Experience the mystical 'Jigoku Meguri' with some tasty gourmet! Discover the charm of Kannawa Onsen in Oita Prefecture's Beppu Onsen area.

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Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture boasts the highest amount of hot spring water in the country and is said to be the best in Japan. The most popular sightseeing here is the "Jigoku Meguri" where you can see hot water and fumarole gushing out from underground! Would you like to explore the charm of Bepp...

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Charm of Beppu Onsen Village and “Jigoku Meguri”

Beppu hot spring village boasts the highest number of hot springs and the highest amount of hot spring water in Japan. Even within Oita Prefecture, which is known as the ``Onsen Prefecture'' due to its many hot springs, it has a particularly large presence. Beppu Onsen Village has eight hot springs known as the ``Beppu Eight Hot Springs,'' including ``Kannawa Onsen,'' where you can enjoy an elegant townscape and traditional steam baths, and ``Beppu Onsen,'' which is easily accessible and has many hotels. Divided into areas, you can enjoy various hot spring qualities and landscapes, as well as cuisine and sightseeing that take advantage of the hot springs. This time, we would like to introduce you to the "Jigoku Meguri", which is an essential part of Beppu sightseeing.

1. First, collect information at “WONDER COMPASS” at Beppu Station!

The Jigoku Meguri tour starts at Beppu Station. From here, take a bus, taxi, or rental car to the spot called "Jigoku."

In front of the station, there is a statue of Kumahachi Aburaya, who made Beppu a major tourist destination, and his motto, ``Make the traveler sleepy,'' is engraved on the base. It is rare. There is also a hand bath to warm your hands in front of the station. When I actually soaked my hands in the water, it felt a little hot, but I felt relieved and relaxed. As expected, Oita is the “Onsen Prefecture”!

A place you should stop by at Beppu Station is WANDER COMPASS BEPPU, located about a minute walk from the east exit. This interactive tourist information center offers services such as currency exchange, ticket sales for bus tours, and luggage storage, as well as friendly staff who will tell you about the charms of Beppu in English.

2. A mysterious sight created by nature! "Jigoku Meguri"

` `Jigoku Meguri '' takes you around hot spring sources that are over 100 degrees Celsius. Beppu has been a place where fumes, hot mud, and boiling water have been gushing out for more than 1,000 years. It is said that each spot came to be called ``Jigoku'' because of the danger and the inability of people to approach it. There are seven Jigokus in total (``Umi Jigoku'', ``Blood Pond Jigoku'', ``Tornado Jigoku'', ``Shiraike Jigoku'', ``Onishibozu Jigoku'', ``Oniyama Jigoku'', and ``Kamado Jigoku''), and you can spend a whole day exploring them. Many people focus on areas of concern. This time, we will introduce three Jigokus that you should definitely visit.

① “Umi Jigoku” where cobalt blue hot water gushes out

We arrived at Umijigoku, which is about a 10-minute drive from Beppu Station. The entrance fee to Umi Jigoku, which is a nationally designated scenic spot, is 450 yen, but if you want to visit all seven Jigokus, you can get a 2,200 yen common ticket.

Sea Jigoku is the largest of all Jigokus, with smoke constantly rising from the bright cobalt blue water surface. Colorful flowers bloom around it, making it look more like heaven than Jigoku.

② “Onishibozu Jigoku” where the snoring of demons echoes

Next, go to Onishibozu Jigoku, which is right next door. The name comes from the way the hot gray mud rises up from the ground, which resembles a shaved head. Inside Jigoku, there is a place where a geyser with a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius, called ``Takaibiki'', erupts with a roaring sound.

③ Experience various Jigokus in one place! "Kamado Jigoku"

Kamado Jigoku is home to various hot spring ponds named Jigokus 1st to 6th Street. It's very strange to see such a variety of scenery spread out in such a short distance, such as orange, cobalt blue, and hot mud like Onishibozu Jigoku. Another appeal of Kamado Jigoku is that you can enjoy Jigoku from various angles, such as experiments using smoke, drinking hot springs, and footbath spots.

If you have time, try the ``soy sauce pudding'' and ``petan egg.''

Kamado Jigoku is full of hot spring gourmet food. The famous "Onsen Pitan (Jigoku Steamed Egg)" and original "Soy Sauce Pudding" and "Matcha Pudding" are must-try dishes.

When you crack open the white shell of ``Onsen Pitan'', you'll find a hot spring egg with the color of a pepper inside. The faint sulfur-like scent of the hot springs and the smoky taste are both delicious and addictive. The ``Kamado Jigoku Limited Yuzu Pepper Soy Sauce'', which was developed to go well with this egg, has the refreshing aroma of yuzu and the spiciness of chili pepper, so be sure to buy it as well. The soy sauce pudding is made with a hint of soy sauce, and is as rich as a cheesecake. The matcha flavor was also a great combination of bitter caramel and strong matcha.

3. Enjoy Jigokumushi and health food at “Mushicharou”

A gourmet dish called ``Jigokumushi'' is something you should enjoy along with your Jigoku Meguri. Jigokumushi is a traditional Beppu dish that uses hot spring fumes generated by geothermal energy. There are various restaurants and some hotels that have steaming facilities attached, but the one I would like to recommend this time is a restaurant called Mushicharo .

The restaurant's name means "Let's steam it" in Oita's language, and the dishes prepared by Shinichiro Maeda, former head chef of the Beppu Bay Royal Hotel and with 40 years of Chinese cooking experience, are all beautiful and healthy. The dishes, which take advantage of our knowledge of cooking methods and medicinal dishes using 50℃ washing and low-temperature steam, will allow you to enjoy a food experience like never before.

There are three types of lunch menus: ``A Course (10 dishes, 4,300 yen)'', ``B Course (8 dishes, 3,000 yen)'', and ``Mushi no Takumi Special Course (5,300 yen)''. Advance reservations are recommended.

4. Learn about the origins and blessings of hot springs at Beppu Kannawa Jigoku Onsen Museum

Beppu Kannawa Jigoku Onsen Museum, which opened in December 2022, is also a must-see spot. Here, participants can experience the process of turning rainwater into a hot spring over a period of 50 years on a ``trip to become a hot spring.'' (30-40 minute program repeated every 10 minutes)

``1. A gift from the sky,'' ``2. A 50-year journey underground,'' ``3. Encounters with people and culture,'' and ``4. Now and the future,'' with videos, exploration, stamp collection, etc. You can enjoy it all the way through, and there are some surprises along the way. The rooms in every scene were beautiful, and I was excited to deepen my understanding of hot springs.

``50 Cafe'' on the first floor also has cute hot spring goods, carefully brewed coffee, and snacks. You can also take a break while watching the steam rising up.

Access information to Beppu Onsen

If you are flying from Tokyo

It takes about 2 hours from Haneda Airport (JAL, ANA, Solaseed Air) and Narita Airport (Jetstar) to Oita Airport. From there, take the Oita Airport Access Bus to Beppu Station in about 50 minutes.

If you are going from Tokyo by Shinkansen or train

Take the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Kokura Station (4 hours 45 minutes). From there, you can take a limited express train to Beppu Station in about 1 hour and 25 minutes.

See more tourist information in Beppu

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National Resort Onsen(hot Spring) Area are designated by the Minister of the Environment based on the Hot Springs Act as healthy recreation hot spring areas where the effects of hot spring use are expected to be sufficient. There are 79 designated hot spring areas throughout the country. (As of October 2022) The selection of national hot spring resorts is generally based on the following criteria. Part 1 Conditions regarding hot spring quality and gushing amount Part 2 Conditions regarding the environment etc. of hot spring resorts

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