Photo By: Cara Lam
Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Oita
Population
1,221,128

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?

The Sea Hell, one of the eight hells (Jigoku), multi-colored volcanic pool of boiling water in Kannawa district in Beppu, Japan.
Hot springs in Oita prefecture are known to be especially hot, and Ekimae Koto takes it to the next level. Take advantage of the little onsen fountain meant for your hands in the front of the building — it’s a good way to sample the temp of the baths inside. Upon entering, you’ll meet the owners of the bath. They can’t speak English, but through body language, you’ll know to purchase an entrance ticket from a machine to your right. As a bonus, this onsen is tattoo-friendly!

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.

Photo by: Cara Lam Ekimae Koto Onsen bath. No frills and it feels great.

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.

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Trivia

The Sea Hell, one of the eight hells (Jigoku), multi-colored volcanic pool of boiling water in Kannawa district in Beppu, Japan.

Hells of Beppu

Go to hell.

More

Things To Know

Hours and fees

Ekimae Koto Onsen is open from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., all year round. Guestrooms are available for ¥1,600 for a large dorm room or ¥2,600 for a single room. Reservation is required for overnight stay. No meals are included in the price.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒874-0935 Ōita-ken, Beppu-shi, Ekimaechō, 13, 町営駅前高等温泉

By train

Ekimae Koto is only a 2-minute walk from the east exit of Beppu station.

  • From Tokyo, take the Tokkaido-sanyo Shinkansen to Kokura Station (4 hours 44 minutes), then an one-hour, 19-minute Sonic-Nichirin express train to Beppu Station.
  • From Fukuoka, take the Sonic-Nichirin express train for 1 hour and 51 minutes directly to Beppu Station.
  • From Oita Station, take either the Sonic-Nichirin express train or JR Nippou Line to Beppu Station.
By car

Exit Oita Expressway at the Beppu Interchange and continue driving for 15 minutes. There are parking spots for eight vehicles in front of the onsen.

Where To Stay

International Inn Kokage
  • Ekimae-cho 8-9 Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0935
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.0 km
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Guest House Rojiura
  • Ekimae cho 9-14 Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0935
  • 8.8/10
  • 0.0 km
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Beppu Station Hotel
  • Ekimae-cho 13-4 874-0395
  • 6.9/10
  • 0.1 km
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Hotel Seawave Beppu
  • Ekimae-cho 12-8 Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0935
  • 7.7/10
  • 0.1 km
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