Ekimae Koto Onsen
We're in love with this tattoo-friendly onsen with roasting temperatures.
Daytrippers and backpackers in Beppu city should check out this super hot onsen that conveniently has a lodging facility on the second floor. Right by Beppu station is Ekimae Koto Onsen — a conspicuous structure that has been in use since 1924. Though the facilities are a bit antique, it’s a recommended spot to for onsen (hot spring) aficionado or those looking to stay over on the cheap.
Where is hell in Oita?
At Ekimae Koto Onsen, there are two baths for each gender: atsuyu — the hot bath, and nuruyu — the lukewarm bath. Each bath has its own separate fee so be careful when you choose: the hot bath reaches an extreme temp of 48 degrees Celsius which is quite hot even for Oita locals, and may give your feet a burning sensation. However long you can stand it, it certainly helps relaxes your muscles fast. The “lukewarm” bath, though, is still pretty hot at 44.5 degrees Celsius, which may take amateur onsen hoppers a bit of time to completely soak into.
At atsuyu, clear sulfurous spring water flows directly from the source, while at nuruyu, lukewarm carbonated water flows into a bath of cypress aroma. The fact that a part of the cypress bath is hidden behind the staircase gives visitors a chance for privacy. Both baths are said to have side effects for relieving burns, stomach problems and neuralgia.
Hot springs in Oita prefecture are known to be especially hot.
Note that while there are very simple showering facilities in the bath area, you will need to either purchase soap or bring your own. As Ekimae Koto Onsen is very well-known, try to visit at non-peak hours in the early morning, or as early as the baths open at 6 a.m. Ekimae Koto Onsen also has lodging that is even cheaper than hostels in the vicinity with tatami-style rooms starting from around ¥1,600.