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 Beppu is probably the leading hot spring resort in Japan with as many as 104 public baths.

In a wonderful natural setting,  hot spring water gushes out daily from approximately 2,700 sources scattered over an area of 50 square meters.
Since early times, Beppu has flourished as a hot spring resort and in 1950 it was designated as an international spa tourist cultural city. It boasts of its large variety of hot springs each with a specific mineral content including acid, sulfur, salt, iron, and aluminium. Beppu boasts nine out of a potential eleven kinds of hot springs -  eight areas with especially large amounts of gushing water, namely Hamawaki, Beppu, Kankaiji, Horita, Myoban, Kannawa, Shibaseki and Kamegawa, are called the "Eight Major Hot Springs Areas of Beppu", each featuring its own characteristics as to the mineral contents and natural surroundings.  It is a good place to try out different types of hot springs including sand baths. They serve as places for hot spring treatment, recuperation and recreation not only for tourists but also for local residents.

Jigoku (’Hell’ Pools)

In addition, there are a few spectacular hot springs, called the "Hells of Beppu", which are for viewing rather than bathing. 

Beppu’s most unusual sightseeing attractions are eight jigokus. The word "jigokus" originates from the "burning hell" of the Buddhist sutras, and the Beppu jigokus truly remind one of "burning hells." The Bozu jigoku, contains boiling grey viscous mud which bubbles incessantly with a menacing sound. More attractive jigokus to be seen in around Beppu are the Umi jigoku, or Sea Hell, contains white particles that reflect the color of the sky. Another, the Chinoike, or Bloody Pond, has a vermillion color. Tatsumaki jigoku (water-spout hell) is a geyser which forcefully shoots up water to a height of 20 meters (82 ft) every 25 minutes





Umi jigoku, or Sea Hell





 At Umi jigoku, which is much hotter than the bathing springs, piped steam heats a large banana greenhouse alongside the pond. At another steam vent, more than 900 tons/day (238,000 gal/day) of water bubble out in a garden of a Buddhist statuary. A small zoo has been constructed around the Yama jigoku, and the animals that drink and wallow in the warm water include hippopotamuses, monkeys, snakes and pelicans. Nearby, as at other jigokus, attendants constantly hard-boil eggs in the water, and vendors sell cans of powdered mineral sediments for use in tubs at home.

An outdoor bathing pool in Beppu


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