Soaking up Beppu.

Beppu is a city in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan. It is a relatively small city, famous for its unique and visually stunning hot springs. Beppu is pressed along the Beppu Bay coast and between mountains making it a thin and long city. Hot water gushes at many spots in the city.

Beppu City.
Beppu City.
Look closely and you can see the steam rising from all the hot springs!
Look closely and you can see the steam rising in the distance from all the hot springs!

One of the greatest landmarks in Beppu is the Beppu Tower; a steel lattice tower rising up 90 meters tall. It was designed by Tachu Naito in 1956. Initially built to boost tourism in the area, today it is primarily used as a TV transmission tower.

View of the Beppu Tower.
View of the Beppu Tower.
Close up of the tower.
Close up of the tower.

On the 17th floor, at a height of 55 meters (180 ft.) above ground, there is a 360 degrees observation deck.

Steve looking out over the ocean.
Steve looking out over the ocean.
Me looking out at the ocean.
Me looking out at the ocean.
Enjoying a cold Asahi beer.
Enjoying a cold Asahi beer.

For 200 yen/adult, you can sit and relax, have a drink, and enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean, mountains, and steam rising from the hot springs all around the city.

View from Beppu Tower.
View from Beppu Tower.
Another view of the city.
Another view of the city.
View of the ocean and beach area.
View of the ocean and beach area.

One neat thing that I noticed during our stay in Beppu, was the city’s use of underpasses. Instead of having crosswalks at a busy intersection, you would find an underpass on the corners. These underpasses connect four corners of an intersection by way of walking underground. (I thought it was pretty cool!)

Entrance to an underpass.
Entrance to an underpass.
Going down...
Going down…
And walking through to the other side...
And walking through to the other side…

During our stay in Beppu, we stayed in our first Japanese hotel called Hotel Arthur.

Front entrance to Hotel Arthur.
Front entrance to Hotel Arthur.
Me trying to kiss the knight.
Me trying to kiss the knight.
Steve and the knight wearing his shades.
Steve and the knight wearing his shades.

And of course, we did everything Japanese style: Japanese rooms, Japanese breakfast, etc. They do offer Western style rooms and food, but we wanted the real Japanese experience!

IMG_4311
Japanese hotels require you to use your room key (whether it’s flat or looks like this) to power your electricity in your room!
Small Japanese room.
Small Japanese room.
Toilet room.
Toilet room.
Shower soap dispenser.
Shower soap dispenser.

I should probably mention that in Japanese hotel rooms, they usually do not have their own bathroom in the room. They share a separate public/communal bath. This trip had many firsts for us, which included trying their hot springs (open to the public- separated by genders- and you are naked). But I am still adjusting to the idea of communal bathing and therefore, on this trip, I needed our own toilet/bathroom. Thankfully they offered en-suite bathrooms. Maybe next time I can venture out and share a bathroom…

The hotel had two natural hot springs for its guests to use. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do this but no one was in the hot springs when I went, so I tried it!

Robes that we wear to relax in the hot springs.
Robes provided that we wear to relax in the hot springs.
Us getting ready for our first hot spring experience!
Us getting ready for our first hot spring experience!
Before getting into a hot spring, you must first shower sitting on the stools. Make sure to rinse throughly (no soap suds can be in the springs) and to wash off the stool for the next person.
Before getting into a hot spring, you must first shower sitting on the stools. Make sure to rinse throughly (no soap suds can be in the springs) and to wash off the stool for the next person.
The hotel's hot spring.
The hotel’s hot spring.

Many Japanese wrap a towel around their head as they relax in the hot springs so that they have one available when they get out. You must remember not to submerge your head either when soaking in a hot spring or onsen!

Our Japanese style breakfast, yum!
Our Japanese style breakfast, yum!

As we walked around the city during our stay, here are some things that we saw, tried or found:

Restaurant we had dinner at.
Restaurant we had dinner at.
The bar part of the restaurant where we sat.
The bar part of the restaurant where we sat.
Cold sake!
Cold sake!
Rice and hot tea.
Rice and hot tea.
Chicken and beef on a stick.
Chicken and beef on a stick.
We went to the Rumpus Room for drinks and snacks. Right across from our hotel.
We went to the Rumpus Room for drinks and snacks. Right across from our hotel.
The staff called these mashed potatoes, but there was something else in them... not sure what. They were good!
The staff called these mashed potatoes, but there was something else in them… not sure what. They were good!
Drinks and bar snacks.
Drinks and potatoes.

Souvenir shopping in the Ginza:

Part of the ginza area.
Part of the ginza area.
Steve and his Japanese hat.
Steve and his Japanese hat.
Me in my Japanese hat.
Me in my Japanese hat.IMG_4337
These tsunami signs could be found all over town.
These tsunami signs could be found all over town.
Kitahama Park
Kitahama Park
Kitahama Park
Kitahama Park

Interesting Fact #2: Beppu ranks first in gush volume in Japan and is in a high place in the world in the number of sources and the variety of chemical properties.

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Lindsay View All →

Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!

2 Comments Leave a comment

    • Hello! Sorry for the delayed response! We mostly looked at the drink menu so I’m not really sure what specific kinds of foods they had. The menu they gave us was full of drinks and a few appetizers (maybe they have a different one for food? or maybe they didn’t serve meals?) But we did order french fries as a snack and as we did, they were making something in the kitchen. It looked like a stuffed meatball and we asked to try it. Not sure if that was something that is on their food menu? Sorry I couldn’t help more!

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