Tuesday, June 5, 2018

[Kyushu holiday] My Birthday Onsen experience at Beppu

My write up on Kyushu continues!

Beppu is located within Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu, and it is famous for Hot Springs! We took the Shinkansen train from Hakata to Beppu, and the journey was about 2 hours. Upon reaching Beppu, we were greeted by Yuki (snow), and YES, it was snowing on my birthday!

Beppu is well-known throughout Japan as one of the kings of onsen! It is a town primarily built upon hot springs, and is well renowned for being the 'Onsen Paradise' of Japan. We took a public bus from Beppu Station to Hyotan Onsen, and it took us about 30 minutes to reach the premises. Hyotan Onsen is the only Michelin 3-star hot spring in Japan. It offers a wide variety of options for hot spring enthusiasts! 

Upon reaching Hyotan Onsen, we headed to the reception. We placed our shoes in the small lockers that were available, and we made our way to the ticket machine to make our purchase!

We booked a private family bathhouse (outdoor hot springs bath), which cost us 2000yen for an hour. We opted for the 'Sennin' room, and we enjoyed the spacious setting. We had an enjoyable and relaxing hot spring session. A big toast to us for our first Outdoor Onsen experience in the snow!

 After the hot bath, Baby brought me to the restaurant that was located within the premises to celebrate my birthday. One special point of trivia on this Onsen - At Hyotan, the hot natural spring water is not only used for bathing, but for steaming and cooking of meals as well!

Unfortunately, the snow began becoming heavier after our meal, so we had to give up on our plan to visit the 'Hells of Beppu' attraction. I'll definitely come back to Beppu to visit this attraction in the future, if I am visiting Kyushu again!

We walked back to the bus stop to wait for a bus to bring us back to Beppu Station. It was terribly cold and the snow was getting worse. I was quite puzzled as to why the bus stop was located in the middle of the road, a fair distance away from Hyotan Onsen.

Unfortunately, we missed catching an arriving bus as we were trying to get shelter/warmth from a nearby house!! The bus driver must have saw that the stop was empty and just drove off... Thankfully, the next bus came along after a short while, so it wasn't that bad.

On the bus, I played a bit of Pokémon Go, and I managed to catch another Japanese exclusive Pokémon called Farfetch'd. Interestingly enough, the game reflected the surrounding snow by having snow fall within the game itself!

Upon our return to Beppu station, the snow situation was getting better, so we decided to walk to Beppu Town, which was situated fairly near to us. We settled for a break at an Italian Tomato Café for our afternoon tea. Baby got me a piece of Strawberry Shortcake which made my day!

Lastly, he also got me a Moggle postman stuff toy from the popular RPG, Final Fantasy. 

We went to the Beppu Tower to take some pictures, as well as to do some shopping before heading back to Hakata.

We stopped at Royal Host for our dinner, and this eatery place was not unfamiliar to us, as we ate at another branch in Shibuya, Tokyo way back in 2014. They serve pretty decent Western-Japanese fusion cuisine at an affordable price. 

We left Beppu after our dinner, and we reached Hakata around 10pm. That concluded my birthday Onsen date in Beppu.

Next stop... Kumamoto, stay tuned! 

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