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  • Writer's pictureJapan Travel

Beppu: Japan's Hot Spring Paradise

Welcome to Beppu, the hot spring capital of Japan and a haven for relaxation and rejuvenation. Nestled on the southern coast of Kyushu, Beppu is renowned for its abundant hot springs, stunning natural landscapes, and unique cultural experiences. Join me as we delve into the enchanting world of Beppu's hot springs and discover the top things to do in this thermal paradise.

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1. Soak in the tranquil atmosphere of the "Hells of Beppu"

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Begin your journey by visiting the "Hells of Beppu" (Jigoku), a collection of vibrant and visually striking hot springs. Witness the boiling mud, colorful mineral-rich waters, and powerful steam eruptions. Each of the "Hells" has its own unique characteristics, such as the cobalt-blue Umi Jigoku or the blood-red Chinoike Jigoku. While bathing is not permitted in these hot springs, the captivating spectacle is truly a sight to behold.

2. Relax and rejuvenate in an onsen

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Immerse yourself in the therapeutic waters of an onsen, Beppu's hallmark attraction. With countless onsen resorts and public baths scattered throughout the city, you'll be spoiled for choice! Experience the rejuvenating effects of the mineral-rich waters as you soak in the serene ambiance. Whether you prefer a traditional onsen ryokan (inn) or a modern onsen facility, Beppu offers a range of options to suit every preference.

3. Unwind in the serene surroundings of Takegawara Onsen

One of Beppu's most famous onsen establishments is Takegawara Onsen. This historic bathhouse features traditional Japanese architecture and a tranquil atmosphere. Relax in the spacious wooden bathtubs, known as "furo," and indulge in the therapeutic benefits of the hot spring waters. Don't forget to try the unique experience of being buried in warm sand at Takegawara Onsen, believed to promote relaxation and detoxification.

4. Discover the charm of Kannawa District

Venture into the charming Kannawa district, known for its traditional atmosphere and rustic hot springs. Explore the narrow streets lined with quaint wooden buildings, small cafes, and shops selling local crafts. Visit the unique "sand bath" facilities, where you can immerse yourself in warm sand, providing a soothing and unique therapeutic experience.

5. Experience the power of Beppu's steam cooking

Beppu's natural steam vents are not only used for hot springs but also for steam cooking. Indulge in a culinary adventure by trying "Jigoku-mushi" or "Hell Steaming." Fresh local ingredients are steamed over the natural steam vents, resulting in delicious and healthy meals. Feast on steamed vegetables, seafood, and even steamed pudding, all cooked using the natural energy of Beppu's hot springs.

6. Explore Beppu's stunning nature

Photo Credit: Klook

While hot springs are the main draw in Beppu, don't miss the opportunity to explore the surrounding natural beauty. Visit Mount Tsurumi for panoramic views of the city and the Beppu Bay. Take a scenic drive along the Yamanami Highway, offering breathtaking vistas of the mountainous landscapes. Hike through the verdant forests of the Beppu Hatto Geopark and discover hidden waterfalls and tranquil streams.

7. Experience Beppu's festival culture

If you're lucky enough to visit Beppu during the summer, don't miss the chance to experience the vibrant festival culture. The Beppu Fire Festival, held annually in late July, showcases traditional rituals, spectacular fireworks, and mesmerizing performances. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, witness traditional dances, and join in the festive spirit!

Beppu's hot springs offer a gateway to relaxation, cultural immersion, and natural wonders. From the captivating "Hells of Beppu" to the serene onsen experiences, this thermal paradise provides an unparalleled opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Beppu's hot springs, explore its scenic beauty, and indulge in the unique cultural experiences that make this city a must-visit destination.

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