Beppu is one place that was on our Japan bucket list. Located in the Oita Prefecture in Kyushu Island, Beppu (別府市) is a popular destination due to its hundreds of onsens (hot springs) everywhere. Onsens are known to help relax the soul and rejuvenate skin.
Since we stayed in Fukuoka previously, we spent one day in Beppu. Whether you’re using this place as a day trip from Fukuoka or spending several days here, there are so many incredible things to do in Beppu. From seeing the popular Hells of Beppu, geothermal hot springs, to eating delicious local cuisines, you’ll love these attractions in this laid-back city.
Read our Beppu one day itinerary to see insider tips on what Beppu has to offer and other helpful travel tips.
Need ideas on where to go in Japan? Check out our posts below for inspiration.
- Dazaifu, a day trip from Fukuoka
- Hiroshima 2 days itinerary
- Miyajima day trip itinerary
- Naoshima 1 day itinerary
- Okayama 1 day itinerary
- Uji day trip
- Fun and quirky things to do in Tokyo
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Map of Where to Go in Beppu
How to Get to Beppu from Fukuoka
The easiest way to get to Beppu is to take the shinkansen high-speed train between Fukuoka’s Hakata Station (博多駅) to Beppu Station (別府駅). It’s convenient to visit Beppu as a day trip from Fukuoka.
The best part is using your Japan Rail (JR) wide-area pass to take the shinkansen. It’s recommended to reserve your seats at the shinkansen ticket office when you arrive at the Hakata Station so you’re guaranteed to have a seat. You won’t be able to take the Nozomi and Mizuho lines, only the Hikari and Sakura lines, but the ride will take only 2 hours.
When you get off of the shinkansen, the first thing that you’ll hear on the PA system is a woman saying, “BEPPUUUU, BEPUUUU” in a high pitch voice. It’s one of our favorite memories of Beppu since it’s so memorable.
Tip: When you arrive at the Beppu Station, go to the Visitor Center inside the mall to ask questions, pick up a map of Beppu, and purchase tickets to local attractions. This kiosk is catered to foreigners. There is another Visitor Center in the station but it’s for Japanese visitors.
How to Travel Around Beppu in One Day
Walking is one of the best ways to walk through the city. If you’re staying around Beppu Station, you can walk around easier. However, Beppu is much larger than expected and many of the sites are spread out. You’ll need to use a combination of the transportation options below.
Some guesthouses offer free bicycle rentals to use for the day. Beppu is perfectly safe to ride through as the roads are not congested and there is a dedicated bike lane.
Taking the Train
Beppu Station is the main stop for the shinkansen and the local trains. You can also use the other stations – Higashi Beppu (東別府駅), Beppu Daigaku (別府大学駅), and Kamegawa (亀川駅), along the JR Nippo Line to travel through the city. From there, you can walk or take the city bus.
Taking the Bus
Beppu offers 1-2 day bus passes to travel around the city and even going to Yufuin, another onsen town, as a day trip. There are mini “My Beppu Free Passport” passes that travel through the city in a loop and wide-area passes that go to Yufuin and African Safari. You can ride the buses as many times as you want during your duration of the pass.
Purchase the day passes at the Beppu Station Visitor Information Center. The cost is:
- Mini 1-day pass cost: 900 yen ($8.30) adults, 700 yen ($6.40) students, 450 yen ($4.10) children
- Mini 2-day pass cost: 1500 yen ($13.80) adults, 750 yen ($6.90) children
- Wide-area 1-day pass cost: 1,600 yen ($14.75) adults, 800 yen ($7.40) children
- Wide-area 2-day pass cost: 2,400 yen ($22.10) adults, 1200 yen ($11.00) children
Recommended Things to Do in Beppu in One Day
Pose with Kumahachi Aburaya Statue.
Outside of Beppu Station is a bronze statue of Kumahachi Aburaya. The statue has his hands up in the air and a child holding on to the jacket. Kumahachi Aburaya is known to develop Beppu’s tourism. He was also the first person to use female bus tour guides for Hells of Beppu tours and continued to promote Beppu as the spot to visit for hot springs. Behind the statue is a hot spring for hand washing.
Address: Beppu Station (12-13 Ekimaecho, Beppu, Oita 874-0935, Japan/〒874-0935 大分県別府市駅前町１２−13)
How to Get There: Go towards the East Exit of Beppu Station and the statue is outside.
Stroll through Beppu Park.
Beppu Park (別府公園) is a fabulous place to either start or end your day in Beppu. The public park is a decent size park at 27.3 hectares (67 acres) so there is plenty of room to walk and run around. There are seasonal plants such as plum and cherry blossoms during the springtime, lots of pine trees, and a bamboo forest area. You won’t need to battle the crowds like in Kyoto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Forest.
Address: 3018-1 Noguchihara, Beppu, Oita 874-0903, Japan (〒874-0903 大分県別府市野口原3018-1)
How to Get There: It’s about a 15-minute walk from the West Exit of Beppu Station.
Explore Seven Hells of Beppu.
One of the best things to do in Beppu is to go on a Jigoku Meguri (“hells tour”). This is a top attraction and needs to be added on any Beppu itinerary. If you love seeing bubbling mud and steam coming from geothermal hot springs and colorful orange and blue waters, then this is the place for you.
There are Seven Hells to visit – Chinoike, Tatsumaki, Shiraike, Oniyama, Kamado, Umi, and Oniishi Bozu Jigoku. Chinoike and Tatsumaki Jigoku are in the Red Hell Shibaseki area while the others are in the Blue Hell Kannawa area. All provide a unique experience and some of the Jigoku have free footbaths. You’ll need to take advantage of the footbaths since you’ll be walking between the Jigoku.
Click to read our detailed Seven Hells of Beppu guide and see more photos!
It’s recommended to purchase a pass where you can see all Seven Hells. A pass can be purchased at any of the Jigoku or Beppu Station Visitor Information Center. You can also buy tickets ahead of time or go on a tour.
If you want to visit Eight Hells, add Yama Jigoku to the list. However, it’s not a part of the Jigoku Meguri ticket combination.
While you explore the Hells of Beppu, try custard pudding and eggs cooked by the steam of the hot springs.
Read More: Hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand
How to Get There: It’s recommended to visit these Seven Hells via the city bus using the “My Beppu Free Passport.” You can also take the JR line from Beppu to Kamegawa Station and then take the bus to the Red Hell area, and then the bus to the Blue Hell area.
Visit an onsen.
The free footbaths offered at the Jigoku is an introduction to Beppu’s onsen experience. If you prefer to have the full-body onsen, you’re in the right spot!
There are 8 hot spring areas (also called Beppu Hatto) to consider – Beppu Onsen, Hamawaki Onsen, Kankaiji Onsen, Myoban Onsen, Shibaseki Onsen, Kamegawa Onsen, Kannawa Onsen, and Horita Onsen. Each onsens have different experiences. For example, Kamegawa Onsen has an opportunity where you can relax in the sand.
You can also experience a community onsen. You must bring a towel, soap, and shampoo.
You can ask the Beppu Station Visitor Information Center or your hotel accommodation for recommendations. We didn’t have a chance to visit an onsen due to the packed schedule of our Beppu itinerary.
Don’t have time to visit an onsen? Walkthrough the onsen area instead!
If you don’t have a chance to visit an onsen, the best thing to do is to walk through an onsen area. We mentioned the 8 onsen areas above, so you can easily walk through the traditional streets and see steam coming up from the ground or on the rooftops. There isn’t any particular route to take as you can meander around and explore.
One of the convenient places is to browse through the Kannawa area since you’ll be in the area from visiting the Jigoku from the Seven Hells of Beppu.
Beppu 2+ Days Itinerary – Other Beppu Attractions to Visit
If you’re spending more than 2 days in the Beppu area, feel free to add these other attractions to your Beppu itinerary.
Beppu Tower (別府タワー) is one of the oldest towers in Japan as it finished construction in 1957. The architect is Naito Tachu who also designed 6 other towers known as the “Six Tower Brothers.” (The other towers are Nagoya, Tsutenkaku, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Hakata Port.)
At 90 meters tall, this tower currently has an observation deck on the 7th floor so you can see stunning views of the Beppu city area. The observation tower also has information on the tower’s history and restaurants.
In the evenings, Beppu Tower lights up so it’s noticeable when you’re walking around the city.
Address: 3 Chome-10-2 Kitahama, Beppu, Oita 874-0920, Japan (〒874-0920 大分県別府市北浜３丁目１０−2)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-10:00pm (Closed Wednesday)
Admission Cost: 300 yen ($2.80) high school students and adults, 100 yen ($.90) elementary and junior high students, free children below elementary students. Purchase tickets in advance here.
How To Get There: Exit the West Exit from Beppu Station and walk for 10 minutes. You’ll see Beppu Tower along the main road.
Love Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters? You must visit Sanrio’s Harmonyland! This is an outdoor amusement park that has live shows, amusement park rides, games, and more. Harmonyland is different from its sister amusement park, Sanrio Puroland, in Tokyo as there are outdoor rides such as Ferris Wheel, roller coaster rides, and more. Puroland’s attractions are all indoors. You can also meet your favorite characters!
Since we love Sanrio, we have to make a return trip to visit this amusement park. While reviews state that the theme park’s facilities aren’t new, we still want to experience it one of these days.
Address: 5933 Fujiwara, Hiji, Hayami District, Oita 879-1598, Japan (〒879-1598 大分県速見郡日出町大字藤原5933)
Opening Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
Admission Cost: 3,000 yen ($27.70) adults and children (4+ years), 1,500 yen ($13.80) adults and children (only available if visiting after 4:00pm during the summertime)
How to Get There: From Beppu Station, take the JR Nippo Main Line to Yokoku Station (暘谷駅). Take a bus or a taxi to get to Harmonyland which is a 10-minute ride.
Want to go up Mount Tsurumi? Take the Beppu Ropeway (別府ロープウェイ) to get to the summit at 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) high. The cable car is 1,816 meters (5,958 feet) long and takes 10 minutes to reach the top. It also runs every 20 minutes. Check out the observation deck and shrines around the area. The summit can get cold during the wintertime so wear appropriate clothes.
Address: Japan, 〒874-0000 Oita, Beppu, Minamitateishi, 寒原１０−７ (〒874-0000 大分県別府市大字南立石 寒原１０−７)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-5:30pm (Mid-March-Mid-November), 9:00am-5:00pm (Mid-November-Mid-March)
Admission Cost: 1,600 yen ($14.75) round trip or 1,000 yen ($9.20) one-way junior high students-adults, 800 yen ($7.40) round trip or 500 yen ($4.60) one-way 4+ years to elementary students; 100 yen ($.90) discount for seniors 70+
How to Get There: From Beppu Station’s East Exit, take the Yufuin express bus headed to Kannawa and get off at the Jieitai Mae bus stop.
As one of the day trips from Beppu, Yufuin (湯布院町) is another place in Japan known for their onsen. It’s a smaller version of Beppu with onsens throughout the area. On our bucket list, we would love to hike Mount Yufu which has a summit of 1,583 meters (5,194 feet). Lake Kinrin is also a beautiful spot to walk around and also try local foods in the area. This area would be a fun place to walk around and explore.
How to Get There: There are three ways to get there from Beppu Station:
- From Beppu Station, take the JR train to Yufuin Station (由布院駅) via Yufuin or Yufu limited express train. You can use the JR pass. Times are limited so it’s recommended to use this scheduler to determine the schedule.
- From Beppu Station’s East Exit, take the Yufuin express bus to go to Yufuin. The last stop is the Yufuin Ekimae Bus Center. You can use the wide-area “My Beppu Free Passport” pass.
- Take bus #36 to Yufuin Station.
What to Eat in Beppu
There are many places to eat in Beppu to try local cuisine. We were surprised to see a variety of food options.
Jigoku Mushi Kobo
If you’re inspired to eat steamed food after visiting the Seven Hells of Beppu. Check out Jigoku Mushi Kobo (地獄蒸鉄輪工坊) which is a popular spot to have your food steamed by the hot springs. This place is busy during lunchtime with over 60 minutes of waiting time. You can watch your food getting steamed outside. We didn’t have a chance to try this place as the wait was too long for us.
Address: Japan, 〒874-0044 Oita, Beppu, 風呂本 (〒874-0044 大分県別府市風呂本)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-8:00pm
Average Cost of Food: 2,000-3,900 yen ($18.50-$36.00)
Love tempura? Try the tendon, shrimp fried in tempura batter at Toyotsune. Toyotsune is a famous shop known for its tendon. They also have other tempura items such as toriten, Beppu’s famous fried chicken in tempura batter, and anago, saltwater eel.
We arrived during the mid-afternoon so we had a limited lunch menu option. Dinner will have more options, such as fuyu (blowfish). Regardless, the tendon has a good tempura batter with a sweet sauce over it. However, if you wait a while, the tempura will get soggier. The fried items come with a bowl of rice, miso soup, and pickles.
- Toyotsune Beppu Ekimae-ten (Beppu Station): Japan, 〒874-0934 Oita, Beppu, Ekimae Honmachi, 5−30 別府駅前ビル 1階
- Toyotsune Honten Main Store: 2 Chome-12-24 Kitahama, Beppu, Oita 874-0920, Japan
Opening Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm (Ekimae closed on Thursday)
Average Cost of Food: 900-2,100 yen ($8.30-$19.40) for lunch, 2,100-3,200 yen ($19.40-$29.50) for dinner. Credit card accepted.
One of the unique restaurants in Beppu is Amamichaya (甘味茶屋). It’s a dessert shop that is known for its sweets and dangojiru (flat rice noodle soup). Dangojiru is a specialty dish in the Oita Prefecture.
We ordered two meal sets – one with dangojiru, dango with soybean powder, and rice and the other with agedashi tofu (fried tofu) with miso soup and brown rice. The soup was delicious with the chewiness of the handmade rice noodle and vegetables. The dango with soybean powder was similar to a dessert. The agedashi meal was lighter than the dango meal and a good option for vegetarians.
If you have room for dessert, try the matcha dessert. We couldn’t resist the matcha jelly, soft shiratama (circular rice dumplings), matcha cake, matcha sorbet, corn flakes, and more jelly. The sorbet was still a bit frozen on arrival yet we waited a few minutes to thaw. Otherwise, this dessert was so good and reminded us of our time eating matcha dessert in Uji.
This place is full throughout the day. However, the wait isn’t too long.
Address: Japan, 〒874-0835 Oita, Beppu, 実相寺 (〒874-0835 大分県別府市実相寺)
Opening Hours: 10:00am-8:30pm
Average Cost of Food: 700-1,200 yen ($6.50-$11.10). Credit card accepted.
Royal Host (ロイヤルホスト 別府北浜店) is a chain restaurant that serves Japanese Western food. It’s similar to a higher-end Denny’s Restaurant with Japanese influences. Since this diner opens mostly all day long you get the chance to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner here! Choose from sandwiches, salads, pastas, sizzling platters, U.S. or Australian steak, and more. The menu has a variety of options for everyone.
We had a late dinner since we ate so much earlier. Our meal consisted of a hamburg on a sizzling platter, seafood on a sizzling platter, and shrimp and avocado salad. The food was much better than I expected and was a nice change from the traditional Japanese foods that we’ve been eating. We also added a coffee jelly with ice cream for dessert.
Address: 2-818 Kitahama, Beppu, Oita 874-0920, Japan (〒874-0920 大分県別府市北浜２−818)
Opening Hours: 9:00am-12:00am
Average Cost of Food: 1,000-2,500 yen ($9.20-$23.00). Credit card accepted.
Where to Stay in Beppu
If you’re not returning to Fukuoka on your day, stay overnight in Beppu. Consider staying over at a ryokan to get the traditional Japanese experience.
We stayed at Beppu Hostel U&T due to its affordability and location. This hostel is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from Beppu Station. We stayed in a triple room and it was a decent size. It came with three twin size beds (although we only used two beds), a desk, a mini-refrigerator, a humidifier, and an en-suite bathroom.
This place has awesome amenities such as a dining area where you can relax and have a drink, play video games, read manga, or read more about the tourist attractions in Beppu. We took advantage of the unlimited hot and cold beverages and snacks. We stayed hydrated with the hot green tea that we drank. All you need to do is to wash your cup after use. They also have bicycle rentals available for the day.
The average cost of a room is $60 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Here are other hotel accommodations to consider:
Beppu Kannawa Onsen Hiromiya – This is a good option if you want to experience an onsen at an affordable price. You get to sleep on tatami mats. Cost is between $60-$110 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Nagominoyado Mutsuki – This is a traditional Japanese room where you get to sleep on tatami mats. Depending on your room choice, your room comes with breakfast and/or dinner. Cost is between $160-$300 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Ryotei Matsubaya – If you want the full luxury experience at the ryokan, then this is the place to spend the evening. There are both Japanese and Western-style beds. Some of the rooms have a private onsen outside. Breakfast and dinner are included in your room. Cost is between $300-$500 per night for 2 person occupancy.
Whew! You’re finally done with your one day in Beppu! Hope you enjoyed your time in Beppu and seeing the onsen city.
Want to visit Beppu, Japan? What would you like to see on your Beppu day trip?
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