Written by Matteo Giuberto
5 Reasons To Visit Beppu In Oita Prefecture, Kyushu
This article is about Beppu, a lovely city in Oita prefecture. As a resident of Beppu, I will introduce some of the reasons why any traveler to Japan should visit Beppu.
Beppu? Many of our readers might be wondering what kind of place it is. Or perhaps what kind of food it is.
Beppu is a city in Oita prefecture on the island of Kyushu. You might not have heard of Beppu, but let me mention a few reasons why you should visit this area at least once in your lifetime.
1. Hot Springs - Relax by Taking a Bath
In Beppu there are more than one hundred hot springs. In fact, in this area you will find the second largest concentration of hot springs in the world. Almost every hotel and ryokan (traditional inn) provides access to hot springs as a service to their customers.
Takegawara Onsen, which opened in 1879, is the oldest onsen in Beppu. This beautiful building was built more than a century ago, in the Meiji era.
Moreover, onsen are more than just geothermal water. In fact, they are healing water. The onsen water is rich in minerals and is good for our health. By bathing in these hot springs, you will no longer have skin problems such as rough skin, since the minerals peels off the old skin.
In addition, bathing in onsen is good for relaxation and reduces stress. Going to onsen after an exhausting day during your holiday in Beppu is a relaxing, awesome experience!
2. Delicious Onsen Food
After relaxing in an onsen bath, enjoy the warm, delicious specialties of food cooked using the natural heat of the hot spring water. The food available includes eggs, seafood, pork, dumplings, sweet potatoes, and various kinds of vegetables. These foods are healthy, because only the natural minerals and salt are used in cooking them.
Onsen food - healthy and very tasty. (Photo by Anda Uttarak)
Some facilities offer additional seasonings such as soy sauce, salt and ponzu (a sower-sweet liquid condiment).ssNeedless to say, the onsen houses will teach you how to cook the ingredients of your choice.
3. Beppu Park - Nature in the Heart of the City
For those who would like to relax amidst the beauty of nature, Beppu Park will be an ideal destination. Located right near Beppu Station, this park is a symbol of the city.
Beppu Park is a peaceful oasis, offering a break from the hectic daily life. Its charming flowers that change every season and its majestic trees, will give you a feeling of tranquility. It is allowed to bring food and have a picnic here, that is why Beppu Park is great place to enjoy a pleasant time with your beloved friends and family.
The beauty of Beppu Park will surely make your holiday unforgettable. (Photo by Matthew Deovanni)
From the end of March until mid April, the park is full of visitors who come to admire the astounding view of the sakura (cherry blossoms).
4. Yufuin - A Charming Mountainous Area
Yufuin is a small town with approximately 36.000 residents. Located 25 kilometers away from Beppu, it can be reached by taking the bus heading to Kamenoi from Beppu Station. On the way to Yufuin, you will be able to enjoy the view of the stunningly beautiful nature from the bus.
Photo by Anda Uttarak
This town has many traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) and hotels, as well as elegant boutiques, restaurants, shops and cafes lining the main street of Yufuin.
The "Donguri no mori" shop in Yufuin offers you the chance to meet the lovely Totoro.
Its typical Japanese-village look makes Yufuin look like a scenery from the movie "My Neighbor Totoro". In fact, there is a special store selling products related to Totoro - "Donguri no mori". One can find here dolls, key chains, pencil cases and other objects related to the character, so Totoro fans should not miss Yufuin!
5. The Hospitality of Local People
Last but not least, one more thing that makes Beppu a great holiday destination is its local people. The residents of Beppu are known for being kind, charming and lovely.
A lady who once visited Beppu told me that during her trip she got lost on the streets of Beppu, but one of the locals helped immediately to find her way. This experience surprised her, because in large cities like Tokyo she had been ignored in the same situation because the people going by were too busy.
Their smile will warm your heart and day. Aren’t they adorable?
If I were to share my experience as a resident of Beppu, I am also surprised sometimes when the local people start a conversation with me by asking “The weather is so hot today, isn’t it?”
When I reply in Japanese, they easily recognize from my accent that I am a foreigner, so they ask me where I am from. When I answer that I come from Indonesia, they usually reply “Wow, that’s cool! I have always wanted to go to Bali”. There was even a charming lady who asked me once how to say "Good morning!" in Indonesian.
The local people in Beppu happily welcome visitors to Beppu. Their hospitality will surely make you feel that Beppu is your second home.
Beppu is a charming place, really worth a visit. Even though it is not as famous as large cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, anyone who visits Beppu will surely fall in love with this area. So how about adding Beppu to your list of sightseeing destinations in Japan?