My nomad-style TOUJI trip to KYUSHU – DAY 2

2nd day in BEPPU.

 

Thanks to ONSEN I bathed in yesterday, my body is stress free and feel very light.

 

The bus network is well developed in BEPPU and you can move anywhere in the city by bus. You can buy one-day pass “My BEPPU Free” for 900 yen. This 亀の井バス (KAMENOI Bus) was established by KUMAHACHI ABURAYA whose statue is located right in front of BEPPU Station, and this bus takes you to 別府地獄めぐり (BEPPU JIGOKU MEGURI / BEPPU Hell Tour) where you can see huge amount of steam of ONSEN flowing out from the land.

 

 

ONSEN which functions as shampoo and conditioner.

 

Today I’ve decided to visit 鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN) which is also one of 別府八湯 (BEPPU HATTO / BEPPU 8 Springs).

 

Related article about 別府八湯 (BEPPU HATTO / BEPPU 8 Springs) and 鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN): My nomad-style TOUJI trip to KYUSHU

 

Here and there around the town, you can see the steam flowing out. This amazing scenery shows how huge the power of ONSEN is. It is really wonderful these steam decorate the landscape of this town.

 

 

 

 

 

What I heard at this KANNAWA ONSEN was about “シャン泉 (SHAN SEN / ONSEN functions as shampoo) & リン泉 (RIN SEN / ONSEN functions as conditioner)”. The spring quality of 明礬温泉 (MYOBAN ONSEN) is sulfur spring and acidic spring which cleanse the skin, thus it functions as shampoo. On the other hand, the spring quality of 鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN) is chloride spring and metasilicic acid spring which has heat retaining and moisturizing effect, thus it functions as conditioner. Therefore, just like you do shampoo first then conditioner, it’s better to bathe in 明礬温泉 (MYOBAN ONSEN) first then 鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN) next to make your skin smooth and beautiful.

 

Now, let’s go to 明礬温泉 (MYOBAN ONSEN) first!

 

明礬温泉 (MYOBAN ONSEN) which functions as shampoo.

 

“明礬湯の里 (MYOBAN YU NO SATO)” at MYOBAN ONSEN is the place where produces “湯の花 (YUNOHANA / mineral encrustations left by hot springs)” inside the thatched huts. Its manufacturing technology is registered as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Asset in Japan.

 

 

There’s a restaurant on a hill where you can see the thatched huts below your eyes. I ordered とり天 (TORITEN / Chicken TEMPURA) here too. ONSEN cider (soda) and pudding steamed by ONSEN were also served together. This full of ONSEN meal was really nice.

 

 

 

And also, there is a fine view outdoor bath here. The spring quality is sulfur spring which has milky white color. Since sulfur spring is the best for skin diseases, it has good effects for those who have atopy (eczema) and psoriasis. Needless to say, it also has good effects for other skin disorders as well as physical and mental stresses and fatigue recovery. However, since this sulfur spring is highly concentrated, small kids and elderlies are advised to be careful when bathing.

 

Since it was prohibited to click pictures inside the bathroom, I would like you to see this guidebook instead. You see the beautiful color of this ONSEN. When bathing in, it’s felt like good components of ONSEN come inside my body.

 

 

 Famous 泥湯 (DOROYU / mud bath)

 

Next, I moved to “別府温泉保養ランド (BEPPU ONSEN HOYO Land)” which is also located in the same 明礬温泉 (MYOBAN ONSEN) area.

 

This BEPPU ONSEN HOYO Land is famous for its 泥湯 (DOROYU / Mud bath) which the spring water is very thick. The spring quality is sulfur spring. This mud bath is made thanks to its appropriate amount of fumarole gas, corrosion clay layer, and water which contains plenty of mineral. The mud here is fine-grained and it’s like powder when dried. A lot of female visitors put the mud on their faces. For male, it is said that it has a good effect for ED as well.

 

BEPPU City created the TVCM titled “SHINFURO” to appeal the variety of ONSEN in BEPPU. This “SHINFURO” is a parody of synchronized swimming in the ONSEN. The thick spring at this BEPPU ONSEN HOYO Land appears at 1:45, and you can see how thick it is. Also, the first 3 seconds in the beginning of this film is the scenery of KANNAWA ONSEN which the steam is flowing out here and there.

 

SHINFURO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20ZWZJgixtw

 

This BEPPU ONSEN HOYO Land has indoor bath for men and women separately, and also there’s an outdoor mix bath where both men and women bathe in the same bathtub. Since the components are too strong, elementary school kids and below are prohibited to bathe in.

 

Although this ONSEN has great effect for your health, the only thing I don’t like is that there are a lot of ワニ (WANI / crocodiles) at this mixed bath here. Don’t worry, there’s no crocodiles in the ONSEN, but WANI I’m saying is a metaphor of some men who keep bathing with waiting for women to come to mixed bath. As those men are rolling their eyes while bathing, they are sometimes called “WANI / crocodiles”. If you hesitate to go to this mix bath, there’s also a mud bath exclusively for women, thus don’t worry.

 

別府明礬橋 (BEPPU MYOBAN KYO / BEPPU MYOBAN Bridge)

 

 

別府明礬橋 (BEPPU MYOBAN KYO / BEPPU MYOBAN Bridge) is the famous bridge in MYOBAN area. It was developed in 1989 as the longest concrete arch bridge in Japan (235m). It’s located between YUFUIN Interchange and BEPPU Interchange on OITA Expressway, and it crosses over the V-shaped valley at the suburb area of BEPPU City. Since it’s near MYOBAN area, it was decided to be the deck bridge like this, considering the harmony with surrounding environment and less impact for ONSEN resources due to construction. It’s truely beautiful and matching with the scenery very well. If you see this bridge from MYOBAN ONSEN, BEPPU Bay and TAKASAKI Mountain can be also seen.

 

What a nice view it is. The gentle green wind was gradually cooling down my warm body bathed in ONSEN. Now, “shampoo” is done, and it’s turn for “conditioner”.

 

鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN) which functions as conditioner.

 

I’ve come back to 鉄輪温泉 (KANNAWA ONSEN) again by bus.

 

Since KANNAWA ONSEN has strong steam, people have been utilizing this steam for their lives, such as 地獄蒸し (JIGOKU MUSHI) which steams/boils the meat and vegetables by hot spring steam and ふかし湯・蒸し風呂 (FUKASHI YU / MUSHI BURO) which is a steam bath by hot spring steam.

 

There’s “地獄蒸し工房 (JIGOKU MUSHI KOBO)” at the central district of KANNAWA ONSEN, and at right next to it, there’s “足蒸し (ASHI MUSHI)” not “足湯 (ASHI YU)”. Usually most of the ONSEN places offer “足湯 (ASHIYU)” which is foot bath, but here they are uniquely offer “足蒸し (ASHI MUSHI)” which is steam bath for foot. The way to try this is very simple. Just open the wooden box, put your feet inside, and close the box. That’s it. The steam flowing around your feet warms your feet. Although it’s just steam and it’s just feet, your whole body becomes warm. Since you don’t get wet (different from foot bath which your feet get wet), you don’t need to wipe, thus it’s very convenient. I spent for a while here with reading guidebook.

 

 

 

After that, I walked around KANNAWA ONSEN. The roads at the central district of KANNAWA ONSEN are made of tiles, not concrete, thus it’s very comfortable to walk. A middle senior couple was slowly walked ahead of me. They might also visit around ONSEN here like me. I also started walking very slowly with their pace. It’s wonderful to walk very slowly sometimes.

 

 

Then finally I reached “ひょうたん温泉 (HYOTAN ONSEN)”. This HYOTAN ONSEN won the 3-stars of Michelin Green Guide Japan which no other ONSEN have won ever before.

 

 

The founder of this HYOTAN ONSEN dug ONSEN and opened this facility in 1922 to cure rheumatism his wife had. Its name “ひょうたん (HYOTAN)” comes from its gourd-shaped bathtub, and you can see this original gourd shaped bathtub in both men’s and women’s bathroom. It is very relaxing to bathe in this historical ONSEN which is 源泉掛け流し (GENSEN KAKENAGASHI / Free flowing ONSEN directly springing out from the source). In addition to this historical bathtub, this facility has variety of ONSEN, such as stone bath where ONSEN flowing out from the stone which statue of Buddha sits, waterfall bath which has 19 waterfalls falling down from 3 meters high in men’s bathroom and 8 waterfalls in women’s bathroom, outdoor bath where ONSEN flowing out from the stones, cypress bath, sand bath, steam bath and many other types of ONSEN. It is like an amusement park of natural ONSEN. Surprisingly, there are 10 private family bathes and 4 private outdoor bathes which you can reserve for your private use.

 

It’s not just bathing in ONSEN. You can try drinking ONSEN and also try inhaling ONSEN steam here. In addition, there are 地獄釜 (JIGOKU GAMA / steam pot) and make your own steamed 豆腐 (TOFU) and eggs. Restaurants and rest area are also there so that you can spend entire day here. When you hear “amusement park of ONSEN”, you might feel like it’s cheap facility, but this place is not. You will see if you come here.

 

 

The spring quality of this HYOTAN ONSEN is sodium / chloride spring (weak acidic / hypotonic / hyperthermal spring). It has moisturizing effect just like the conditioner. And, the water temperature at source is surprisingly 100.4°C! It is boiling! And it is weak acidic spring which is pH3.1. Since this facility would like visitors to feel the power of ONSEN as it is, they don’t add water to cool it down, and instead, they invented their own equipment to cool ONSEN down named “湯雨竹 (YUMETAKE)”, which is made of bamboo. 100°C ONSEN from the source is cooled down to 47°C by bypassing through bamboos. When it’s provided to bathtub, it becomes proper temperature for people to bathe in. Although they spent 2 years to develop this, thanks to this innovative equipment, visitors can enjoy the effect of ONSEN as it is. There is a miniature sized of YUMETAKE for foot bath here, and you can take this foot bath with seeing this innovative equipment. The same miniature sized YUMETAKE is equipped at “渋の湯 (SHIBU NO YU)”, a municipal public bath house in BEPPU City as well.

 

I think I spent 1 to 2 hours here. I fully enjoyed ONSEN and enoughly put “conditioner” on my skin.

 

Thanks to “シャン泉 (SHAN SEN / ONSEN functions as shampoo) & リン泉 (RIN SEN / ONSEN functions as conditioner)”, now my skin condition is superb!!

 

ひょうたん温泉 (HYOTAN ONSEN): http://www.hyotan-onsen.com/english/

 

Next article: My nomad-style TOUJI trip to KYUSHU – DAY 3

 

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