Oct 24, 2012

"Sen-tohmyo"(Festival of Sacred Lanterns)

Over 20,000 sacred lanterns will change Beppu park into the fantasy of lights.

Cherry trees and bamboo thickets are brightly lit up by the thousands of covered lamps.
It produces a fantastic dreamland. 
Some lanterns are made by kindergarten children using paper cups and candles.

Title of event: Sen-tohmyo” (Festival of Sacred Lanterns)
Site: Beppu Park
Date: Saturday, November 03 (Sunday November 04, in case of rain)
Time: 5 pm – 9 pm  
             *Gourmet booths and workshops will be open at 3 pm.

For more information, call 0977-76-5327 (Sen-no-tohmyo Project Team)


Oct 22, 2012

Beppu Kotsu Center

The Japanese have a custom of buying local specialties for family or friends back home, when we travel anywhere. If you travel in Japan, you might see a lot of gift shops for tourists here and there.

Beppu Kotsu Center is one of the useful facilities for tourists in Beppu. It is located in front of Beppu International Port (Beppu Kokusai Kankoko) which is a gateway to Kyushu Island from Kansai and Shikoku areas.
Orange-colored advertising display of the popular 'Shochu' is one of the landmarks. 

The first floor

It has a large gift shop which sells many local products from Beppu, Oita and other areas in Kyushu. Below are some of popular products you will find there.

<Bamboo crafts> 
Beppu has been long known for the bamboo crafts industry. Please reference to the beginning of this page <Beppu Bamboo Crafts> for details of the history. Baskets, flower vases, plates and chopsticks are sold in the shop.

<Sulfur salts, 'Yunohana'>
'Yunohana' is a kind of bath salts. You can mix it with bath water to create relaxing hot spring experience at home.

<Wooden clogs 'Geta'>
The 'geta' are said to be Japan's unique sandals and necessary when the Japanese wear 'yukata'. It is good for health to walk with the 'geta', because it simulates pressure points in the foot.

The local sakes, pickles, seasonings and confectioneries are also selling well.

The next to the gift shop is a restaurant, 'Chikushi', which serves local specialties of Oita, such as 'dangojiru' and 'toriten'. It is called Bamboo restaurant, because it is decorated by bamboo products around.

Restaurant 'Chikushi'
The second floor

Excellent bamboo crafts, traditional artists' works are displayed in the bamboo museum, 'Take-Miraikan'. The entrance of the museum represents as a bamboo grove. The reproduction of an artist's private house and large-scale ornaments of bamboo could be found there. Admission is free.

Bamboo grove 

                  Artist's private house in the Taisho and Showa Era

 Ox-drawn carriage

If you are interested in working process, you are allowed to see the demonstration and experience to make a small basket at a reasonable price. It takes about 20 minutes to finish it.

Please ask FTIO Office about how to access there from other areas in Beppu and further information.

Oct 17, 2012

Beppu Myoban Onsen

   Myoban is one of Beppu Hatto and it is a small mountain town surrounded by nature.
  There are several traditional inns, which have retained their original exteriors, but have been beautifully moddified internally, to provide guests with comfortable, well appointed surroundings with Onsen.
   “Tachiyori-yu” (drop-by Onsen) without an overnight stay such as Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land, Kakujusen and Myoban Yunosato are convenient for travelers who want to try Onsen other than ones in Hotels or inns.
   There are Yunohana-goya, thatched huts used for manufacturing “Yunohana” bath powder. They are rarely seen in other places.

  It takes about 30 minutes from Beppu station by Kamenoi bus ( within 10 minutes from Kannawa).

Overlooking Beppu bay.

The mountain upper part of the photo is Mt. Ohgiyama

Steam rises from grove

Yunohana-goya along the bus route

Steam rising

Contents of Onsen precipitated  at the end of pipe

   Today, I got off the bus (from Beppu station) at "Konya Jigoku mae" and walked up the road toward "Myoban Yunosato." I walked about 1.5Km finally.
(There are two other but stops in Myoban area, "Myoban" and "Jizoyumae."   When you visit Myoban Onsen, please choose an appropriate but stop for your purpose.)
   The photos below are what I saw on the route I walked.

<Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land>

   The photo below is "Konja Jigoku Mae" bus stop.   Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land" was at the other side of the road.
 "Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land" is
     - a unique open air mud bath,
     - mixed bathing,
     - the mud is said to contain ingredients to make the skin beautiful

Bus stop Konya Jigoku Mae

The sign of Beppu Onsen Hoyo Land


   After passing under Myoban Big Bridge, there was an alley goes off the bus route on my right.

Myoban Big Bridge

an alley on my right

   I found "Kakujusen",  a municipal Onsen, on my right along the alley.

the alley

Kakujyu sen

   Passing "Kakujusen", there was "Yunohana-goya" on my left soon.


<Okamotoya shop>

   The alley joined the bus route and at the corner of intersection, there was Okamotoya shop.
   The scenery from the parking of Okamotoya shop was fantastic. Okamoto shop is famous for its Jigoku mushi puddings.  Jigoku mushi is a way of cooking using hot spring steam.
Hot spring eggs are also popular.

Okamotoya shop

Steam cooker for Jigoku mushi pudding
Eggs and potatoes were steamed in front of the shop

<Myoban Jigoku>
   There was Myoban Jigoku just across the road from Okamotoya shop.
There were Yunohana-Goya and boiling hot spring sources.
Entrance fees are 200yen for adults and 100 yen for children.


Sightseeing route

In the Yunohanap-Goya

steam blowing out from the  gapes of rocks

Mud was boiling in the hot spring source

<Myoban Yunosato>
   From Okamotoya shop, Myoban Yunosato was in a few-minutes walk.
The open air baths make you feel expansive.
There were souvenir shops and Yunohana-Goya.

Myoban Yunosato Souvenir ship and restaurant

Souvenir shop with thatched roof blends in with the landscape

Bonsai at the entrance of the shop was nice