" for a reason! However, everyone can visit and admire them, or buy salt or soap created on their basis, which are exported worldwide, mainly in organic products shops.
Some of these hells stand out more than the others. Therefore, we recommend focusing especially on Kamado, Oniishibozu, Umi and Chinoike, so as to enjoy your visit to the fullest, without spending the day in a hurry to see them all.
In the video clip above, we gathered images of the most characteristic onsen to visit with their sound ambiances. Hopefully this can help you feel the heat and atmosphere emerging from these unique places.