Beppu's hot springs generate not only abundant amounts of water but also a lot of steam that can be seen blowing out here and there across the city. For centuries, people have been harnessing the naturally hot steam for cooking food. The resulting dishes are called "Hell Steam Cuisine" and are simple and healthy due to the gentle, additive-free cooking method. The naturally mineral-laden steam is also said to bring out the true flavors of the food.
Tourists have the opportunity to steam their own meals at the Jigokumushi Kobo Steam Cooking Center (地獄蒸し工房鉄輪, Jigokumushi Kōbō Kannawa) near the hells of the Kannawa District. Staffed by volunteers, the center is a mix between restaurant and public kitchen with rows of steam chambers that can be rented to cook food in.
Visitors can either bring their own food or purchase a variety of reasonably priced, prepared plates of vegetables, chicken, seafood, pork buns, rice bowls and other dishes for between 150 and 4000 yen, although most meal-sized portions cost around 1000 yen. Ice cream and drinks are also available, but note that alcoholic beverages are not allowed on the premises.
Once you have your food, head over to the kitchen area and rent your steam chamber. There are two types of steam chambers: large ones and small ones which are priced differently. One of the volunteers will guide you to a steam chamber and help you set up the food. Set a timer and come back to take out your food when it is done.
The center has indoor tables plus a nice outdoor terrace that you can eat on when the weather is good. Tea, utensils and condiments are provided, so there is no need to bring your own. As the cooking center is staffed by volunteers, once you are finished eating, you are expected to return your plates and clean up your area by yourself.
A few steps down the street from the steam cooking center are two foot baths: one is a regular water bath as seem in many other hot spring resorts across Japan, but the other one is a rather unique steam foot bath. To use it, sit in one of the chairs, insert your legs into the steam chamber, and cover them with the provided box. Both baths are free to use.
600 yen for the first 20 minutes
300 yen for 10-minute extensions
400 yen for the first 20 minutes
200 yen for 10-minute extensions
Food is sold separately for between 150 and 4000 yen
BEPPU HOSTEL U&T250 metres from Beppu Tower, BEPPU HOSTEL U&T is set in Beppu and features a garden and a terrace. The property is close to Beppu Park, B-Con Plaza and Beppu Art Museum. The property is 3.1 km from Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center. The private bathroom is equipped with a bidet. Beppu Rakutenchi is 3.6 km from the guest house. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 39 km from BEPPU HOSTEL U&T.View on Booking.com
AMANE resort SEIKAIBoasting luxurious guest rooms with open-air hot spring bath overlooking the ocean, AMANE resort SEIKAI is a 7-minute walk from JR Beppu Daigaku Station. It features spacious public hot spring baths and a spa salon. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the public area, and parking is available at no charge. Fitted with dark wooden flooring and chic furnishings, each spacious room offers great ocean views. Guests can unwind on comfortable sofas or tatami (woven-straw) mats, and watch Blu-ray movies on a flat-screen TV. The Seikai provides large public baths and hot tubs on the ground floor and top floor. Spa Sheer Pearl offers ultimate relaxation with delicate massages and treatments. A gift shop and drink vending machines are available on site, and luggage can be stored at the 24-hour front desk for free. JR Beppu Station is a 15-minute drive and Oita Airport is a 40-minute drive from the property. Beppu Jigoku-meguri hot springs are within a 15-minute drive. Umitamago Aquarium is a 30-minute drive away. Gen serves traditional Japanese cuisine using seasonal and local ingredients. Eitaro restaurant offers various fresh seafood meals, while Japanese-Western fusion dishes can be enjoyed at Ban-ya.View on Booking.com
KannawaenKannawaen is an entirely non-smoking accommodation that features a garden, terrace and bar in Beppu. 100 metres from Hells of Beppu, the property is also 500 metres away from Jigokumushikobo Kannawa. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service for guests. There is an designated smoking area on site. All guest rooms in the ryokan are fitted with a flat-screen TV. The rooms are fitted with a private bathroom with free toiletries, while certain rooms will provide you with mountain views. All units will provide guests with a desk and a kettle. A continental breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. There is an on-site restaurant, which serves a variety of Asian dishes. The property has a hot spring bath. Popular points of interest near Kannawaen include Hyotan Onsen, Yukemori Observatory and Oita Fragrance Museum. Oita Airport is 31 km away.View on Booking.com
AMANE resort GAHAMASituated in Beppu, 1.6 km from Oita Fragrance Museum, AMANE resort GAHAMA features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a garden. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The ryokan has a hot spring bath and luggage storage space. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the ryokan also feature free WiFi. Guests at AMANE resort GAHAMA can enjoy an Asian breakfast. Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center is 3.7 km from the accommodation, while Hyotan Onsen is 3.9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 28 km from AMANE resort GAHAMA.View on Booking.com
Yamada BessouWithin a 10-minute walk from Beppu Station, Yamada Bessou offers Japanese-style rooms with spacious natural hot spring baths. Free WiFi and free bicycle use are available. Surrounded by greenery, air-conditioned rooms have a seating area with large windows and garden views. They have tatami-mat flooring and Japanese futon bedding. Female guests can choose their yukata robe to wear in the room. Guests can reserve an outdoor hot spring bath for private use, or relax in the public indoor bath available 24 hours a day. Massage treatments can be arranged. The hotel offers free parking. Yamada Bessou serves a Japanese breakfast, with only fresh seasonal ingredients. Free coffee is offered at the lobby. Yamada Bessou Ryokan is a 10-minute walk from the Takegawa Onsen hot spring area, and a 45-minute drive from Oita Airport. Beppu Station offers a 25-minute bus to Kannawa Onsen hot spring area.View on Booking.com
Hotel UmineSituated in Beppu, Hotel Umine is an entirely non-smoking property that features a terrace and a bar. Popular points of interest nearby include Beppu Tower, Beppu Park and B-Con Plaza. Free WiFi is provided. A designated smoking area is located on site. The units at the hotel come with a seating area. Each room comes with a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hair dryer. At Hotel Umine rooms have air conditioning and a flat-screen TV. An Asian breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. The accommodation offers 4-star accommodation with a hot spring bath. Speaking English and Japanese, staff are willing to help at any time of the day at the reception. Beppu Rakutenchi is 2.5 km from Hotel Umine, while Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center is 2.7 km away. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 31 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Beppu Kannawa Onsen HIROMIYALocated in Beppu, 400 metres from Hyotan Onsen, Beppu Kannawa Onsen HIROMIYA features views of the city. With a shared lounge, the 2-star ryokan has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Popular points of interest near the ryokan include Jigokumushikobo Kannawa, Oita Fragrance Museum and Yama Jigoku. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 30 km from Beppu Kannawa Onsen HIROMIYA.View on Booking.com
Terrace MidoubaruTerrace Midoubaru is located a 15-minute drive from JR Beppu Station and boasts guestrooms with a semi open-air bath. Guests can soak in the hot spring bath. Private parking is available for an additional fee. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV and blu-ray player. Rooms offer views of the sea or mountains. All rooms come with a private bathroom equipped with a bath. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. There is luggage storage space at the property. Beppu Ropeway is 1.5 km from Terrace Midoubaru, while Beppu Rakutenchi is 2.4 km away. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 33 km from Terrace Midoubaru.View on Booking.com
REX HOTEL BeppuSet in Beppu, within 1 km of Beppu Tower and 1.7 km of Takegawara Onsen, REX HOTEL Beppu offers accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. Featuring a spa and wellness centre, the hotel is close to several noted attractions, around 1.9 km from Beppu Park and around 2 km from Beppu Art Museum. The hotel features a hot spring bath and a 24-hour front desk. At the hotel all rooms are equipped with air conditioning and a TV. Guests at REX HOTEL Beppu can enjoy a buffet breakfast. B-Con Plaza is 2.2 km from the accommodation, while Beppu City Traditional Bamboo Crafts Center is 2.6 km away. The nearest airport is Oita Airport, 30 km from REX HOTEL Beppu.View on Booking.com
Happy NekoLocated in the Kannawa hot-spring area, Happy Neko offers affordable Japanese-style accommodations in a traditional house built in 1934. Free Wi-Fi is available at the entire building. A complimentary transfer on departure to JR Beppu station, JR Beppu Daigaku Station, Beppu Kotsu Center and Ferry Terminal is provided upon reservation. The spacious rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Each room comes with heating facilities, a fridge, an electric kettle and a private toilet. The property does not have bath and shower facilities. Guests can look out at the traditional garden and use the free on-site parking. Luggage storage is offered at the front desk. Happy Neko Inn is a 10-minute drive from JR Beppu Daigaku Train Station and Beppu Kotsu Centre Bus Stop. Beppu Jigoku Hells is a 10-minute walk and Beppu Bay is a 10-minute drive away. No meals are served.View on Booking.com