Last weekend, two friends and I went to Beppu, Japan. Beppu is famous for its hot springs (and its sex museum but they would prefer to be known for hot springs). According to Wikipedia, 130,000 tons of hot water gush from the ground every day. This is the second largest hot spring discharge in the world, after Yellowstone National Park!
After travelling by plane, train and automobile, we arrived at Beppu Station. A short walk brought us to the Takegawara Onsen. Built in 1879, and restored in 1938, Takegawara Onsen is gorgeous.
More importantly, it’s home to the sand baths.
Because of the hot water gushing out all over the place, everything steams – rivers, streams, sewers, the sand on the beach…. Everything is warm. The sand baths gave us the opportunity to be buried in lovely hot sand.
We went in, paid and received our robes. Then we tried to figure out what to do.
Me, in my “largee sizee” robe, ready to jump into the sand.
Here I am, laying in my trench while a sweet little Japanese lady covers me in hot sand.
And here we are, baking in our hot sand bath. Lovely…
It felt fabulous, and made for fantastically silly photos!! 😀
The next day, we visited a few of the Jikoku, or Hell Pits. At 8 different locations around town, water bursts from the ground in peculiar colours.
The Umi Jikoku was bright blue. You could buy eggs that had been boiled in this Hell Pit.
This Hell Pit was thick and gray. As the water bubbled up, each bubble supposedly resembled the shaved head of a Buddhist monk.
We even managed to see a few damp cherry blossoms!!
Then it was time for one last hot spring (we visited 4 in 2 days!) before we hopped on the train to head back to Korea.