Nun habe ich sogut wie alles von Kyushu gesehen, was ich sehen wollte (ausser Mt. Yufu vielleicht…, siehe Beppu Beitrag), allerdings fehlt mir nun noch die Ostküste, einschließlich Miyazaki. Diese ist dann in den nächsten drei Wochen abzuklappern, zusammen mit meiner Studienkollegin und ihrer Tochter. Morgen mache ich mich dann per hitchhiking auf nach Tokyo, eingeplant sind drei Tage, sodass ich Sonntag spätestens um 4 Uhr da sein will. Zudem treffe ich mich noch mit Takeshi, einen der Skype Kontakte die ich vor Japan kennengelernt habe und welcher mich auch beim japanisch lernen untersützt hat. Zusammen wollen wir zudem auch an meinem Geburtstag den Mt. Fuji erklommen haben, solange bis dahin ists ja nun auch nicht mehr^^.
In den nächsten drei Wochen werde ich dann wohl keine Zeit zum Bloggen haben, da wir viel sehen werde und immer auf dem Sprung sein werden, vielleicht hier und da eine kurze Meldung. Zudem wird es auch, wie vorher schon erwähnt, nicht zu allen Stationen nen Beitrag geben denke ich, da es einfach zu viel in zu wenig Zeit ist und Bloggen soll ja nicht in Arbeit ausarten :D. Zu ausgewählten Themen wird es dann was geben. Miyazaki wird dann wohl auch der letzte Beitrag zu Kyushu werden, und vielleicht knacke ich ja noch die Nummer 20, wir werden sehen. Bis dahin, gehabt euch wohl und man liest sich =).
Let’s face it, Beppu is not like Nagasaki or Fukoka, Beppu means relaxing in a nice hot Onsen. Beppu also means no action and a very quite city core. After the loud invironment in Nagasaki, the relaxing atmosphere in Beppu was more than welcome to me, especially because the Hostels location is in the direct vicinity of the city center and a 3 min walk from the train station, but the roads here are infrequently used by cars, thanks to the highway following the coastline.
The bad thing about Beppu right now is just, that it rains quite much, 4 to 5 days a week. Hence I couldn’t do too much but focussing on my japanese, which improved pretty well, since I am here in Japan, but also connecting to some people in the Hostel. I planned to stay here for 2 weeks, to work for my accomodation again, and also get some pocketmoney for an extra hour a day, which is a nice thing. I stayed with the Beppu Guesthouse, a descent one, but very quite and the people here are always helpful and making one feel home =).
It also occured that I met a guy , who I first saw in Kagoshima, then in Nagasaki and now here in Beppu again. The third time pays for all, goes the saying! Hence we became quite good friends. His name is Sean and he’s from South Africa, check out his interesting Blog. He did also write some books, which I hadn’t have the chance to read yet. Together with his girlfriend from Japan, we had a great time, cooked together and went out too.
On one of my first days here (with still good weather conditions) I went up to the B-Con Plaza Tower. A 150 m high landmark, which cannot be overseen. It’s a bit southwest from the Train Station and at the end of the big Beppu Park. You should definitely go up there during nightfall, and have a look around the city. Spectacular, especially on a clear day (which were not that common during my time here).
I also tried some Onsen, just three though, but if you’re in Japan for 3 months already and have been in countless Onsen, somehow you lose the admiration for the japanese hotsprings. It becomes common and less attractive, unfortunately. But nevertheless do I have some recommendations to spit out^^. First of all is the Tategawara Onsen, which is a mere 5 minutes walk from the Guesthouse I am staying in. The way leads through the red light district but usually no one is catching up on you and trying to convince you to spend a huge amount of money. The building is pretty old, erected in 1938 but still beautiful to look at. The Onsen here and everywhere in the city center are bloody cheap. For a 100 Yen you may enter Tategawara. But unlike other Onsen or Sentos (public baths), this one does not provide showers or Shampoo, probably to stay true to its old charakter. There is also only one big basin, for the bath, but also the option to book a sandbath for 10 minutes (1.000 Yen, around 8 Euro), which should be better for the skin than a Sauna I was told. Nothing for me though, to expensive and probably more appropiate for woman anyway^^.
The second one is actually a Spa, and called Beppu Thermal Spa or Beppu Onsen. It’s located directly at the beach, around 15 minutes by foot, behind the big Asahi Tower. Enty fee is 510 Yen, but you can stay as long as it’s open^^. There are 3 indoor basins and some outdoor ones. Indoor is without any swimsuits, but for the outside you need to cover your private parts, not just because it is mixed but also because everyone from outside can have a peek, while walking by :D. There is also a Sauna included.
The third Onsen is a free one in the Mountains. You take the Bus from the Train Station (Number 5) to Myoban and get straight ahead (don’t follow the main road), following a mountain road. From the Bus stop it takes around half an hour to go up there but it’s worth it. Not just is the view over the city is very beautiful, but also the nature you’re in. It’s a grassy hillside, the only one which is not covered by trees actually. On the way you get warned several times, for there was a murder some 5 years ago, in which a woman was killed, since than, the big signboards are posted there. Just ignore them and hop over the the big upcoming fence and you already made it! You encounter a big hydrothermal area with colors in white, brown and yellowish and some other hues and the stench of sulfur. A bit hidden you may find two basins in which you can now get in and relax =). You may not be alone, many Japanese, but also foreigners are going there. However, it’s for free, and the first open air Onsen I encountered =). You’ll find many pictures if you follow this link to the German Version!
On another good day, I also went to Yufuin, roughly 10 km inland from here. My Intention was to climb up the roughly 1.500 m twinpeaks of Yufu-dake, but unfortunately it was closed off, due to the earthquakes 2 months ago… I was so hyped and thrilled to have an awesome view about the surroundings…. But nevertheless did I explore Yufuin afterwards which was nice too. There is mainly one big road with heaps of traditional and old stores leading all up to one big lake, kinda the main attraction in Yufuin. Heaps of tourists, mainly asians, and a little town with flair. You should definitely go there. I recommend to take the Bus from Beppu, it’s cheaper (one way 900 Yen, roundtrip 1.500 Yen) and takes „just“ 50 minutes. Plus you’ll get down from the mountains into the township, from where you may have a great view into the valley! Yufuin also provides Onsen, which where but to expensive for me to dive in^^. Beppu would be cheaper :D
Thus my two weeks here is ended, and somehow I will miss it, but I also look forward to the next three weeks in which I travel together with a friend from Germany and her daughter. Will be heaps of fun =). During this time I won’t be able to blog, so I’ll take some vacations! See you around =).