Located along the east coast of Oita Prefecture, Beppu is a hot spring city surrounded by beautiful sea and mountains.
Beppu’s hot spring (onsen) gush volume is the second largest in the world, just after the Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Thus, it makes Beppu a popular onsen destination for domestic and international travelers.
What to do in Beppu, Japan?
Read this Beppu Travel Guide to know the best things to do in Beppu with tips to plan a great trip here.
1. Relax at Beppu Onsen
Visiting Beppu, you can see the fumes and steam rising from the hot springs around the city. There are several local onsen bathhouses in Beppu, so you can just come here and do nothing but relax in the onsen houses.
You can find cheap bathhouses ranging from 100 Yen to fancier ones in the Kanawa area with 500 yen or more than 1000 yen (~$10).
Many ryokan and hotels in Beppu offer private onsen in the room or have a common hot spring area, so you should check out before booking.
Read more: How to find and book the best accommodation.
2. Hells Hopping with Hells of Beppu Japan
Where to go next in Beppu? Go to Hells!
The Hells of Beppu got its name from ancient times as people assumed it was cursed when seeing the gas and water bubbled up from the land so violently.
Because they can reach approximately 98 degrees Celsius, these Hells, or Jigoku, are for viewing only, not for bathing, unless you want to be boiled.
How to get there?
From Beppu Station, you can take a 20-minute ride on a Number 5 or 24 bus. Then, get off at Kanawa or Umi-Jigoku-mae stop and walk to the Hells.
You should buy an entrance pass for all 8 Hells Tour as it’s more expensive to purchase separately. Also, you should get a one-day Kamegawa bus Pass so you can take a Blue bus freely in one day. It will help with saving up your travel costs.
3. Try eggs and pudding
Trying food from the hell-steaming cooking way is an exciting experience in Beppu.
Jigoku Mushi is a traditional way of cooking using the steam of a hot spring, and the well-known treats from Hells of Beppu are soft-boiled eggs and baked pudding.
The heat steams these specialties from the hot waters from the hot springs.
4. Stay at Ryokan in Beppu Japan
It will be a huge miss if you don’t stay in Ryokan in Japan, especially in Beppu.
The ryokan in Beppu was built more than hundreds of years ago, so they maintain the appealing architecture.
Most of the ryokan in Beppu have a common onsen area and a small hot spring in each room so that you can enjoy a hot spring after a day out. The service at the ryokan is top-notch, and you can experience sleeping on a futon in a Japanese-style room.
Typically, the waitresses or waiters will serve traditional Japanese meals at your room for dinner, and you’ll have breakfast in the common area.
P/s: I worked at some ryokan in Beppu as my part-time job.
5. Take a Sand Bath in Beppu Beach
Have you ever had a sand bath?
If not, you should try it in Beppu. Covered in sand, your body will be warm up, and you can enjoy a relaxing time with a beautiful overlook at sea.
6. Visit Kitakoka Shotengai Shopping street
Located near Beppu station, Kitakoka Shotengai shopping street is a must-visit place in Beppu.
One unique thing in Japan is the shopping street area. Whether the city is big or small, there’s an area designed as a shopping street.
From local shops to restaurants and bars, this street has many things to offer. Also, there’s a market nearby selling daily groceries, clothes, and pets.
7. See the Statue of Kumahachi Aburaya
Kumahachi Aburaya was a famous businessman in Uwazima, Ehime Prefecture, in 1863. His statue is an iconic tourist spot in Beppu, and there are hundreds of travelers visit this statue daily.
8. Eat Beppu Karaage Chicken
Visiting Beppu without trying Oita Karaage will be a miss!
Although Karaage is Oita’s special dish, you don’t need to take a train to Oita city to try this specialty as most of the restaurants in Beppu have Karaage on their menu.
My favorite places for Karaage are Karaage Oita and Joyful.
Read more: The best Japanese food you should not miss!
9. Visit Takasakiyama Monkey Park
Looking for fascinating things to do in Beppu besides onsen? Go to Takasakiyama Monkey Park!
You can take a bus from Beppu Station to Takasakiyama Monkey park, and the entrance fee is affordable.
10. Spend a day hiking at Tsurumi Mountain.
Surrounded by many mountains, Beppu is an excellent place for hikers. There are different hiking trails to pick from, and one of them is Mount Tsurumi.
Mount Tsurumi is a breathtaking mountain overlooking Beppu city that offers decent hiking. It takes 2 hours to hike up from the lower station and 15 minutes more to the summit.
Fall is the best time to hike up here, as you can observe the striking fall color from the leaves.
11. Ride Beppu Ropeway
If you’re not a big fan of hiking but still love to have a great view of the city, you can pay 1600 Yen for a round trip and take Beppu Ropeway.
It will take you to the parking area where you can enjoy a fantastic view of Beppu.
12. See Beppu from above at Beppu Tower
Another option to enjoy the view of Beppu is Beppu Tower. Although it was initially built to improve tourism in the area, it is now primarily used as a TV transmission tower.
Beppu tower has an observation deck at the height of 55 meters, and you can have a coffee here while enjoying the view. Also, you can have a fun night with Karaoke at this tower.
13. Spend a great day at Kijima Kogen Park
Kijima Kogen Park is a beautiful amusement park located in the mountain of Beppu. Although it’s not very big, the park offers fun and enjoyable activities.
Most of the rides are decent compared to the park’s size, and some of them are pretty old but still well-maintained.
You shouldn’t miss Jupiter – the first wooden roller coaster in Japan. It’s also the 7th longest wooden roller coaster in the world at over 1,600 meters in length.
14. Picnic at Beppu Park
The best time to have a picnic at Beppu Park is springtime when you can see the sakura.
However, the park is lovely during the year, so taking a walk or having a picnic at Beppu park is a refreshing activity. The park’s atmosphere will calm your mind and give you a memorable experience.
15. Wander around Matogahama park
Matogahama park is a famous park in Beppu. It is often used as the location for firework celebrations and other festivals.
As Matogahama is a beach park, you can find yourself walking along the coast, sitting down, and enjoying the sound of the waves.
16. Visit Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
If you have more time in Beppu, take a bus to ride up the mountain and visit Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. This university is a private institution that offers an international education system.
Half of the students are Japanese, while the other half are from more than 80 countries around the world. Therefore, APU is a great place to understand more about multiculturalism and education in Japan.
Also, it offers a great location to enjoy the view of Beppu city and has a nice cafeteria.
17. Take a train to Yufuin for a day trip
From Beppu, you can easily visit the fairytale town Yufuin for a day trip with a bus or train ride.