Touring the ponds of hell

The second day of my trip to Beppu was spent on the 地獄巡り, literally touring the hells. What they call hells are 8 remarkable hotsprings around the city, spouting 99°C water and throwing huge plumes of steam in the air.

Some of them have cobalt blue water, another called 血の池地獄 is as red as a pool of blood, the one in the photo below is called 鬼石坊主地獄 for the bubble of boiling mud that resemble the shaved heads of earth demons.

oni ishi bouzu jigoku

There’s also a geyser that spouts for 6 minutes every 20 minutes. They built a sort of mini-amphitheater around it so tourist can sit and wait for it to spurt out. Typically japanese…

me in front of the geyser

With all this steam everywhere, the area around the spring in noticeably hotter and more humid than the rest of the city. In this micro-climate, they planted tropical plants all around and brought in tropical animals: there is a zoo with an elephant and a hippo bathing in hotspring water, they even breed crocodiles, caymans and alligators in one of the “Hells”.

enjoying the sound of the waves

After a very sweaty visit, we went back to the hotel and I had to take one last dip in the hotel’s public bath. It was empty so I could take some photos of the place. Then we grabbed our bags and headed back home with the 新幹線.

3 thoughts on “Touring the ponds of hell”

  1. That’s awesome. You are so lucky to have gone there. The geyer looks is very nice. The shaved heads of earth demons in mud is a little strange, but still, I bet the whole experience was great!

  2. yeah, it was really a lot of fun
    but I made the mistake to wear long cargo pants that day because the sky didn’t look too welcoming
    big big big mistake because auround the “hells” it’s 95% humidity and 35°C, the only time I sweated more in my whole life was when I went to a Yoga class with my girlfriend… :)

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