Hells of Beppu
The Hells of Beppu are hot spring areas in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture.
Spewing gas, thermal mud, and boiling water for over 1000 years, and referred to in the “Bungo Fudoki” as an unapproachable abhorred land, this area has come to be known by people as “hell.” Even today, the local hot springs are still referred to as “hells.”
A popular tour is the “Hell Tour,” which takes guests to Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell), Oniishibozu Jigoku (Oni Rock Monk Hell), Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell), Kamado Jigoku (Cooking Pot Hell), Oniyama Jigoku (Oni Mountain Hell), Yama Jigoku (Mountain Hell), Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell), and Tatsumaki Jigoku (Spout Hell). With one tour ticket, you can visit all of the “hells” and try out hot foot baths. Towels can be purchased for 200 yen, but we recommend bringing your own if you wish to try the foot baths. Food stalls also sell items such as steamed buns and onsen-tamago.
The “hells” display a variety of colors, but they are all natural. The colors come from mud and other minerals in the earth and water. Some of the hot springs look cool to the touch with a bright cobalt-blue color, but are over 100 degrees, so be careful and do not touch the water. Umi Jigoku, Chinoike Jigoku, Tatsumaki Jigoku, and Shiroike Jigoku are nationally designated Places of Scenic Beauty.
For those on a day trip who want more than just a foot bath, “Oniishi no Yu” is a hot spring that offers the full experience (separate fee required). Oniishi no Yu offers indoor baths, an outdoor bath, a viewing bath, and family baths.