Saturday, 21 March 2015

Kyushu Japan Trip Day 2 | Beppu Jigoku Meguri (8 "Hells")

I'm back with my Day 2 Japan travelogue! (After 3 months...)

My dad painstakingly planned out a detailed itinerary for a perfect trip and I can't be anymore thankful. Our first attraction was a visit to the 8 hells of Beppu. Sounds pretty interesting just from the name itself. And I initially thought that we were gonna visit an attraction of Japanese culture and maybe they have some kind of hells for the after death. But actually, the 8 "hells" (地獄, jigoku) are hot springs, you might be tempted to jump in in such cold weather like any normal hot springs but they're meant for viewing, not bathing unfortunately.

Each "hell" also has a specific origin and purpose. I didn't keep track of the different names, you can view them here if you're keen to find out though: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e4702.html


Although it was only a few degrees Celsius, the weather was terribly cold. Even with few layers of clothing, we were all shivering and almost unwilling to walk much. I had 1 layer of thin long sleeve, long john, my winter top plus a winter jacket. For the bottom, I was wearing stockings, long john pants and winter pants. Plus probably 2 socks and a furry boots. 

I'll think I'll just freeze to death if I'm placed in a cold place without these protection layers :x

How can someone wear sneakers and feel sufficiently warm??



Just as we were trying to tolerate the cold, the onsen boiled eggs saved us! In such cold places, holding a very hot boiled egg is no problem. In fact, it's very comforting and warm, all of us couldn't bear to crack the egg for our consumption. It's like, can we just buy a few and use it as heaters? Hahaha. 


Anyway the eggs taste not bad, especially when you're feeling cold and hungry. Here's some instructions teaching how to eat an onsen boiled egg.



And after feeling very satisfied with the eggs, we began our little adventure around the "hells". Every hotspring has different colors and texture. But this particular mud-looking one is bubbling. It actually looks unsightly while intriguing at the same time. 

Most of the "hells" are at a temperature of at least 90C. So unless you want to commit a painful and majesty suicide in a popular tourist spot, don't try to do anything funny. 




This hot spring looks normal as compared to the rest. Anyway, walking past these "hells" make me feel like I'm enjoying a facial treatment because of the steam. Who knows, there might be some health benefits! 

Somehow, these hot springs produce a particular smell which is kinda weird and addictive at the same time. If you get what the smell is like. Yes I think I'm quite weird too.





This looks like some "blood pool"..





I was surprised that there were crocodiles in this area, because the last thing that I'd expect to see is animals. Turns out that it's because of the force of steam that creates an ideal condition for breeding crocodiles! Just a fun fact: The force is so strong that about one and a half train cars can be pulled by its pressure. Wow! 













Halfway through, it snowed really heavily so we had to take shelter at some perfume museum nearby. It wasn't very appealing to me though. Not sure if it's good or bad that it snowed because it became really cold. But the after effects of the snow really made the backdrop really beautiful for photo-taking. It totally added dimensions to the boring plain greens. 




And like usual, I like stepping on thick layers of snow! And leaving my shoe prints on the clean white spread. 









The 8 "hells" of Beppu is quite an interesting tourist attraction. I guess it may get a little boring towards the end because all you see are different colors of hot springs. But after all, you just have to experience new things when you are overseas right? It's quite a nice place to take scenic photos as well but don't expect anything thrilling or exciting about this place. 

Price range: About 2100 yen per adult, 1,350 yen for high school, 1000 yen for secondary, 900 yen for prinary

Estimated required time: About 3-4 hours if you don't plan to linger for long at each "hell", some "hells" have hardly anything to see 


Do stay tuned for the day 3 post because it's my favorite part of the trip, and it might also interest especially animal lovers! And it's also a blessing in disguise when one of our plans almost got ruined!

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