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Soak, Steam, and Savour: Beppu's Unforgettable Hot Springs Adventure

Situated in the stunning Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu and positioned between Beppu Bay and dramatic volcanic mountains, the spa resort city of Beppu is known as the Onsen Capital of Japan and is a must for travellers keen on experiencing the country's renowned natural hot springs.

Situated in the stunning Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu and positioned between Beppu Bay and dramatic volcanic mountains, the spa resort city of Beppu is known as the Onsen Capital of Japan and is a must for travellers keen on experiencing the country’s renowned natural hot springs.

Japan, a land of cherry blossoms, sushi, and impeccable politeness, is also home to a hidden gem that promises to leave your clients in a state of blissful relaxation.

But, just how long it remains hidden is now up in their air, thanks to the folks at who recently announced that it predicts Beppu to be a top trending destination for travellers in 2024, due to its plethora of natural hot springs and the promise of authentic Japanese hospitality.

Indeed, the future looks bright for this southern Japan onsen mecca. Just listen to what travel advisor Brad Sward from Trendell & Turner Travel Associates had to say:

Brad Sward, Travel Advisor, Trendell & Turner Travel Associates in Beppu
Brad Sward in Beppu in 2023

I absolutely loved Beppu. In my whole 2+ weeks in Japan it was my favourite part and I’m finding that I’m attracted more and more to the more rural less populated/touristed areas of Japan. Can’t wait until my next trip…..already booked to go back in June 2024.  

And believe us, Brad is not the only one singing Beppu’s praises!

Here are four major draw cards that make Beppu an unforgettable addition to any Japanese itinerary…

Dive into the Onsen Wonderland

Outdoor bath Beppu Oita Japan
Open-Air Bath

The ultimate haven for onsen enthusiasts, Beppu boasts a staggering number of hot springs within its city limits: over 2,000 to be exact. Imagine strolling through a city where the soothing scent of mineral-rich steam wafts through the air, promising instant tranquility…

This place is the epitome of relaxation, and Beppu’s onsen experience is second to none.

Takegawara Onsen's Indoor Sand Bath Beppu Oita Japan
Takegawara Onsen’s Indoor Sand Bath
Kannawa Steam Bath Beppu Oita Japan
Kannawa Steam Bath

But it’s not just about dipping into any hot spring; it’s about choosing your own adventure.

From Sand Baths that mimic the feeling of lying on a warm, sandy beach to Steam Baths that envelop you in a gentle mist, and even Mud Baths for a rejuvenating full-body experience – Beppu offers a smorgasbord of wellness experiences to suit every taste.

The Hells of Beppu: Where Nature Unleashes Its Fury

Umi Jigoku Beppu Oita Japan
Umi Jigoku

Invite your clients to witness the raw power of nature at the Hells of Beppu as they meander through these fantastical landscapes, capturing Instagram-worthy moments that will make their friends green with envy and providing a steaming glimpse into Japan’s volcanic underbelly.

These hot springs aren’t your average steamy puddles. Each of the seven vividly coloured hot springs, from the blood-red waters of Chinoike Jigoku to the cobalt blue Umi Jigoku, has its own distinct personality, with some erupting every 30 minutes and all guaranteed to leave your clients in awe.

Jigoku Mushi: A Culinary Adventure

Hell-steamed cuisine Beppu Oita Japan
Hell-steamed cuisine

Beppu doesn’t just tantalise the senses with its hot springs; it also promises to tantalise the tastebuds with a unique culinary experience where travellers get the chance to steam their own meal at Jigoku Mushi using kama: Japanese vats heated by the onsen steam.

Picture this: fresh ingredients enveloped in the subtle essence of the local onsen water, creating a unique and mouthwatering dining experience. It’s not just a meal; it’s a journey through the flavours of Beppu, and one your clients most definitely should try…

Unveiling the Secrets of the Soak at the Onsen Museum

Onsen Soak Museum Beppu Oita Japan
Jigoku Onsen Museum

For clients eager to delve deeper into Japanese onsen culture, a visit to the Onsen Museum is a must. This interactive experience unravels the mysteries behind the healing waters, providing a newfound understanding and appreciation for the uniqueness of each onsen.

From the geology that gives rise to these hot springs to the cultural significance they hold in Japanese society, the Onsen Museum is an immersive journey of onsen enlightenment that will linger in your clients’ memories for years to come!

How to get there?

Futagoji Temple - Kunisaki Region Oita Japan
Futago-ji is a Tendai Buddhist temple in Kunisaki

Thanks to frequent flights from Tokyo’s Haneda (HND) and Narita (NRT) airports, getting to Beppu and Oita Prefecture is a breeze. To sweeten the deal, flights between HND and Fukuoka (FUK), Kyushu are FREE or fly into Oita (OIT) from HND with special fare A$200+taxes return when clients purchase in conjunction with a return airfare to Japan from Australia with ANA. This free or special fare internal fight is valid anytime on any fares.

ANA also offers monthly sale fares known as “Hello Blue Sale.” You can sometimes score a FREE domestic flight within Japan, such as from Tokyo to Oita or any airport in Kyushu, when a ticket is purchased in conjunction with Australia to Tokyo return international tickets flying ANA.

PRO TIPMake sure your clients spend at least one night in the beautiful and tranquil hot springs resort town Yufuin, also in Oita Prefecture, which is easily accessible via the JR Yufuin no mori tourist train from Fukuoka. Walkable in an hour, this quaint town is surrounded by nature and the perfect spot to wrap up your Kyushu adventure.

Another way to reach this volcanic wonderland is via an easy, overnight ferry from Osaka to Beppu complete with an onboard onsen! Prices start at around $130 per person (in a shared room) or $430 for two people in a luxury suite.

So what you waiting for?

Put Beppu on your clients’ Japanese itinerary today and give them the gift of relaxation in 2024 and beyond!

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