Beppu Onsen Hoyoland is not just a regular onsen; in addition to a milky white onsen in the interior, there is also both an indoor separated mud bath and an outdoor mixed mud bath, along with a sauna. In this article, we will introduce this novel onsen, and how to navigate a traditional mixed gender hot spring.
This onsen is very traditional, so there once you enter the bath room you will notice there are no western style showers. Be sure to use the water outside the bath to rinse the dirt from your body before entering the bath. Watch the people around you to see how you should do this, and if you are not sure, then feel free to ask someone nearby “kore de atte imasu ka?” which means “am I doing this correctly?”
Now we get to the exciting part; actually entering the onsen! This first bath may seem hot to those who are not used to onsen, but if you slowly ease your body into the water, then you will adjust to the temperature. This is a great way to build up a higher tolerance to onsen water, which will allow you to enjoy even more onsen, both within Beppu and across Japan.
After you have enjoyed the first indoor bath, then you head down a small flight of stairs to the rest of the onsen. First, you will see the indoor mud bath. If you are not comfortable with going outside to the mixed section then this is a good place to stop. However, at all the baths in this onsen, you will want to watch your step getting in, as there are stairs leading into the bath that are almost impossible to see in the murky water.
At the outdoor bath, there will be an enclosed path for the women that leads outside. Women get to enter the water while still inside the enclosed area, and because the water is so muddy there is no chance of anyone seeing anything once you get outside as long as you stay low. For men, there is no enclosed entrance, so you must walk across a short area of exposed area before getting into the water. The sections for each gender are separated by a bamboo railing in the center of the pool.
The mud in this onsen is extremely good for your skin, making it smooth, soft, and just appear more youthful.
Although just bathing in the water is good, if you really want to reap the full benefits of this onsen, you should scoop some of the mud up from the bottom and rub it into your skin. It will act as both an exfoliant and a mask, leaving you even more refreshed than you would feel after entering the average onsen.
The male and female portions of this onsen, although they share the same water, are separated by a bamboo railing running through the center of the pool. This is a good onsen to try out if you are travelling with a friend or partner of the opposite gender, as you can enjoy the onsen together.
Once you have had your fill of the onsen, be sure to rinse the mud off of your body at the indoor mud bath before heading back inside to the normal onsen, from there, you can dry off, put your clothes back on, and head to the tatami room to chat with locals over a cool glass of milk. This truly a unique experience, and an amazing way to get a look into Japanese culture.
OPEN：9:00〜19:00 (Last entry) / FEE：1,100yen / TATTOO：Small tattoos only; please use personal discretion
How to get to Beppu, where Beppu Onsen Hoyoland is located
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