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Published: April 4th 2013
From Tokyo taking the fast trains was an amazing experience, the Shinkansen is fast and always on time, I transferred in Osaka then took a tad bit slower train heading for Beppu, and of course I took advantage of the cheap bento being sold at kiosks in the train station, I fell asleep on the train knowing that Beppu is 2nd to the last stop, somehow I woke up and found the train stopped at a station, trying to get my bearing, I peeked outside and saw the sign Beppu! darn we are here, I hurriedly grabbed my backpack slinging it in my shoulder quickly and went towards the open door, and as luck would have it, it closed on me, catching me by the rucksack! I forced myself out wiggling desperately to free myself before it speeds away, the door opened again and I was free, that is when I noticed everyone staring at me, the hell with it, I dunno no one here so no need to get embarassed, I quietly walked out from the platform.
Then tried to figure out where is the bus to my hostel, I will be staying at Happy Neko Ryokan, about half
hour outside of town near the hot springs, just following the directions I made it without getting lost, an achievement for me. I knocked on the house with a nice garden, a white dude came out, I think he is Czech or Serbian, I can't remember, he runs the ryokan with his Japanese wife. The place is nice he took me to my room which is in another building adjacent to the property, its nice with washing machine, flat screen tv, fridge, a toilet but no showers! I guess I can go to any sento nearby to clean myself, that's the rationale, the place is for 2 people but he was nice enough to charge me for one person only.
After settling in, I went for a quick walk to the grocery shop and grabbed the on sale take out food they have, sashimi, sushi etc, wow they are so good and cheaper than in Tokyo, needless to say I went home and had a feast washed it down with Asahi beer. Then off to bed as I was very tired. The next morning I started my venture out checking all the hot springs in the area, there were
I think 8 of them, i bought the package deal to save money which allows me to go to all of them for a set price. Siraike Jigoku was the 1st one, a nice garden and turqouise green pool. Then Oniyama Jigoku which oddly enough has crocs in it, they breed them or something, then the 3rd one Kamado Jigoku has brown pools along with the green pools, and boiling mud, and as I go further, each sites get tackier by the minute, one has a zoo, one has botanical garden,some demon statues, egg boiling place, etc. I quickly lost interest and hopped on a bus to go the the farthest one, Tatsumaki Jigoku, where there is a geyser, the walk above the ampitheatre built to view the geyser "show" was nice, but still tacky, with souvenir shops, too commercialized for me. So I went on, taking the bus near the water to sample the hot sands. They bury you in hot sand for I think 15 minutes then you clean yourself and use the sento, this was better for me, I enjoyed it, though the sand takes awhile getting used to, it is indeed hot!
Last stop was
to an outdoor sento above town, I think its called Yunosato(?) It's a small place, lots of naked men outdoors, as the Japanese would do in a sento, the water is really nice and rich in minerals, the women are separated of course, the families meet outside after their dip is over and have a small picnic. back to the ryokan and I just passed out due to exhaustion, been a long day. Overall I like Beppu, chill out town and nice scenery, i only wish i stayed longer to hike the trails in the mountains, next time, but Nagasaki awaits...
The nice gajin owner drove me to the train station and I am off to Nagasaki..
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