Okay, so, time to tell you guys about my placement, i.e. where it was decided I would work for my time as a CIR. I’ll start by saying I didn’t get any of the ones I put down as my preference (apparently that’s not very common, so try not to get your hopes up too much ^^;;)
So, where am I, you ask?
I got placed on the western island of Kyushu, in a city called Beppu~
It’s located on the eastern side of Kyushu, in Oita prefecture, which was originally made up of 58 cities, towns and villages, but now consists of 18 that have all been merged together. Beppu didn’t get merged with anywhere else though, ’cause it’s already a pretty big area (about 125 km squared, with a population of around 120,000)
So, what’s Beppu like?
It’s got a bay on one side, and mountains the other (well, it’s kinda surrounded by mountains) and so, it is beautiful! It also has the most onsen (hot springs) in the whole of Japan, so it’s kinda a big deal, haha. It’s actually quite popular among tourists from Asian countries because of this, and is kind of like a hot spring resort town. In total, there are 2,217 hot spring sources in Beppu, and those sources discharge 83,058 litres of water every minute! Pretty impressive, right? To give you a comparison, it has 2 times the amount of sources as the town that has the 2nd most!
Beppu also has an adorable mascot called Beppyon, who even has an instagram account!
Since it has so many onsen, and is a pretty big city, Beppu actually has 8 different onsen districts, known as the “Beppu Hatto”. These districts are Beppu (obviously), Hamawaki, Kankaiji, Horita, Myoban, Kannawa, Shibaseki and Kamegawa. Each district has its own special features, so I want to try to explore each one during my time here (so far I’ve been to two and driven through one, but I’ll post about them separately later).
The onsen aren’t even the only tourist attractions Beppu has. It also has a safari park, an aquarium, two theme parks (one old-fashioned and one more rollercoastery one), a Sanrio Harmonyland, a mountain home to wild monkeys that you can visit, and quite a few regional dishes. I’m hoping to try as many of these (places and food) as I can during my time here~
I have quite a few things to post about already, so to catch up I’ll post retrospectively about those, and then once I’ve caught up posts will hopefully become about more recent things, so keep an eye out for more posts soon!~