Summer in Northern Kyushu Part 7 (2016) | The 8 Hells of Beppu

Saturday, November 19, 2016

It was my last day in Beppu when I decided to do the Jigoku Hells Tour. I woke up at 8 AM and had a very satisfying meal of cold noodles (udon) dunked in savory sauce (courtesy of my Japanese dorm mate Sarah). She and her father travels to Beppu at least once a year for an onsen holiday. That morning, she decided to cook udon and gave me a bowl full of noodles. It was my first time to eat noodles with ice and other stuff I did not recognize. Haha.
my favorite out of all the 8 Hells in Beppu - Umi Jigoku
While we were eating, a picture of President Duterte was shown in the morning news. According to Sarah, the news was saying that Duterte is very similar to US President elect Donald Trump of the Republican Party. They were very curious to know what's it like under the Duterte Administration. I told them about the fight against drugs and the human rights violation that come with it. I also told them I did not vote for Duterte because I do not want another Martial Law. #neveragain #neverforget
breakfast and morning news in Beppu Guesthouse
Anyhow, it was a political conversation I did enjoy. :) After breakfast, I boarded a bus going to the Kannawa District at Beppu Station. 6 hells (Jigoku) are located at the Kannawa District and the other 2 can be found at Shibaseki District. Access to all hells costs 2,000 JPY. If you just want to visit the most interesting/famous, then you can purchase individual tickets to Umi Jigoku, Oniyama Jigoku and Chinoike Jigoku which cost 400 JPY each. Tickets can be purchased outside the hells and need not to be reserved in advance.

Kannawa District:
Umm Jigoku - My absolute favourite!
Oniishibozu Jigoku
Shiraike Jigoku
Kamado Jigoku
Oniyama Jigoku
Yama Jigoku

Shibaseki District:
Chinoike Jigoku
Tatsumaki Jigoku
entrance to Umi Jigoku
I was about to get off at Umi Jigoku mae bus stop when I handed 5,000 yen to the driver. He said the machine cannot accept it because the max is only 1,000 yen. I do not have any coins left for the bus fare (330 yen) and I don't know how can I pay him. Sobrang nakaka abala na ako. πŸ˜’ This obachan (granny) volunteered to pay for me. Although I did not understand her, she just said okay and smiled. Thank you obachan!

Travel tip: Always prepare coins when riding a bus. Kamenoi Bus offers one day and two day unlimited bus passes (900 and 1500 yen respectively) that cover all of the sites within central Beppu. I did not purchase a Kamenoi bus pass because I only plan to board a bus going to Kannawa District and going back to Beppu Station from Shibaseki District. The pass will not pay off for me.
the water temperature here is a scaolding 98 degrees C
certainly not for bathing...
red Torii and bridge at the right side of Umi Jigoku
red pond in the vicinity of Umi Jigoku
Oniishibozu Jigoku - named after the mud bubbles
flamingos at the Yama Jigoku
It was around 10:30 AM when I finished seeing all the hells in Kannawa District. My next destination was Shibaseki District, the location of Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell) and Tatsumaki Jigoku (Tornado Hell). To get there, take the number 16 bus from Kannnawa and get off at Chinoike jigoku mae bus stop. It was about 3 kilometers away from the bus terminal of Kannawa. Normally, people drive or take a bus to get there, but it’s possible to walk between the areas in about 40 minutes.
the big highway sign leading to Tatsumaki Jigoku and Chinoike Jigoku
I DO NOT recommend this though. I did walk to get to Shibaseki District but it was scary! 3 kilometers for me was easy peasy. I was confident with my navigational skills but I did not expect to walk in a dangerous mountain highway without a sidewalk. Most drivers that saw me walking looked bewildered. They were probably thinking what the hell I was doing there! I was completely out of place. I passed by an abandoned village and a very long tunnel. It was the scariest 40 minute of my life! I cursed myself for being such a kuripot! If I rode the bus, I would have arrived in 5 minutes! 
amazing view of Beppu
Chinoike Jigoku
went up the stairs to capture Chinoike Jigoku
Thank the heavens I arrived safely in Shibaseki District. I spent an hour in Chinoike Jigoku and skipped Tatsumaki Jigoku. I took some photos, walked around for a bit and sat on a wooden bench trying to absorb everything that happened. It was so hard to calm my nerves so I bought matcha ice cream. My tour ended at 1 PM so I went back to Beppu Guesthouse to prepare for my departure. I bought a bento at the bento factory near Beppu Station. 

At 2 in the afternoon, I took a Limited express train from Beppu Station to Hakata Station. I arrived at around 4 PM and spent my remaining time at JR Hakata City. My way of saying good bye to Japan is by having my last bowl of Ramen at Ippudo Hakata. It was sooo good!

In summary, I enjoyed my solo Japan trip very much! There were many 'firsts' for me on this trip - first solo out of country, first time to stay in a mixed dormitory, first time to go on a trip without a rigid itinerary (I can be too anal sometimes), first time to walk/run along a mountain highway (buwis buhay ng hindi sadya), etc. πŸ˜€ I would definitely travel solo again!

This is the end of my 6-day Northern Kyushu adventure! I sincerely hope you enjoyed this series! Have you tried solo travel yet? How was the experience? I would like to hear your thoughts. Share it on the comment box below! ^_^

Check out my other Northern Kyushu posts right here:

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