Beppu (別府市Beppu-shi) is a city in Oita prefecture on the island of Kyushu, Japan.

. . . Beppu . . .

Mount Tsurumi

Famous for its visually stunning hot springs (the Hells of Beppu), Beppu is one of Japan’s Three Great Hot Springs.

It was also once known as the Las Vegas of Japan, a reference more to its extensive sex industry than gambling. The city has been attempting to clean up its image, however. To non-Japanese tourists, the sex industry may not be obvious, or even perceivable.

Beppu is along the coast but pressed by the mountains. As a result the city, while not very large, is rather long. Most of the most well-known onsens and the tourist attractions, including most of the Jigoku or “hells”, are in the Kannawa area which is almost on the opposite side of the city from the train station. Buses to and from the Hell areas come around every 30 minutes. Many of the onsen are open very late, so many tourists opt to stay in one of the onsen areas.

Map of Beppu

Oita airport is nearby, from which shuttle buses run to Beppu downtown (¥1450, 40 minutes).

The Fukuoka airport can be also used thanks to the bus service from the airport through the Oita Expressway coming to Kannawa onsen/Beppu downtown (¥2000 in case of 4-coupon ticket, 110 minutes).

Beppu train station

The Sonic limited express train runs twice an hour from Fukuoka (Hakata Station) and Kokura, stopping at Beppu before terminating in Oita. From Hakata station to Beppu takes ~117 minutes, and if purchased as an individual one-way costs ¥4290. Far better for the solo traveler planning a roundtrip is to buy nimai-kippu (discount two tickets) for ¥6,000 (Hakata-Beppu), or ¥5,800 (Kokura-Beppu). For pairs traveling, it’s even better to purchase yonmai-kippu (discount four tickets) for ¥10,000 (Hakata-Beppu), or ¥9,800 (Kokura-Beppu.)

If you are coming from Honshu on the San’yo Shinkansen line (such as those holding Japan Rail Passes), switch to the Sonic at Kokura station. From Kokura, you can reach Beppu in 75 minutes at a cost of ¥4290 each way (no charge with the Japan Rail Pass).

An overnight train, the Fuji, runs from Tokyo Station to Beppu in 17 hours, departing Tokyo at 6PM. If you want reach Beppu in a shorter amount of time, you can take the 10PM Sunrise Izumo/Sunrise Seto to Himeji, take the San’yo Shinkansen to Kokura, then take the Sonic to Beppu (12 hours).

. . . Beppu . . .

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. . . Beppu . . .

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