The Mystery World
Have you ever been to Hells on earth? If not, let me show you where they are!
- Beppu, the home of hot springs
- Umi Jigoku ( Sea Hell )
- Ohiishibozu Jigoku (Shaven Monk's Head)
- Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell)
- Yama Jigoku (Mountain Hell)
- Kamado Jigoku (Cooking Pot Hell)
- Oniyama Jigoku (Monster Mountain Hell)
- Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell)
- Tatsumaki Jigoku (Geyser Hell)
- Kinryu Jigoku ( Golden Dragon Hell)
Beppu, the home of hot springs
When you talk about Beppu, it's hot spring. This small town of 140,000 inhabitants in out-of-beaten track Oita Prefecture would definitely not figure on a tourist map were it not for the astonishing geothermal activity underneath it, that has made its fortune.
There are no less than 3000 thermal springs in Beppu, attracting 12 million (almost exclusively Japanese) tourists annually. But Beppu isn't just any hot spring resort.
The vast area stretching from Beppu Bay through Kujyu, Aso to Shimabara Peninsula is a rift valley. Around 30,000 years ago the active volcano brought the geothermal activities that later caused two big faults on the landform. These faults and the volcanic activities of Mt. Tsurumi and Mt. Garan caused the underground magma to gush the heat upwards to make high temperatures and high-pressure puddles of water thousands of meters underground. The rainwater, once it has seeped into the soil, reaches this puddle of volcanically-heated waters and gushes out again absorbing various minerals on the way. It is said that it takes an estimated 30 years for rainwater to surface as hot springs.
The city is famous for its plethora of natural onsens (hot springs) for bathing. The "hell" tour is a must for visitors to the area. Please note, these hot springs are definitely not for bathing, but for boiling!
The word "jigoku" literally translates to "burning hell" as used in ancient Buddhist sutras.
The "hells" of Beppu are 9 spectacular hot springs for viewing rather than bathing. They are presented to visitors in a rather touristy fashion, which might not appeal to everybody. Seven of the hells are located in the Kannawa district and two in the more remote Shibaseki district.
Though looks can be deceiving...the surrounding landscape of these hot springs, and the hot springs themselves depicts a natural beauty that may be more in line with visions of Heaven rather than Hell.
Umi Jigoku ( Sea Hell )
Umi is a Japanese word for sea and jigoku is hell.
The "sea hell" features a pond of hot, blue water. It is one of the most beautiful hells. It was formed over 1300 years ago.
The hot spring eggs made here are very popular. The "Jigoku pudding "made by the steam of this Jigoku is highly recommended. There is also an "ashiyu" (foot-bath) recommended as well. It was the first place to be designated as scenic beauty that is related to hot spring.
A shrine and lake is also in the compound with beautifully manicured gardens.
Ohiishibozu Jigoku (Shaven Monk's Head)
This hell is named after the mud bubbles, which emerge from boiling mud pools and look like the shaven heads of monks.
Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell)
The "white pond hell" takes its name from the water that spouts from the ground and turns a creamy white color. Japanese gardens surround this boiling pond making you question whether you are in heaven...or hell.
Yama Jigoku (Mountain Hell)
Plumes of steam gust from the cracks in this large mountain of mud formed over many years. When the steam clears images of dancing lions, hippos and chimpanzees can be seen in the mountain formation.
Kamado Jigoku (Cooking Pot Hell)
Guarded by a demon standing on top of a huge cooking pot. Word has that this Jigoku is where bad people met their grisly fate by being tossed alive into one of the few small bubbling springs in the area.
Oniyama Jigoku (Monster Mountain Hell)
The force of steam coming from this spring is enough to pull one and a half train cars. It is also home to a variety of alligators and crocodiles with favorable breeding conditions because of the water's temperature.
Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pond Hell)
This is Japan's oldest natural jigoku and takes its name from the blood-like color of the spring. The clay is so hot that the steam coming from the spring is also red. The red clay that comes from this spring also has therapeutic qualities and is used as ointment for some skin diseases.
Tatsumaki Jigoku (Geyser Hell)
A geyser which spouts boiling water and steam at short intervals. It erupts every 45 minutes or so and it lasts for about 7~10 minutes. It has a temperature of about 105 degrees Celsius
The hot water gushing out is regulated by a roof but without it the water has enough strength to burst over 50 meters.
Kinryu Jigoku ( Golden Dragon Hell)
This spring is featured with a steaming dragon. The steam is supplied by the steam of the spring and is directed out of the dragon’s nostrils. The dragon gives the illusion of flying when water spouts out at sunrise.
http://homepage3.nifty.com/sabapyon/ofs/ofs87.html - blood pond
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/photo_man/e/19a09169e0846c63c0c3b29be25ae987 - sea hell
http://farm1.staticflickr.com/97/270936792_6d5ea15838_z.jpg - mountain hell
http://bungo.or.jp/don2gawa/memopad/kumo5/zigoku/30siraike.jpg - white pond
http://www.gammaru.com/gammaru/image/oniyama0.JPG -monster mountain hell
http://kkb.la.coocan.jp/car/kyuusyuu2004/20040426/060.jpg -cooking pot hell
http://www.archigny.net/galerie/albums/japon2008-beppu/R0406_Beppu_-_kinryu_jigoku_dragon.jpg - golden dragon hell
http://img.blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ybi/1/32/5e/fugufugu2003jp/folder/1494296/img_1494296_63279842_2?1274981347 -geyser hell
Thank you mistyleaf