Japan
Oita

Here you’ll find travel reports about Oita. Discover travel destinations in Japan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

16 travelers at this place:

  • Day17

    Beppu, Stadt der Onsen

    April 21 in Japan

    Onsen, die heißen Quellen bzw. öffentlichen Bäder, haben in meinem Blog noch keinen Platz erhalten, weil ich es noch nicht gewagt hatte, dieses japanische Nationalheiligtum zu betreten. Dafür bin ich nach Beppu gereist, einer Stadt unweit des Mount Aso, einem noch sehr aktiven Vulkan. Entsprechend blubbert, dampft und zischt es hier überall, allerdings mit einer Wucht, wie ich sie noch nicht erlebt habe.
    In Beppu unterscheidet man zwei Arten von Onsen: Die Höllen (jingu), und die normalen Onsen.
    Die Höllen sind sehr heiß und beinhalten verschiedene Mineralien, sodass sie zum Baden ungeeignet zu reinen Touristenattraktionen geworden sind. Wir haben auf Reisen ja nun schon einige vulkanische Quellen gesehen, aber es ist immer wieder ein Ereignis. Interessant ist auch, wie die Länder damit umgehen. In Japan ist es jedenfalls einen Touristen-Gaudi. Es gibt kleine Shows, tropische Zoos (wo die Tiere unter recht schlechten Bedingungen gehalten werden), schöne Gärten, Gemeinschaftsfußbäder und natürlich Essen, das im heißen Dampf gegart wurde.
    Die normalen Onsen sind nichts anderes als öffentliche Bäder. Nicht selten gibt es in den traditionelleren Hostels nur eine Dusche mit dem Hinweis, Japaner würden sie eh nicht nutzen, sondern das benachbarte Onsen besuchen. Hier gilt es ein paar Regeln zu beachten, was in Beppu wieder ein Abenteuer war, weil die englischen Erklärungen nicht ausreichten und ich mir statt dessen von einer alten japanischen Dame zeigen ließ, wie es geht. Zuerst muss man das japanische Zeichen für "Frauen" erkennen und ins richtige Bad gehen. Dort zieht man sich splitternackt aus (deswegen gibts dazu auch keine Fotos) und geht in den Badebereich, der aus einem Becken mit heißem (!) Wasser besteht. Bevor man hineinsteigt, soll man sich allerding gründlich reinigen. Die Frage war nur: wie eigentlich? Es gibt nämlich keine Duschen und nur wenige Wasserhähne. Man schnappt sich also ein sehr kleines Plastikhöckerschen und eine Schale, stellt das Höckerchen irgendwo auf die freie Fläche am Beckenrand und setzt sich, schöpft Wasser aus dem Becken oder dem Wasserhahn, seift sich fröhlich ein und übergießt sich anschließend mithilfe der Schale. Dann steigt man uns Becken, genießt das heiße Wasser, kühlt sich am Beckenrand ab und wiederholt dies, bis man völlig aufgeweicht ist. Ein schönes Detail: Bevor man sich anzieht kann, kann man sich von einem Ventilator abkühlen lassen!
    In Beppu gab es noch Besonderheiten: ein Bad mit Vulkanschlamm, superheiße Dampfbäder sowie Sandbäder. Bei letzterem bekommt man zunächst eine Art Bademantel an und wird dann 15 Minuten in warmem feuchten Vulkansand begraben. Wirklich sehr entspannend!
    Um so viel Entspannung auch genießen zu können, bin ich natürlich wieder durch wunderschöne Wälder auf ein Gipfel, den Mt. Tsurumi, gestiegen😁.
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  • Day112

    Kyushu, Japan

    September 2, 2017 in Japan

    We made it to Japan! We rented a car with our friend Edwin and embarked on a road trip around Japan's southern most island of Kyushu. Our first day was very eventful. First, our short flight over was delayed from 3pm until 2:45am (damn you cheap airlines)! After about two hours of sleep, we arrived in Fukuaka. We checked into our hotel for a few more hours of sleep. We woke up again about 5 minutes before our check out time and we had just enough time to throw on clothes from the night before when we had a knock on our door. It was the hotel manager asking us in Japanese to do some sort of interview (we quickly discovered that almost no one speaks English in the south of Japan). We hesitantly consented and found ourselves ambushed by a full news crew with cameras rolling. With bags under our eyes, I think we gave an interview about our opinions on the hotel not serving dinner? It was a very confusing but funny experience.

    That out of the way, we knew Japan was going to be a good time. We spent the next few days in our rental car exploring quaint towns and villages. We enjoyed a gondola ride and an impromptu two hour hike to a temple on a mountain. It is amazing how similar to New Zealand this area of Japan is. We spent one day (Edwin's birthday!) eating our way through a beautiful mountain town and perusing the unique shops full of anime, hello kitty, and chop sticks.

    One of my favorite parts about Japan is the public bath houses. Everywhere we stayed they had these mini spas that are separated based on gender. You shower very thoroughly before you get into the giant hot pool fully naked. Proper etiquette is to not make eye contact or talk to anyone else in the pool. Once bathed, you put on your kimono and take time to relax. I'm told most Japanese people do this twice a day.

    We also spent a day exploring an active volcano - Mt. Aso. We had fun walking through the tall grass, watching the horses play, and taking in Japan's natural beauty.

    Japan is truly full of the 'weird and wonderful.' As we went on our road trip, I made a list of the strange things I saw:

    -Construction workers dressed as ninjas
    -Air conditioned jackets (they had a fan on the side)
    -Women wearing arm sun protectors
    -Adult women talking like babies
    -Japanese toilets with a button to make a 'flushing' sound
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  • Day36

    Ferry

    June 13, 2016 in Japan

    It was already time to leave Shikoku again and set off for Kyushu or more specifically Beppu. When i was planning my trip i figured some days of rest would be welcome after Tokyo, Osaka and the Shimanami Kaido. And what better place to do this in one of the most renowned onsen towns. I had two options to get there. One was by train but it would be a long way around. The other was by ferry which was a bit more expensive but shorter and i figured also a nice experience. So i opted for the ferry. I had to take a train to get to the port of Yawatahama first and was surprised by the beauty of the surrounding mountains. The morning fog made it even more beautiful. I arrived at the ferry port just after 8am only to find out that the first ferry would not leave until 10.15am. So much for waking up early to catch the earlies ferry. There was nothing to do but wait and kill time by working on my blog and trying to catch some sleep. The ticket window opend an hour before departure and after filling in a form with my personal information i bought myself a 2nd class ticket for the ferry.
    The ferry arrived and we got the sign to get onboard. After the obligatory ticket check i climbed the stairs to enter the ferry. I made sure to get onboard asap so i would get a seat with a nice view. But to my surprise there were only about seats for eight people, the rest of the interior was just basically an elevated floor where you had to take your shoes off and take one of the square pillows so you could comfortably lay down. I was suprised at first but soon realised that this was actually a pretty good idea. The ferry ride would last over 3 hours and only the first and last couple of minutes would be interesting. The biggest part of the journey was quite boring with nothing to see except the waves. So the best thing would be sleeping anyway. :-)
    After a nice nap and some working on my blog the boat had arrived at the terminal in Beppu. I left the ferry and set off to walk into the town. I had read there was a really nice aquarium in Beppu and took the bus from Beppu station to go see some fish. The aquarium itself is not that big but nicely setup with some interesting themed basins with underwaterlife from all over the world. There was even a very nice coral display with live coral, something you don't see everyday as coral is not that easy to grow in an aquarium.
    It had gotten time to get to the hostel and after check-in it was time for a shower and a short power nap. I noticed in the hall there were some tips for local activities and restaurants and i noticed one about a local Gyoza restaurant. Gyoza are fried dumplings of Chinese origin. I've had them a couple of times before as a side dish and these things are absolutely delicious. And to get a plateful of these little wonders for only 600 yen was something i could not resist. The restaurant was easy to find and there is no menu. The lady behind the counter only asks how many portions you want and if you want a beer with it. Now it may sound strange that a restaurant only serves one dish but it's not that uncommon and after trying the first you won't have any problems with the lack of choice. These dumplings are insanely good! The whole plate was gone within a minute even though i got in a converstation with Shinichisan, a local from Beppu. On the way back to the hostel i grabbed me a couple of cold brewskis. In the hostel's common room i met Daisy and Sunshine and wast later joined by Toshi and some other folks for some good talks before getting some well deserved sleep.
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  • Day37

    Orandajin

    June 14, 2016 in Japan

    I had planned two days in Beppu and figured one day of onsens would be more than enough for me. So i chose to do something a bit more active but still not too crowded today. I read about stone Buddhas in a small town calles Usuki just an hour south op Beppu and thought this would be the ideal spot for me to be active and still get some rest. Trains to smaller places don't go very often in these surroundings and because i lacked to check the schedule i had to wait almost an hour for the first train. As i arrived at Usuki i found al the bus schedules to be in Japanese only and so i asked the friendly lady from the tourist office if she could help me out a little bit. She very enthousiastically started to tell me about the area and all the things to see and do. After a while she showed me the busroute and explained that the next bus to the stone Buddhas would soon depart from the station. The busstop was only a few steps away from the station and as the bus arrived i was the only passenger to board it. That remained so until the bus arrived at the final stop at the stone Buddhas. I got a ticket at the entrance gate and the lady was apparantly surprised to see a foreigner because she asked me where i was from and was surprised when i told her i was from Oranda. She was friendly enought to point me to the entrance of the stone Buddha park and soon i was on my way. Most of the signs and boards were in kanji but it was still a spectacular sight to see the Buddhas carved out from the rocks. I walked around for more than an hour and made sure i visited all the statues. I was a really relaxing and inspiring site to walk around in. I wrote a small note in one of the guestbooks. I had seen a small restaurant on the way up to the place and as i had to wait another 45 minutes for the bus figured it would be a nice place to have lunch. I entered the restaurant and heard 3 people from different places in the restaurant yell "Orandajin!" which means "Dutch person!" I guess I was the news of the day in this very small place. :-)
    I order lunch and got a really simple but delicious and hearty vegetable meal. It had all kinds of locally picked vegetables, fresh and pickled with rice and miso soup. As the bus was about to come i left the restaurant and the lady from the ticketwindow was so friendly to recheck the bus schedule for me. One bus and trainride and i was back in Beppu again. It was getting late in the afternoon and after hunting for some nice Beppu t-shirts i went back to the hostel to meet up with all the folks from yesterday evening. Sunshine suggested to go to a park and relax and play some baseball and volleyball which sounded like a great idea. I went to bed tired but satisfied. This was just the day i needed. :-)
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  • Day38

    Sand

    June 15, 2016 in Japan

    We had agreed to do some sporty activities today together and the plan was to gather in the hostel's common room at around 2.30pm. That would leave me plenty time to do two special onsens today. The first one being a sand bath at the beach. I figured this would be a good one to start with as it was relatively close to the hostel and a good base from where to get to the second onsen. Rina, a guest from the onsen, told me how to find the place and after a short walk from the trainstation i found myself in the sand bath place. I got a short explanation at the ticket booth. Basically what you do is wash yourself like you do before you enter an onsen and only put on the yukata that is provided to you. The sandbath itself is mixed gender and that is probably also the reason why you keep your yukata on at all times. Even when you are buried in sand.
    I entered the sandbasin and was instructed to lay down in a small pit that was already dug. Once i layed down. the ladies began to bury me in hot black vulcanic sand. It was a really weird sensation. Almost like somebody covers you with a really heavy electric blanket. And even though the sand was not that hot, the fact that it covered my entire body except my head made me sweat profusely. You stay buried for around 15 minutes which was enough for me. The ladies checked up on me every couple of minutes or so. I don't know if it was standard procedure or because they saw me sweating like a hog. :-P Finally the sign was given and with some instructions from the crew i was able to free myself from the sand. I couldn't wait to get under the shower since the sand was everywhere. I rinsed of all the sand from the yukata and also myself and after getting dressed i went on to the next onsen. It was called Hoyo onsen and although it's quite far from the center of Beppu it's still a favourite among onsen frequenters because beside the normal onsens it also has an mud onsen. This was something i just had to try! My google maps app said it was only one walk away and so i decided to walk to the onsen. Wat Google maps forgot to mention, however, was the fact that the entire walk was uphill for one hour straight. I was still sweating from the sandbath and walking uphill in the scorching sun made me sweat even more. I think i drank two liters of water without even having to pee once.
    I finally arrived at the onsen and quickly found my way to the outside mud onsen bath. Now my experience has tought me always to be careful as the bottom of the onsen is not always visible and almost always treachourous since it's made up of natural stone. And of course after two steps in i slipped and fell head first in the muddy water. Obviously onsens are a serious thing so nobody laughed out loud but i am pretty sure most of the folks had to hold in their laughs seeing me go down. the bath itself was surprisingly nice and not smelly at all. It is said to give you a smooth and clean skin so that's always good. I had to leave the onsen pretty early because the way back would also be an hour walk and it was already half past one in the afternoon. The walk back to the hostel was nice as it gave me a chance to cool down a bit. As i got back to the hostel, most of the group was already there and we set off to the baseball batting venue first. There were several pitching machines with various speeds and effects. I found it pretty hard to actually hit the ball right, although i managed to hit some homeruns. ;-) I played some airhockey with Rinasan and after a short game of pingpong we walked back. Halfway through the walk we found a bamboo forest with some loose bamboo and Toshi thought it would be nice to bring some bamboo with us to use as decoration for the hostel. He carried these three meter long bamboo stalks all the way back to the hostel, sometimes blocking traffic when we crossed a road. We stopped to get some beer and went on to a park to play some volleybal. It was already getting dark and it was time to get back to the hostel. Rinasan and i decided we had walked enough and took the bus while the others walked the last bit. Rinasan went straight back to the hostel and I wanted to get one more portion of those delicious Gyoza i ate two days ago. Unfortunately the restaurant was closed and so i had to make do with a salad and some beer from the local konbini. When i got back at the hostel the others were already there and after watching a Japanese dubbed episode of Knight Rider and some more beers i went to bed. Again knackered. ;-)
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  • Day17

    Mächtig viel Rauch...

    May 14, 2017 in Japan

    ...steigt unablässig aus unzähligen Rohren, Gullideckeln, Schornsteinen, Badebecken (Onsen) und sogar ganzen Teichen empor, im großen Kur- und Badeort Beppu auf Kyushu, der südwestlichen Hauptinsel Japans.
    Die sich aus 99 Grad heißem Thermalwasser füllenden Teiche werden hier als Höllen (jigoku) bezeichnet und entsprechend vermarktet. Es gibt blau-milchige, rot-bräunliche, schlammige und wild blubbernde, die man sich alle gegen Eintrittsgeld anschauen kann. Teilweise leider in Verbindung mit unterschiedlichen Tieren, die hier auf unwürdige Art in kleinen Käfigen oder Aquarien gehalten und ausgestellt werden.
    Es gibt auch ein Ticket mit dem man sich gleich 7 solcher Orte mit Preisvorteil anschauen kann. Nachdem ich mir bereits den ersten ziemlich heruntergekommenen Teich mit den zugehörigen Aquarien angesehen hatte und mir an der nächsten Kasse das Sammelticket angeboten wurde, überlegte ich, ob sich das noch lohnen würde. Während ich noch unentschlossen war, sagte die Dame am Schalter in ihrem Wortbrocken-Englisch etwas von "include alligator farm", was mir augenblicklich half mich gegen das Ticket und für ein normales Einzelticket zu entscheiden. Kaum war ich dann durchs Tor eingetreten und am ersten brodelnden rauchenden Becken vorbeigelaufen, stellte ich fest, dass dies hier die Krokodilfarm war! Mist, das kommt davon, wenn man nichts von den Schildern am Eingang versteht und nicht ganz genau hinschaut, worum es hier eigentlich geht. Ich sollte zukünftig sowohl bei der Auswahl des Essens als auch beim Kaufen von Eintrittskarten doch nochmal genauer hinschauen, um was es sich eigentlich genau handelt ;o)

    Der Reichtum an heißen Quellen in Beppu und insbesondere im Stadtteil Kanawa, wo mein Ryokan-Gasthaus liegt, ist wirklich beeindruckend. Neben vielen kleinen öffentlichen Bädern, kann man sich hier auch in heißem Sand eingraben, auf dampfdurchströhmtes duftendes Heu legen, die Füße in spezielle Dampfbäder stecken, die es direkt am Weg gibt, Fußbäder nehmen, das sehr mineralienhaltige salzige heiße Wasser direkt trinken oder sogar an den fest gemauerten Kochstationen sein Essen im Wasserdampf kochen.

    Ich muss zugeben, dass mir das dann doch etwas zuviel war und ich nur einen kleinen Teil des Angebots ausgeschöpft habe - trotz meines zweitägigen Aufenthaltes.
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  • Day18

    Das Werk von Hayao Miyazaki...

    May 15, 2017 in Japan

    Überall begegnet man hier in Japan den Melodien und Figuren der unvergesslichen Studio Ghibli Filme, die inzwischen auch in Deutschland einigermaßen bekannt sind (zumindest beim jüngeren Publikum, wo ich mich nicht mehr hinzu zähle). In Japan kennt sie aber jeder, weshalb ich bereits im Frühstücksraum des Hotels in Tokio am 2. Urlaubstag eine Glockenspielversion eines Stücks aus "Totoro" hörte, dann wieder etwas aus "Ponyo" oder "Chihiro" im Supermarkt, immer wieder in den Fenstern der Häuser oder auf dem Sofa im Guesthouse sitzen Plüschfiguren (insbesondete aus "Kikis Delivery service" und "Totoro" und dann natürlich die Geschäfte, die alles Erdenkliche zu den Filmen verkaufen - von den Figuren, Plüschtieren, Fingerpuppen, über komplette Porzellan Service, Brotdosen, Thermosflaschen, Babykleidung, Handtücher, Gesellschaftsspiele, bis hin zu Krawatten und Businessuhren für den Geschäftsmann.

    Ich muss zugeben, dass ich die ersten Filme schon seit bald 20 Jahren liebe und sie zu den schönsten Trickfilmen überhaupt zähle (besser als jeder Disney Film). Das Spannende ist nun aber für mich, dass ich auf meiner Reise durch Japan nicht nur diese offensichtlichen Zusammenhänge zu den Filmen finde, sondern auch viele indirekte Verbindungen, indem ich mich hier immer wieder an Filme erinnert fühle. Dies kann z. B. ein Reisfeld, ein dunkler Wald mit moosbedeckten Steinen, ein alter Schrein, eine grimmig blickende Geisterfigur, ein Bahnübergang, ein kleines Schulkind mit der hier so typischen gelben Mütze, eine schwarze Katze oder ein altes japanisches Holzhaus mit Tatamiboden und Schiebetüren sein. Das liegt sicherlich an den vielen Dingen aus der japanischen Kultur, Tradition und Landschaft, die die Filme offensichtlich gut aufgenommen und wiedergegeben haben.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Oita Prefecture, Oita, Préfecture de Oita, 大分県, 오이타 현

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