Beppu Hatto

Beppu boasts the highest volume of hot spring water in Japan and ranked second in the world. The city is divided into eight major hot spring areas: Beppu, Kiankaji, Kamegawa, Shibaseki, Kannawa, Myoban, Horita and Hamawaki. These eight areas together are known as the Beppu Hatto (eight springs). Beppu Hatto has a long history as an onsen (hot spring resort) town tracing back to the beginning of the 8th century. Each area has a different type of hot spring and a distinctive characteristic, such as the bamboo roof tiles on the Beppu hot spring’s wood frame buildings, the bathing huts at Myoban Hot spring with their “flowers of sulfur,” and the sand baths of the Kamegawa Hot spring. Kannawa Hot Spring still keeps the traditional hot-spring cure culture. Kankaiji Hot Springs offers a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Beppu Bay. Other three groups of hot springs Shibaseki, Hamawaki, and Horita are also very unique spa resorts with their own characteristics regardless of the scale. The hot springs have also been utilized in geothermal power generation, green houses, heating systems, and so on.

Takegawara Hot spring
Constructed in 1879, Takegawara Spa is the most famous bath house in Beppu, offering sand and regular baths in a nostalgia atmosphere.
Address: 16-23 Motomachi, Beppu city, Oita
phone: 0977-23-1585
Hours: 6:30 AM -10:30 PM (sand bath from 8:00 AM- entry until 9:30 PM)
Closed: Sand bath closed on third Wednesday of every month; regular bath closed on third Wednesday of December
Admission: 1000 yen (sand bath) 100 yen (regular bath only)
Tanayu (Suginoi Palace)
Suginoi, the leading ryokan in the town, offers elegant outdoor pools on the roof. The spectacular view over the city is breathtaking.
Address: 1 Kannonzi, Beppu city, Oita
TEL 0977-24-1141
Hours: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM (entry until 9:30 PM; longer hours for staying guests)
Closed: Opens everyday
Admission: 1000 yen (weekdays), 1500 yen (weekends and holidays)
Hyotan Onsen
This public bath house offers regular indoor and outdoor hot baths with “waterfalls” to massage your shoulders, steam baths and sand baths. Private baths and meals are also available.
Address: 159-2 Kannawa, Beppu city, Oita
TEL: 0977-66-0527
Hours: 9:00 AM to 1:00 AM
Closed: irregular 
Admission: 700 yen

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From Tokyo:
There are frequent flights between Haneda and Oita Airport near Beppu. From the airport, take bus to Beppu Kitahama (all buses stop) or JR Beppu station. Or, if you prefer train, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kokura station and transfer to the Sonic limited express train for Beppu.

From Fukuoka:
Take Shinkansen line or Kagoshima Hon-sen line from Hakata to Kokura station, then transfer for Beppu.

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September / 2010

Trip to Japan