Understanding the working spa town of Beppu is in some ways to understand Japan. Quaint yet crowded, traditional and modern, Beppu remains what it has always been: a place to which people escape. Perhaps the most popular onsen in Japan, over 11 million people every year go to Beppu to relax and rejuvenate in one of the cityâ€™s 83 public bathhouses. They sit in mud baths up to their necks, they bury themselves in hot black sand and soak in hot springs. They even drink hot spring water and eat food cooked by its steam. One of the most popular baths is the Takegawara Onsen, a bath house built in the Meiji period with both hot springs baths and sand baths. Bathing reigns supreme here and we suggest you join the fun. After all, going to Beppu and not enjoying the baths would be like going to a world class restaurant with your own TV dinner. When youâ€™re not relaxing in a bath, you can visit the Beppu Jigoku (Beppu Hells), named after the Buddhist name for hell. And a hell on earth it is. This collection of nine hot springs, each with its own personality, is grouped together in central Beppu. There is the sea-blue Sea Hell, the red Blood Hell, the White Hell, and well, you get the idea.