To Hell and Back – Beppu’s Hot Springs

While chilling in our hostel room our first day in Fukuoka, Tim and I looked over a map of Kyushu and pondered over what cities we should hit up. Somehow Beppu got haphazardly thrown in at the last minute and we decided to check it out for just one night. We figured it was one of those small towns that close down early so we could do some sightseeing during the day, get some rest that night and head out early the next morning for the southern coastline and small islands. Yea… we were in for quite a surprise.

We got to Beppu early in the afternoon and made our way to The Hells – 8 different hot springs that each have their own theme. It was actually pretty cool to see each different type of Jigoku; our favorite one was built into a mountain with a gorgeous cobalt-blue color spring. There, I stopped for a break and soaked my feet in the steaming hot water, pausing intermittently to make sure I wasn’t slowly roasting myself alive. It felt great! Other Hells had crocodiles or fish – one even had an elephant that people were feeding. Tim cried out for them about how sad it was (it was kinda, even though the hot springs said the hot temperature of the water is suitable for them. Sure sure.) But it was the springs we went to see and the springs that we were impressed with, not the animals. By the time we were done most of the onsens (hot springs/public baths) that looked cool were closing so we decided to leave our relaxation time for the islands outside Kagoshima instead. We thought we would have a chill dinner and maybe bring some sake back to the hostel and relax. Instead, after dinner we decided to stop in at a bar that’s big for the university kids (who knew Beppu had a college!) and we ended up befriending a group of Brits who are doing an exchange program there. They were a lot of fun and told us to join them at the club next door – how could we say no to that! We ended up having a blast dancing with them and next thing we know were at a McDonalds at 5am.  So much for our relaxing night in Beppu! I love when a city pleasantly surprises you like that! Beppu gets an A + in my book – everyone should visit!

Miraculously, Tim and I managed to get out of bed and out the door by 9am, only a half hour after our original time. I slept at 6AM and Tim, well he fell asleep at the computer in an effort to stay up until 8AM. He’s currently snoozing next to me while we’re on our Shinkansen to Kagoshima. Were both looking forward to relaxing at an onsen (hot springs) and some good weather.

 

Chinoike-Jigoku, Beppu blood pond hell.

 

Umi-Jigoku, Beppu sea hell

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