Discovering Beppu's Hell Tour: 10 Hotels and Ryokans near Beppu Onsen
Beppu Onsen in Oita Prefecture is a fascinating place where you can witness the enigmatic powers of the earth. The Jigoku Meguri (Hell Tour) offers visitors a chance to explore several sites where smoke and boiling water constantly erupt. To make the most of your visit and experience all the "hells," we recommend staying at an inn with easy access to the locations. In this article, we will introduce some of the best hotels near "Jigoku Meguri" that guarantee a comfortable and memorable stay.
May 23 2023
What is Beppu's Hell Tour Jigoku Meguri?
For centuries, Japanese people have referred to geothermal areas such as active volcanoes and hot spring resorts as "jigoku" or hells, due to the hot steam and boiling water that spew out, creating a sense of danger. A tour that covers several of these hells is called "jigoku meguri" or "hell tour."
Beppu's Jigoku Meguri is a popular tourist spot where visitors can observe the source of hot spring water with temperatures as high as 100°C. The fumaroles, hot mud, and boiling water that erupt were already documented in a book written 1,000 years ago. Beppu Onsen has seven hells, including Umi Jigoku, with its cobalt-blue water resulting from iron sulfate, Chinoike Jigoku, where red-hot mud erupts from the strata, and Oniishi Bozu Jigoku, where gray-hot mud boils. All these hells vary in color and appearance, and the powerful eruptions of boiling water will make you feel that the earth is alive.
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10 Hotels and Ryokan Near Beppu Onsen
1. Suginoi Hotel
Suginoi Hotel is a splendid resort hotel that boasts not only regular hot springs but also outdoor hot springs that you can enjoy like a swimming pool. Besides, the hotel offers an array of activities that make it an excellent destination for families and friends to have a great time together.
On the hotel's top floor, you'll find a large public bath with a spectacular view of the city from approximately 250 meters above sea level. You can savor the unique view of Beppu Bay and steam rising from the Kannawa hot spring resort area while enjoying a relaxing soak, which is exclusive to Beppu.
The Aqua Garden is an outdoor hot spring bath that allows you to enter wearing a bathing suit. You can immerse yourself in the dynamic fountain show or indulge in the therapy using hot spring mud. This new way of enjoying hot springs is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. The hotel also has an entertainment facility that has something for everyone, from bowling alleys and karaoke to darts and a dedicated play area for small children.
For food lovers, the restaurant TERRACE & DINING SORA serves a buffet of Western cuisine using locally sourced ingredients from Oita and Kyushu. The must-try dish is the roast beef cooked right in front of you. The menu is diverse and includes Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi, Chinese cuisine, and much more.
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2. ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa
Managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group, this 89-room resort is a world-class hotel that exudes the authentic atmosphere of Oita, not only through its hot springs, but also through its amenities such as yukata (Japanese bathrobe), geta (Japanese wooden clogs), and bamboo basket bags, a specialty of Beppu. The infinity pool offers a stylish view of Beppu cityscape and Beppu Bay.
The rooms are decorated with a Japanese essence that creates a relaxing atmosphere. The "Classic" type rooms are specially decorated with exquisite traditional crafts such as bamboo and “kumiko” woodwork.
The open-air bath, made of Beppu stone, is a natural wonder. The indoor baths offer two types of hot springs that alternate daily, one made of “hinoki” cypress and the other of stone. With Beppu Bay stretching out before you, immerse yourself in the hot spring baths while enjoying the sunrise. For a more rejuvenating experience, indulge yourself in "HARNN," the luxury spa brand from Thailand, and receive a wonderful treatment that uses pure oils with a refined aroma.
With a noh theater and a thatched tea house on its premises, along with a small waterfall flowing through its garden, Kannawaen offers a uniquely Japanese experience. You can immerse yourself in Japanese culture, history, and natural beauty.
At Restaurant Yui, you can savor delicately prepared seasonal ingredients in “kaiseki” multi-course Japanese cuisine. Alternatively, you can head to Restaurant Kaede, where top chefs grill the finest Kyushu black Japanese beef, fresh spear squid landed in Nagasaki, and organic ingredients on a “teppan” iron plate.
One of the inn's highlights is that all rooms have natural hot spring baths with water flowing directly from the source, without any artificial heating or reprocessing. Be sure to visit the large bath and try the famous steaming bath of Kannawa. You'll love the mist of hot spring water created by the fumaroles that envelops you.
The rooms are decorated in a Japanese style with tatami mats, and the beds have the highest quality mattresses made by Simmons, ensuring you have a relaxing stay and can unwind after a long journey. Even in rooms with an open-air bath, hot spring water is used so you can enjoy the luxury of a hot spring bath in your private space.
4. AMANE RESORT GAHAMA
AMANE RESORT GAHAMA offers guests full-room open-air hot spring baths on an approximately 11,000 m2 property, featuring a blend of Japanese and Western-style buildings. The Western-style building was once the villa of a wealthy family in the early 20th century, and while the entire inn is modern in design, you can still feel the echoes of the past, such as the use of the large bath in the Western-style building as a gallery.
With 31 rooms in 7 types, each with a hot spring view bath featuring free-flowing hot spring water, there are various types to choose from, including maisonettes and villas. Located in a forest overlooking a seaside park, you can enjoy the hot spring in a peaceful and secluded environment.
While there are Japanese and Western restaurants available on-site, it is recommended to visit the Japanese restaurant "BAN-YA" to savor the local flavor. Their blowfish is cooked so thinly that you can see the pattern on the plate and has a very elastic texture, making it a must-try dish.
5. In Bloom Beppu
In Bloom Beppu is a guesthouse that has been transformed from an old private house. Its traditional Japanese architecture is an exquisite work of art, and it offers visitors a chance to appreciate the intricate decorations in each of the rooms. Many tourists come to Japan to stay at this inn, and the friendly owner is always willing to answer their requests and questions in detail.
Guests will sleep on comfortable futon bedding laid out on tatami mats in their rooms. The private rooms are steeped in history and are adorned with beautiful window lattice decorations, wooden chests of drawers, and alcove ornaments. The shared kitchen and shower rooms are modern, user-friendly, and well-equipped with a variety of amenities.
Located just a 5-minute walk from JR Beppu Station, the inn is conveniently situated, and there are several excellent restaurants in the surrounding area. Moreover, we recommend a few partner restaurants for breakfast, dinner, and hot spring baths. Make sure you don't miss out on the SENPO MAP, a handmade neighborhood map provided by the inn that features local restaurants and fascinating spots within a 1,000-step radius.
6. Beppu Nagomitsuki
Beppu Nagomitsuki is a charming Japanese-style inn with 12 rooms, each boasting a semi-open-air hot spring bath. Guests can indulge in a soothing hot spring bath at any time of day.
The rooms have a modern Japanese design, with a comfortable bed available for those who prefer it to futon. Decorated with traditional Japanese elements such as tatami mats, sliding screens, and “shoji” paper screens, the rooms provide a relaxing atmosphere for adult guests. After a relaxing soak, guests can don a complimentary “yukata” robe and explore the serene Japanese garden within the inn's grounds. The garden's beauty changes with the seasons, offering a delightful sight throughout the year.
At dinnertime, guests can savor a stunning kaiseki meal made with locally-sourced premium ingredients such as Seki mackerel and globefish from Kanmon Strait. For those looking to indulge, the juicy and tender Bungo Beef, Oita's signature brand beef, is available as “shabu shabu” hotpot or steak. An extensive selection of locally brewed sake is also on offer, so be sure to ask the staff for a recommendation to complement your meal.
In the morning, a delightful Japanese breakfast is served, complete with a small pot of white rice. It's a healthy and tasty way to start the day.
7. Toji Stay Hiromiya
Toji Stay Hiromiya is a great option for those who wish to have a long-term stay or want to experience living like a local during their travels. The guesthouse offers both Japanese and English support, and was originally a family-run inn established in 1960 in Kannawa, Beppu City. It was reopened in 2019 with the help of local residents, and now serves as both a tourist information center and a gathering spot for the locals.
The Japanese-style rooms are simple yet cozy, furnished with comfortable futon bedding. The rooms are equipped with all necessary facilities such as air conditioning and washing machines, making them ideal for extended stays at an affordable price while enjoying the Kannawa hot spring resort area for meals and hot springs.
The location is also convenient for exploring the Jigoku Meguri Hell Tour, allowing visitors to stroll around the town. If you're looking for a Kannawa Onsen specialty meal, Jigokumushi Kobo Kannawa, just a 3-minute walk from the inn, is the perfect spot. You can purchase a set of vegetables, meat, seafood, and other ingredients and cook them in a pot that uses 100% geothermal energy hot spring steam. There's even a footbath located next to the store for some added relaxation.
8. Iyashi no Yado Iroha
If you are looking for an overnight stay with privacy and comfort, Iyashi-no-yado Iroha is the perfect choice. With no meals included, guests can enjoy staying in their own detached private rooms, each equipped with either an indoor hot spring bath or a semi-open-air bath, allowing you to indulge in high-quality hot spring water at any time. Plus, the inn also features separate open-air baths for both men and women.
There are 15 guest rooms available, all furnished in either Western or Japanese-Western style. The standard rooms, with a size of 16m², come with two double beds and a small table in a tatami room space. The larger Japanese/Western style rooms, measuring 40m², offer two double beds, tatami space, and a microwave for guests who wish to cook simple meals.
As for meals, you can have sushi delivered to your room, or enjoy take-out food from nearby local eateries. Recommended local delicacies include sushi made from fresh fish caught in the Bungo Channel and Oita's specialty, “toriten” chicken tempura. Toriten is a soul food of Oita, consisting of chicken tempura served with soy sauce and citrus juice for a perfect blend of flavors. This inn is perfect for those who want to enjoy exploring the hot spring resort town at their own leisure without the worry of a set meal schedule.
9. Bettei Haruki
This charming inn only accommodates six guests per day. Situated on the banks of the Haruki River, guests can enjoy the serene sound of the nearby river and gorgeous views of the Japanese garden from their windows. The rooms are designed by an architect and feature a tasteful and luxurious Japanese-style décor, with some offering open-air baths as well.
The private open-air baths at the inn are a must-try. With a stylish design resembling a luxurious Asian resort, you can unwind in the hot spring and relax at the bathhouse afterward. Sip on herb tea or fruit water while admiring the peaceful Japanese garden view from the window.
You can savor creative Japanese dishes featuring seasonal ingredients from Oita, such as the premium "Seki horse mackerel and mackerel" brand of fish raised in the Bungo Channel and Oita's succulent black Japanese beef, both presented in a visually appealing manner. Both breakfast and dinner are served in the comfort of your own room, giving you the chance to enjoy private time during your stay.
10. Beppu Daiiti Hotel
This hotel is conveniently located just a minute's walk from Beppu Station and Bus Terminal, making it an ideal base for exploring Oita. The hotel's front desk concierge offers 24-hour multilingual service to assist you with any needs.
You'll find regular twin and single rooms, as well as spacious rooms that are perfect for family trips. It's also a great option for group travel.
Start your day off with a delicious homemade breakfast featuring Oita Prefecture's local cuisine for only 900 yen. Choose from a variety of Japanese and Western dishes.
Within walking distance of the hotel, you'll find many communal bathhouses where you can enjoy hot springs for around 100 yen. These public bathhouses usually don't offer any amenities except for a bath and faucet, so make sure to bring your own towels and soap. However, at this hotel, you can rent an onsen set, including shampoo, yukata, and “geta” Japanese clogs, free of charge. This way, you can visit the hot springs in a comfortable yukata provided by the hotel.
Whether you're seeking a luxurious hotel or a cozy guesthouse with local flair, there's an accommodation for everyone around Oita Prefecture’s Jigoku Hells. Take your pick based on your preferences and budget. Moreover, with numerous hot springs within the resort area, you can embark on a day trip and experience the various hot springs while exploring the town. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in the hot springs of Beppu!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.