[Interview] Hot Springs With Crocodiles!?

One of the most famous sightseeing spots in Beppu is the Beppu “Hells Tour.” On this tour, you can see the colorful Sea Hell and Blood Pond Hell, which are very popular places to take photos for Instagram. This has made it a hot tourist destination.

However, are you satisfied just looking at all these hot springs? This time, we will explore attractions that you can see during your Hell Tour. By reading this, you will definitely be able to have more fun when you go on this tour, and it will make you want to come and revisit if you have already been.

On this tour, the Oniyama Hell is a bit different than the other hells. This time, instead of talking about the famous Sea Hell we will discuss the charms of the Oniyama Hell. Read this article to find out what makes it so special!

To describe the Oniyama Hell in a few words for our busier readers, Oniyama Hell is a tourist attraction that breeds crocodiles using hot springs.

“I have a pet crocodile!” Not many people get to say that, do they? Powerful crocodiles like the one in the picture live in the Oniyama Hell.

Well, I visited Oniyama as a tourist, but I had some concerns:
“I feel bad for the crocodiles living in such a narrow place. Crocodiles are pretty scary after all,”
and other such thoughts.

Because of this, I had things that I wanted to know, so this time…

I interviewed the keeper!
In order to understand the charms of this place, I decided to interview the crocodile keeper at Oniyama Hell! Please look below for our interview!

Interviewer: Hello! thank you for agreeing to speak with me today!

Keeper: Thank you for interviewing me!

Interviewer: Please tell us about your crocodiles! When did you start keeping them?

Keeper: We started keeping crocodiles here in 1922, so we will have our 100 year anniversary in just a few years!

Interviewer: Wow! 100 years! it’s so impressive that you have been able to keep it up for that long.

Keeper: Yes, in the beginning, we brought crocodiles here from Malaysia, and one of them lived until he was 73! He was also extremely large, at around 7 meters long. Now we call him Ichirou, and he is preserved and on display inside.

Interviewer: Even though he is stuffed, he still looks so powerful! You said his name is Ichirou, but do all the crocodiles have their own names?

Keeper: Of course! We give them all names when they hatch.

Interviewer: It’s almost like they are your own children! But how do you tell them apart? They all look the same to me…

Keeper: Not at all! The patterns on the back, face, and the tail are all different.

Interviewer: Ah i see, excuse me… On that note, how many crocodiles are bred?

Keeper: Right now I have 79 crocodiles. My favorite is the handsome Go-kun.

Interviewer: Is there really such a thing as a handsome crocodile? (He seems like he really loves his crocodiles….)

Interviewer: I have a bit of a silly question, but as I was walking around I couldn’t help but think the crocodiles are scary, and feel bad that they are kept in such a small enclosure. What do you think?

Keeper: Ah, I can see why you would have those opinions. For me, I want to know more about crocodiles so as to not misunderstand them. I do not feel bad about keeping them in an enclosure because we are trying to protect and breed the crocodiles since they are endangered. During the breeding season, it makes it easier to look around at night and use an artificial incubator to help hatch the eggs.

The crocodile is scary, especially right now from May to July, since it is time to lay eggs and the crocodiles are easily angered. But dogs are also animals, so for us, they are still our cute pets. That’s why I like crocodiles and try to be near them.

Interviewer: That’s right, thank you for explaining so politely! Finally, do you have anything you want to say to the people who come here?

Keeper: Yes! Crocodiles usually do not move very much, so we would like to ask you to not throw tea or stones on them to try and make them move. They are alive too, so it makes me sad to see them treated this way. Please enjoy Oniyama Hell while respecting each other!

Interviewer: I see! It is important to remember your manners and treat the crocodiles with respect in order to have a fun time at the Oniyama Hell! Than you so much for speaking with me today!

Keeper: Thank you!

Did you enjoy that? The Oniyama Hell is protected by a friendly keeper who loves crocodiles! I hope that everyone is now inspired to go visit Oniyama Hell!

That’s all for this time!

For more information of the Hells Tour, please check here:https://enjoyonsen.city.beppu.oita.jp/hell-tour/

For more information of Oniyama hell, please check here: https://enjoyonsen.city.beppu.oita.jp/most-thrilling-jigoku-oniyama-jigoku/
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