Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Japan Travel with Children - Kyushu - Beppu 別府

Beppu (別府), located in Oita (大分) Prefecture of Kyushu, is famous for hot springs. We took JR train from Hakata to Yufuin, and then to Beppu. Of course, you can take JR train directly from Hakata to Beppu. Upon exiting Beppu Station, we were welcomed by the statue of Kumahachi Aburaya.

It was quite cool in the evening in June, our hands were warmed by the hand hot spring outside Beppu Station.

A lovely manhole cover!

We stayed for two nights at a hot spring hotel called Beppu Nogamihongan Ryokan (べっぷ野上本館), which is about 10 minutes walk from Beppu Station. We paid 9000+ yen (about S$120) per night for the Japanese style room, and I thought it was a steal as we had ever paid S$200 for a Japanese style room in Okinawa!

This hotel has public and private hot springs. We got to enjoy the private hot spring once for free during our stay. There are 3 private hot springs available, we chose  ひのきの半露天湯. So, even though there is bathroom in our room, we did not use it at all!

The female public hot spring was just renovated and re-opened on the day when we arrived! I was so glad to enjoy the brand new hot spring! Pei Pei and I had the entire hot spring to ourselves for quite some time before a Japanese lady came in. We forgot to put the stools back to the original place after bathing, and she was so kind to help us to put them back. She was very friendly and talked to us. Then we realised that she was a staff in the next morning!

image source: https://www.facebook.com/enjoybeppu/

The hotel also offers dinner and breakfast at additional cost, I would consider giving it a try if I ever visit this hotel again, to complete the Japanese ryokan experience. The hotel was undergoing exterior renovation during our stay, but it did not affect us since we went out during day time. There was a machine dispensing coffee, green tea, hojicha and water at the lobby, we could hydrate ourselves after enjoying the hot spring. Overall, we enjoyed our stay there. The only two down sides are, first, smoking was allowed at the lobby, and second, it was located near "red light district", so we didn't venture out of the hotel at night.

Just a few minutes walk from the hotel was the famous Takegawara Hot Spring (竹瓦温泉). We took a we-were-there-photo, but did not have time to experience the hot spring and sand bath there.

From Beppu, it was convenient to get to Sanrio Harmonyland via JR train and bus, as well as to African Safari (アフリカサファリ) via direct bus. There were plenty of lockers just outside Beppu Station, so after we checked out from the hotel, we placed our luggage in the locker before heading to African Safari.

You may have heard of Hells of Beppu, which are 7 spectacular hot springs for viewing, but not for bathing. However, due to time constraint, we gave them a miss.

If I have a chance to visit Beppu again, I would definitely try out the sand bath!

Our Japan (June 2017) Travelogue

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