Discover Beppu: Japan’s Geothermal Wonderland Offers a Journey to Hell and Back

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10 February, report by Adit Sarin

Venture into Beppu, a captivating city nestled in central Oita prefecture, Japan, and prepare to embark on a unique journey unlike any other. Known as a geothermal metropolis, Beppu boasts over 2500 scattered onsens of varying hues and functions, creating a landscape reminiscent of a journey to the depths of Hell itself.

Curiously, some of the most renowned onsens in Beppu are too hot to soak in, with temperatures soaring as high as 150°C! Designated as the ‘National Impart of Scenic Class,’ the ‘Hells of Beppu’ encompass eight natural hot springs that are visually striking but strictly off-limits.

Visitors to Beppu will marvel at the mesmerizing sight of hot steam rising from the earth throughout the city, creating an otherworldly ambiance akin to the depths of Hell. However, there is no need for apprehension, as Beppu is, in fact, a premier spa destination, inviting those seeking relaxation to indulge in its therapeutic waters.

Accessibility to Beppu is remarkably convenient, with approximately two hours of travel time from Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Itami, and Nagoya Chubu International airports via Oita Airport and local transportation. A swift rail journey further connects Beppu to Yufuin, enhancing accessibility for travelers.

From Oita Airport, a brisk 45-minute bus ride transports you to the city of Beppu. Additionally, Shinkansen and rail services efficiently link Beppu with major cities such as Tokyo, Shin-Osaka, and Hakata, offering seamless travel experiences.

Experience world-class onsen experiences in Beppu, where eight major hot spring areas boast over 3,000 vents, providing an abundance of springs to explore. Whether seeking indoor or outdoor baths with unique water properties, Beppu offers an ideal onsen experience for every visitor.

Explore Beppu’s enigmatic geothermal wonders with a tour of the Hells of Beppu, a visual feast showcasing springs with temperatures reaching approximately 98 degrees Celsius. Witness a captivating range of colors, from cobalt blue to blood crimson, in these renowned spring waters.

Discover the tranquility of Kamegawa Onsen or Kankaiji Onsen, nestled amidst lush landscapes, and immerse yourself in the serene ambiance. After a rejuvenating soak, don a yukata and stroll through the historic streets of Hamawaki Onsen. For a harmonious blend of scenic onsen hot springs and cultural attractions, venture to Yufuin, offering museums, art galleries, boutiques, and charming cafes.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Beppu and experience the allure of Japan’s geothermal wonderland, where relaxation and exploration intertwine in a mesmerizing tapestry of natural beauty and cultural richness.

LocationCentral Oita prefecture, Japan
Main AttractionGeothermal hot springs (“onsens”)
Number of OnsensOver 2500 scattered onsens throughout the city
Notable Feature“Hells of Beppu” – Eight natural hot springs with visually striking views
AccessibilityApproximately 2 hours from Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Itami, and Nagoya Chubu International airports; Shinkansen and rail services available
TransportationBus services from Oita Airport to Beppu; Shinkansen and rail connections to major cities
TemperatureSome onsens reach temperatures as high as 150°C
DesignationDesignated as the ‘National Impart of Scenic Class’
Cultural BlendBlend of traditional Japanese culture and modern spa amenities
Nearby AttractionsKamegawa Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen, Hamawaki Onsen, Yufuin
ActivitiesOnsen bathing, sightseeing tours, cultural experiences
Unique ExperienceWitnessing steam rising from the earth throughout the city