Region
Kyushu
Island
Kyushu
Largest City
Oita
Population
1,221,128

Hells of Beppu

Go to hell.

One of the most exciting attractions of Oita Prefecture, the Hells of Beppu (Jigoku Meguri) attract visitors from all over Japan. But beware, these onsen aren’t your regular run-of-the-mill hot springs as their temperatures are too high for anyone to soak in safely.

There are eight hells (“jigoku”) scattered around the Kannawa and Shibaseki districts of Beppu City, most of which are within walking distance of each other.

The Umi Jigoku, roughly translated as the “Ocean’s Hell”, is a beautiful shade of aquamarine and the cooking site of many a boiled onsen egg. Visitors can unwind at the nearby foot bath after a day’s hard work of touring the onsen. The Oniishibozu Jigoku is known for its bubbling mud, while the Shiraike Jigoku, translated as “The White Pond Hell” features an onsen characterized by steaming, milky-coloured waters.

The cloudy film that appears to settle over the waters is due to a combination of salt, boric acid, sodium silicate, and calcium carbonate.

Pay a visit to the city’s own miniature zoo and feed the various animals at the Yama Jigoku (“Mountain Hell”) and stop at the Oniyama Jigoku, where you can see the crocodiles at what is known as “The Monster Mountain’s Hell”.

For all the foodies out there, Kamado Jigoku, known as “The Cooking Pot Hell”, is where the party’s at. A vermillion-coloured statue overlooks the jigoku as eggs, vegetables and water are steamed by the onsen’s vapours. You may also enjoy hand-and-foot baths here if you wish.

Beppu, Japan - December 29, 2009: Two young girls are cooking food on outdoors market. Boled eggs, corn and potatoes is popular fast food in Beppu, Japan

Pick up some onsen steamed food while you tour the hells.

The six aforementioned jigoku are located in Kannawa Town, while the following two are located in the Shibaseki district.

The Tatsumaki Jigoku, known as “The Tornado Hell”, stars a hot geyser that erupts erratically about every 30 to 40 minutes for periods of 6 to 10 minutes – a stone plate prevents the geyser’s eruptions from getting too out of control. There’s a schedule that’s posted for those looking to get footage of the eruptions. With waters reaching temperatures of up to 150 degrees Celsius, this jigoku is the hottest of them all.

The Blood Pond Hell arguably the most photogenic of all (and coolest – it only reaches temperatures of 78 degrees Celsius).

The final onsen, known as the Chinoike Jigoku (“The Blood Pond Hell”), stands out in its own right because of its crimson waters caused by the levels of iron and magnesium-enriched clay that seeps into the pool from the ground. The vicinity also boasts a large souvenir shop in which you can purchase jigoku-themed souvenirs as well as locally steamed eats such as onsen pudding and onsen eggs.

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Things To Know

Opening Hours

8:00 to 17:00, 365 days a year.

Fees

It will cost you ¥550 to visit one hell or ¥2100 to visit all eight hells. If you have a good command of Japanese, Kamenoi also offers Japanese-language bus tours for 3600 yen in which you can conveniently cover all eight hells. Book your tours at the tourist information centre located in Beppu Station.

How To Get There

Address

986 Kannawakami, Beppu-shi, Ōita-ken 874-0046, Japan

By train

From Hakata Station in Fukuoka, you can reach JR Beppu in about 2 hours for ¥5740 one way.

By bus

You can easily access the hells from JR Beppu Station by bus routes 5, 7, and 9. The journey, during which you’ll alight at Kannawa, will take about 15 minutes. To reach the two hells in Shibaseki, you’ll need to take the 16/16A 5-minute bus ride from Kannawa.

Where To Stay

Ryokan Mikasaya
  • 1 Ida Kannawa Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0043
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.1 km
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Kannawaso
  • Ida 2 Kumi Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0043
  • 8.1/10
  • 0.2 km
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Yanagiya
  • Ida 2 Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0043
  • 9.2/10
  • 0.2 km
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Onsenkaku
  • Furomoto 1-kumi Beppu-Shi, Oita 874-0044
  • 8.1/10
  • 0.2 km
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