This is the second volume of travel tips for Beppu, Oita.
Last time was about Jigoku (“Hell” in English) hopping, which is probably the most famous thing to do in Beppu, but there is so much more you cannot miss.
(Haven’t checked about Jigoku hopping yet? : https://www.whatodojapan.com/?p=857)
Beach sand bath
Bathing is not just getting into hot water. You can also lay down on the beach!
It is called “Suna-yu”. (Suna means sand, yu means hot water in English.)
Once you lay down facing to the sea, they cover up your body with the sand, which is warmed up with hot water from the hot spring nearby. You can stay there for 10-15 minutes while enjoying the sound of waves and sea breeze. 10-15 minutes might sound short, but it is well enough to get warm (you might even get sweat) and relax.
After getting out, you can take shower to rinse off the sand on your body and get into hot water as well. Also, you do not have to worry about what to wear on the beach as you can borrow Yukata (casual type of Kimono) at the reception.
Again, bathing is not just getting into hot water, or laying down on the beach. You can also lay down on the grass! The grass is called “Acorus gramineus” in botanical name and it is a type of herb. In a small room made of stones, the floor is covered with the grass. The floor is warmed up with hot spring and you can lay down and enjoy the scent of the herb while relaxing.
Another way to enjoy Beppu is its beautiful scenery. The best view in the city is panorama from Mt. Tsurumi. By Beppu Ropeway, you can go up to the top of the mountain (about 1,300 meters above sea level) in less than 10 minutes.
While you can overlook the entire city to the sea, the look also has extensive mountain scenery on the other side. The sight changes with different seasons; Cherry blossoms bloom in spring and silver frost cover trees in winter.
When traveling in Japan, food would be one of the most important things you should check because each area has its own local cuisine made with its specialty. Here are some of the dishes you can try in Beppu.
Bungo-gyu is a type of wagyu beef raised in Oita prefecture. Shabu-shabu (Japanese hot pot) is highly recommended to enjoy the beef.
This is a noodle dish, but the noodle is flat and wide compared to ramen or udon. “Dango” usually means something ball shaped that is made with flour or rice, but in this case the noodle is also called “Dango”. “Jiru” means soup and it is similar to Tonjiru, which is popular miso soup. By the way we have a video showing how to make Tonjiru on Youtube, so please also check it out if you are interested.
Tori-ten is chicken tempura. Kara-age (fried chicken) is also famous Japanese food, but they are slightly different. While Kara-age is usually fried with starch, they use flour for Tori-ten.
Beppu is called a town of hot spring. But that is not it. It is a town of different kinds of hot spring, beautiful scenery, and delicious local dishes. And surprisingly, it is just a town of one prefecture. In Oita, or in Kyusyu region, there are still too many spots to explore so wait for more tips coming!
Author: Yurika Haneda