This spa is located at the end of one of Beppu's beaches. You must take off your shoes at the entrance and place them in a locker costing 100yen. Then pay 500 yen for the spa. Women go off to the left, men to the right. You can place your clothes in a locker in the changing room. There is an indoor room where you can wash prior to entering the spa. This room has several hot baths and a mist sauna. The outside area is mixed and you must wear your swimsuit here. There were several pools and a jaccuzi all at different temperatures. When we visited everyone was very covered up (I assume as protection from the sun). They were wearing wet suits, hats, facial masks and gloves!!! I was just in my swimsuit. People walked round and round the main pool then began an exercise session using floats. I just sat and relaxed. It was fun and good value. I felt very relaxed and unachey afterwards. In the inside room there was also some spa water available for drinking.
Beppu has two lovely beaches. It was October when we visited and although it was hot no-one was swimming when we were there. Both beaches had park areas with seats. They were lovely areas for a walk and for a picnic. The first beach's park had some interesting statues too. There were convenience stores near the first beach - very handy for our picnic.
This hell is near Blood Pond Hell. It consists of a seating area where people wait to see a geyser that spouts into the air around every 20 minutes. The name Tatsumaki Jigoku means Waterspout Hell. The geyser spouts for around 5 minutes or so enabling everyone to take a picture. When it had finished spouting we climbed the stairs at the back and wandered through the garden. From the top of the garden there were good views over the village. Toilet facilities are available outside this hell and it has a gift shop.
From Kannawa Bus Station we took bus number 16 to Chinoike Jigoku the Blood Pond Hell. There were great views over Beppu as we left Kannawa on the bus. Chinoike Jigoku cost 400 yen to enter. It has a large gift shop selling spa products and souvenirs at the entrance. Blood Pond Hell is of course red due to the red clay dissolved in its water. It is quite pretty and is set in lovely surroundings. You can view the pond from the front or climb a flight of steps to get a photo of the entire pond. There was a restaurant which we did not visit and a very enjoyable foot bath which we tried. Quite nice but it would be better if there was more garden to explore.
On our second visit to Beppu we spent a few hours returning to Kannawa and the hells. This time we visited Shiraike Jigoku or White Pond Hell. Entry was 400 yen. White Pond Hell has a large milky blue pond with lots of steam. It is quite photogenic. There are small gardens around it which have a couple of statues. Then there is wooden building with tropical fish tanks. The tanks include some pirannahs. Upstairs in this building there is a display of some Japanese paintings. The site also has clean toilets, drink vending machines, tables and chairs. It was quite interesting for a short visit and took a good photo but was nowhere near as good as Umi Jigoku. If you can only visit one hell, Umi Jigoku is the one to choose.
We took a bus from Beppu Station to Kannawa. Exit the station through the mountainside exit and take bus 2,7,5,41,43 and 9. It cost 320 yen. When you enter the bus, take a ticket from the machine. This is your entry stop number. You need to look at the display board at the front for your final price. (We jumped on bus 15 on the way back which went a longer route and cost more back to Beppu Station).
When you get to Beppu, there are 6 hells to choose from. Entry is 400 yen. We intended to visit two, but were fortunate enough to start at Umi Jigoku and that was so beautiful we just stayed there till it closed at 5pm.
If Umi jigoku is Hell, I need to start being bad because it was beautiful. It is basically a large flower filled garden filled with a large pond. There is a foot spa where you can sit and enjoy the spa waters. They did wonders for my eczyma. (Follow the sign saying spa for a leg).
Umi Jigoku means Sea Hell. When you wander through the shop on site, you will reach a beautiful cobalt blue pool of steaming water. This pool gives the hell its name. There is a little shrine next to this pool.
Go back through the shop and up the hill and there is a blood red steaming pool - also stunning. Then visit the hot house to see the hell's stunningly beautiful water lilies. Also wander the gardens in spring they are full of azaleas.
I did not see the other hells but am confident that this was one of the best if not the best of the hells.
We decided to visit Beppu Tower. You buy your ticket from a machine on the ground floor. Admission is 200 yen. You then take the lift to floor 16 and hand your ticket to the woman there. There are great views from the tower over the harbour, beach and Beppu town. There are also little cafes and a display of photos from Beppu's past.
Wandering around the streets of Kannawa was fun. You will see food being cooked by steam. There is a shrine on the hill which overlooks the crocodile hell from here you can see steam rising over the rooftops of Kannawa.
The Beppu Ropeway on the Mt Tsurumi in the Aso-Kuju National Park, was completed in 1962 by the technology of Kinki Nippon Railway. It was the only ropeway in the world to link a vertical distance of 792 meters. The 101-person gondola takes about ten minutes to reach the mountain top, bringing you to a 360 degree panoramic view of Beppu City and the surrounding mountains.
Worshippers pay pilgrimage to the Seven Gods along the path on the mountain: Fukurokuju, Daikokuten, Hotei, Jurojin, Bishamonten, Benzaiten and Ebisuten.
The White Pond Hell is so called because the colourless water that naturally spouts from the ground mysteriously turns creamy white. The serene atmosphere of the traditional Japanese garden is sure to soothe the mind.
The Umi Jigoku is so called because it resembles the sea. This 200m deep cobalt-blue pond of boiling water emerged 1200 years ago after a volcanic eruption. You can boil eggs in the pool and eat them.
In 1927 Kumahachi Aburaya, an entrepreneur and the ‘father’ of Beppu tourism – honoured with a memorial festival in the town during November - established a bus tour of the ‘hells’- complete with tour guides - and since then a circuit of at least some of the hells has been a feature of the tourist agenda in the town. Visiting them it is easy to see how their combination of beauty, power and the strangeness of nature have exerted a fascination for visitors.
Each hell has its own unique mineral content which colour the water of individual hells a turquoise blue, milky white and reddish brown. And it is not just the vapour steaming of the pond and the heat coming from the water which, though attraction enough, are there to draw visitors. Depending on which hell is visited it is also possible to purchase, from the attached gift shops, ointment and bath powder made from the mud and minerals of the hells, boiled eggs and also a steamed pudding cooked in the waters of the hell. If this sounds a little bit tacky well maybe so but it does not diminish the merit of the hells themselves and, being honest, how often do you get the opportunity of tasting a pudding cooked in a natural hot spring!
Seven of the springs are within walking distance of each other in the Kannawa District of Beppu – these are
Umi Jigoku or “Sea or Ocean Hell”
Surrounded by pleasant gardens and with a hot house of tropical plants the water of the sea hell is, like that of a tropical ocean, a beautiful turquoise blue
Oniishibozu Jigoku – “Shaven Head or Monk’s Hell”
So called because the emerging grey bubbles look like the shaved heads of monks
Shiraike Jigoku - “White Pond Hell
Set in a Japanese garden the milky coloured water gives the pond its name
Yama Jigoku – “Mountain Hell”
Steam rises from ponds and a ‘mountain’ of mud, there is also a small zoo nearby.
Oniyama Jigoku “Monster Mountain Hell”
The ‘monster’ in the name of this hell could refer to the force of the steam coming from its waters or perhaps the crocodiles and alligators which are bred and kept here.
Kamado Jigoku – “Cooking Pot Hell”
Several small super heated ponds are ‘guarded’ by a rather garish red and black statue of a demon atop a cooking pot
Kinryu Jigoku – “Golden Dragon Hell”
A rather less garish statue of a dragon meets – and breathes steam – visitors to this hell
Then, a little further away, in the Shibaseki district are
Chinoike Jigoku - "Blood Pond Hell"
Named after the russet coloured water this is reputedly Japan’s oldest natural ‘hell’
Tatsumaki Jigoku – “Spout Hell”
Every 25 to 30 minutes a geyser of water sends steam and heat spiting out of this hell
A trip to all the hells takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on transportation, tickets can be bought for each individual hell or a ticket covering 8 of the hells – Kinryu Jigoku does not seem to be included on this – can also be purchased.
There seem to be a fair few sex museums scattered around Japan. I can't say if the Beppu one is a good one or not, but it's there so I thought I'd add it to my list of things to do for those of you who're interested.
The museum is near the Kannawa hells, opposite the Hotel Ashiya. They have a large range of cultural exhibits from various cultures. Large wooden phalluses seem to be the most popular (especially the REALLY large ones). They say they also have life-size models that get stcuk into it at the push of the button - featuring Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs and Popeye & Olive Oil.... Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs doing it at the push of a button??? That's not kinky, it's just wrong! Anyway, if you'd like to experience the Japanese take on a sex museum Beppu might just be the place to do it.
Costs when we walked past were around 1500yen (ouch) and it was open from 9am to 11pm daily.
This is a great alternative to the traditional Japanese onsen (hot springs). Here you undress and put on a robe, then you go outside to the sandpit. It was a little chilly when we got there, but don't let that stop you, you'll soon be toasty warm. A whole is dug in the sand (rather large one for me - ouch) and you lay down in it. Then sand is heaped up all over you. The sand is warmed from the volcanic activity in the area and trust me when i tell you, it is warm! I am not one for staying still, but the weight of the sand and the warmth engulfs you and you just relax... until it gets too hot.
I really enjoyed this experience and can't recommend it more highly.
The word "jigoku" means "burning hell". The name is taken from the ancient Buddist sutras. There are nine natural hot spring sites you can visit and most in relative walking distance of each other. In 2.5 hours, with the help of the local buses, we were able to see 8 f the hells, have a foot bath, eat a pomelo ice-cream and a jigoku baked pudding and feed a hippo and an elephant... not a bad mornings work. We finished in time to have a bowl of Dando-jiru (local soup) before jumping back on the bus to the airport.
The "hell" tour (JIGOKU MEGURI) is really something you should do if you make it down to Beppu. A ticket for the 8 hells costs 2000yen for adults.