Text | Fiona M. King Photography | Fiona M. King, Hyotan Onsen
Hyotan Onsen is located only a 15-minute walk away from Jigoku Mushi Kobo, which I wrote about HERE. Touted as the only Michelin 3-star onsen in Japan and “the most beautiful hot spring facility in Beppu”, Hyotan Onsen offers a wide variety of options for the hot spring enthusiast.
There are 16 different types of baths (8 each for men and women) in the main bathhouse. Some of them feature waterfalls with water coming directly from the hot spring.
There are also nine family bathhouses, including four indoor baths and five outdoors. They are all beautifully designed and offer privacy for families and small groups, or even an individual who desires complete seclusion. We opted for the “Hibiki” room and enjoyed its spacious setting. The onsen in our room was great and the water was warm and silky. The whole experience was very enjoyable and relaxing.
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One unique thing about the Hyotan Onsen is its sand bath. Sand baths are rare in the world and Hyotan Onsen is one of the few places that offers one. Essentially you bury yourself in the sand and get heated up by the steam of the hot springs. Unfortunately due to our train schedule we didn’t have time to try it. There’s also a restaurant on the property, where you can dine wearing the yukata after finishing your onsen session.
We had such as a good time that we are already planning our return to Hyotan Onsen. It is a unique place that really requires a full day to enjoy.
The town of Beppu, which is famously known for its eight geothermal hot springs (or onsen) collectively referred to as the “eight hells of Beppu”, is located about 2.5 hours south-east of Fukuoka. From Fukuoka, take the Limited Express Train Sonic by JR Kyushu. Take a taxi to get to Hyotan Onsen from the Beppu Station (about 40 minutes).
159-2 Kannawa, Beppu-shi, Oita-ken