Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Take a dip in one of the most renowned hot spring resorts in Japan.
The quaint little city of Beppu, in Oita Prefecture, is only 45 minutes’ drive from Oita Airport, yet a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. It is enveloped in beautiful nature, making it scenic to explore in any season, but it’s what is under the ground at this idyllic place that makes it famous.
Beppu has some of the best onsen hot springs in the world and has become a mecca for tourists seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in its abundance of thermal waters. It is blessed with eight major hot springs (Beppu Onsen, Myoban Onsen, Hamawaki Onsen, Shibaseki Onsen, Horita Onsen, Kannawa Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen and Kamegawa Onsen), whose waters each have their own unique properties.
There are more than 3,000 vents across the city, creating a multitude of indoor and outdoor baths. Ranging from expansive to cosy, elegant to minimalistic and traditional to modern, there truly is an option for everyone.
In addition to conventional onsen, Beppu offers sand, steam and mud baths that are heated naturally by geothermal activity. Bathing in the sand bath at Beppu Kaihin Sunaba is said to improve circulation while the mud bath in Hoyoland Onsen reportedly boosts the complexion.
Enjoying a soak
There are two main ways to enjoy the onsen hot springs: either as a day tripper or as an overnight guest at a ryokan. Many facilities welcome guests during the day for a relaxing soak, perhaps followed by refreshments or snacks. A popular option is to spend the day trying a number of different onsen in the area.
We recommend making the most of the beautiful scenery in Beppu by staying overnight at one of the delighted ryokan inns. This allows you to enjoy the hot spring baths at virtually any time of day, including the particularly scenic times of sunrise and sunset. Some inns even have private onsen exclusively for overnight guests.
Whatever you choose, you are certain to leave Beppu relaxed and refreshed.