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Matsuyama or Beppu? 2009/2/24 00:46
I've been struggling over which of the 2 cities, Matsuyama or Beppu, to visit. My itinerary allows time for only 1 of these places ( coming in from Hiroshima).

From what I've read so far, it seems like I'd be trading off Matsuyama's Dogo Onsen for Beppu's onsens and Jigoku. And I keep reading about Beppu being a tacky tourist city,like the Las Vegas of Japan, which puts Matsuyama in a better light - I intend to enjoy strolling around the city and Beppu doesn't sound all that nice for that. On the other hand, Matsuyama sounds like a quaint little town.

Then again, Beppu's Jigoku do sound very interesting as a "natural" attraction plus there're sand and mud onsen.

I'm kinda leaning towards Matsuyama for now but would like to hear if anyone has any opinions on either Beppu or Matsuyama.

by chuyeow  

... 2009/2/24 08:54
Both Dogo Onsen and Beppu are located in cities, and, therefore, have a distinctly different atmosphere than hot spring resorts in the countryside or in the mountains.

Ironically, it is Beppu, rather than Dogo Onsen, which does offer some small-town atmosphere, although not in the city center. There are hot springs all over Beppu, and some are located in the city's outskirts and in calm districts, where the atmosphere certainly does not resemble Las Vegas.

Still, if you are looking for a quaint little town, Beppu should certainly not be your choice. Then, I would rather look into nearby Yufuin or some completely different resort.

As for the hells of Beppu, they are presented in such a touristy way, that most of the "natural" feeling gets lost. There are much better, more natural feeling "hells" elsewhere in Japan.

In my opinion, the greatesr attraction of Beppu is the large variety of baths to try out. Not only do you have lots of "conventional" thermal water baths, but there are also mud baths and sand baths. Highly recommended.

As for Matsuyama City, it is about five times larger than Beppu! The castle is one of Japan's most interesting. Besides bathing, Matsuyama has more to offer than Beppu.

About Matsuyama:

About Beppu:
by Uji rate this post as useful

Matsuyama 2009/2/24 08:55
No contest, I have stayed in both cities, Matsuyama would be a clear winner.
by RodW rate this post as useful

in other words 2009/2/24 08:57
I recommend Beppu if the bathing part is most important to you. Otherwise, I recommend Matsuyama.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Thanks! 2009/2/24 11:04
Uji, once again, thanks so much for your advice. You've made it very clear the key points of both cities and now I can make a decision knowing exactly what I'm missing :)

The mud baths and sand baths in Beppu are a big pull, the "hells" now seem tacky to me - I've been to Owakudani in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, if it's even less "natural" than that I'm not that interested.

I'm going to make it Matsuyama for now since there seems more to explore there and the nearby Uchiko looks pretty interesting too if there's time for a sidetrip.
by chuyeow rate this post as useful

been to beppu-over rated. 2009/2/28 13:12
Been to Beppu, I found it over rated.
I enjoyed Yuda Onsen more than Beppu. Beppu is really for Adults Only, lots of "ladies of the night" standing and smoking cigarettes. You wouldn't know they are "ladies of the night" until you see a man approach them and "talks".
by hello (guest) rate this post as useful

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