Throwback Thursday: First Onsen Trip, and Onsen Tips

Since it’s the week of the Onsen Matsuri, a festival celebrating Beppu’s numerous hot springs, I thought what better time to talk about the first time I went to an onsen, and give some tips and answer some FAQs to hopefully reassure those that’re unsure about trying onsen (like I was at first).

First, let me explain about Beppu’s onsen districts, known as “Beppu Hatto” (“Hatto” is written with the kanji for “8” and the kanji for “hot water”, so this’ll give you the hint that there are 8 of them). The main part of Beppu counts as one, then there’s Hamawaki, Kankaiji, Horita, Myouban, Kannawa, Shibaseki and Kamegawa. Each district has its own various good onsens and interesting areas to explore. Read More »

Throwback Thursday: Illuminations in “Hell”

In Japan, there are a lot of places that do illuminations and light displays, they’re very popular as ways to enjoy and enhance an already picturesque place in a modern and enchanting way. I’ve been to two such illuminations during my time here so far, but today I’m going to write about the first one I went to – at Umi Jigoku, a popular sightseeing spot in Beppu.

Read More »

Throwback Thursday: Kunisaki Peninsula

The day after I went to Kannawa for the first time (see last post), I went on a local bus tour with one of the ALTs here and her husband. Our tour location? The Kunisaki Peninsula, an area with numerous interesting sightseeing spots and landmarks.  It’s also pretty hard to get to some places without a car, so this is a useful way to see some sights that might normally be inaccessible if you can’t drive, like me.

The tour we took was the “Rokugo Manzan” tour (literally meaning “Six Towns, Full Mountain, as the region was originally divided into 6 areas, with Mount Futago in the centre). This tour focuses on various Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in the area.

Read More »

Throwback Thursday: First Trip to Yufuin

The second town outside of Beppu that I visited after getting here was Beppu’s rival onsen town, Yufuin, which has the second most amount of hot spring sources in the whole of Japan, after Beppu. Yufuin is a more traditional-looking town in comparison, and is popular even with Japanese tourists.

Me and one of the ALTs from Beppu had been invited to go watch a play in the evening, but we decided to head over for midday so as to explore the town beforehand.Read More »

Part of the Usa Shrine compound

New Year, New Year’s Resolutions

ひさしぶり! (Long time no see!)

I realise I haven’t posted in a while, and I’ll explain that at the end, but first, a little explanation of New Year in Japan (although it’s mid-January now)

New Year in Japan is known as shogatsu (正月)and is celebrated, much like many places in the world, on 31st December and 1st January. Similar to Christmas back home (the UK) it’s a time for spending with family, and eating a lot of tasty food.Read More »