Only a month or so late, here finally is a post about Gabby and my trip to Beppu. We took an afternoon train and ventured out into the ever-so-sulphurous twilight. Beppu is famous for its natural hot springs, or onsen, and was transformed into something of a pleasure resort beginning in the 1920s.
On a friend's recommendation, we made our way to Seikaiso onsen for a cold beeru in a hot tub while storm clouds gathered. It was quiet and cheap, with its own large changing room of warm wood attached.
|Engrish or a strange kind of genius?|
The next day we ventured to Beppu's most famous site, the eight hells of Beppu: a collection of themed boiling springs. First was Umi Jigoku or 'sea hell'. We wandered round stamping our Map of Hell with Japanese children.
|Oniishibozu Hell, named after the mud bubbles which supposedly resemble shaven monks' heads. |
|OMFG IT'S LIL SEBASTIAN|
The next hells featured a somewhat sad zoo (the Japanese care of animals leaves a lot to be desired) and crowded pens of huge alligators.
|Shiraike Jogoku or "white pond hell" had milky water and a strange little aquarium/ tapestry building attached.|
|Kamado jigoku or "cooking pot hell", where you can drink the spring, inhale the steam, or eat puddings baked in the fumes.|
|It also has a fantastic marketing campaign.|
After a sushi lunch we onsened again, this time at Hyotan Onsen. As well as the private garden onsen, it also has sand baths and all manner of water-related amusements.
|We flicked a switch and our bath was full in 5 minutes.|
Refreshed and very clean, we finished our tour at "the blood pond hell."
|The man who transformed Beppu (and fan). I think his nickname was something like The Shiny Uncle!|
I can't remember the name of our cocktail bar, but it was peaceful and meticulous.
Beppu was sweet and relaxed, and I think we spent just the right amount of time there.