The Mystery World

mistyleafStarred Page By mistyleaf, 1st May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1bksn-ai/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Japan>Kyūshū

Have you ever been to Hells on earth? If not, let me show you where they are!

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.







Images Credits:

http://homepage3.nifty.com/sabapyon/ofs/ofs87.html - blood pond
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/photo_man/e/19a09169e0846c63c0c3b29be25ae987 - sea hell
http://www.kanpai.fr/japon/jigoku-meguri-beppu-enfers-onsen.html -oniishibozu
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

Tags

Beppu, Blood Pond, Boiling Hell, Cobalt Blue Hell, Demons Mountain, Geyser Hell, Giant Lilypads, Hot Springs, Hotspring Eggs, Japan, Kyushu, Sea Hell, Shaven Monks Head Hell, White Pond

Meet the author

author avatar mistyleaf
I'm self-employed as a translator/interpreter. ' I also write at <a
href="http://www.expertscolumn.com">Expertscolumn.com</a> '

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Comments

author avatar mistyleaf
1st May 2012 (#)

That was fast Steve. You made my day shining again. Thank you very much.

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author avatar Tess Irons
1st May 2012 (#)

If this is how hell looks like, I want to go there, Misty. Congrats on the star.

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author avatar mistyleaf
1st May 2012 (#)

Yeah, let's go to hell! Thank you. hugs!

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author avatar shallimarRose
1st May 2012 (#)

Beautiful write up and breathtaking pictures Misty. Well deserved.

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author avatar mistyleaf
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you sR.

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author avatar Noreen Ann Snyder
1st May 2012 (#)

Wow, Misty, beautiful pictures and thank you for a well written article!! You deserved a big star. Wow, And I didn't even know that they exist.
Have a great day, Misty!

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author avatar mistyleaf
1st May 2012 (#)

Thank you Noreen. Come to Japan and I will show you. *smile*

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author avatar Denise Larkin
1st May 2012 (#)

A fantastic page with some beautiful pictures. Really enjoyed this.

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author avatar mistyleaf
2nd May 2012 (#)

Thank you Denise. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
1st May 2012 (#)

absolutely fantastic pictures, words, descriptions...

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author avatar mistyleaf
2nd May 2012 (#)

Thank you for your nice comment Cn.

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author avatar Buzz
2nd May 2012 (#)

A hell of a STAR page, sis! Congrats! Yay.

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author avatar mistyleaf
2nd May 2012 (#)

That's a nice expression, Brother. lol. Thank you.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
2nd May 2012 (#)

Wow, great article and pictures, thanks misty:0)!

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author avatar mistyleaf
2nd May 2012 (#)

Thank you Delicia.

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author avatar Pradeep Kumar B
3rd May 2012 (#)

I had never heard about these places. This is a great information for me. The pictures are great. Thank you for sharing misty.

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author avatar mistyleaf
3rd May 2012 (#)

They are not very famous internationally but to the Japanese, they are. Thank you Pradeep.

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author avatar hussainanchal
4th May 2012 (#)

Very informative points, this is the first time i come to know about these wonders of the nature.

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author avatar mistyleaf
4th May 2012 (#)

Thank you Hussain.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
5th May 2012 (#)

Very informative post and fascinating pictures.

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author avatar mistyleaf
5th May 2012 (#)

Thank you GV.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
5th May 2012 (#)

I just read this again Misty and experienced the beauty and passion in Nature's gifts to us
you are so fortunate being near these beauiful and cruel places...

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author avatar mistyleaf
5th May 2012 (#)

I thank God that He brought me to this place but unfortunately, I've not been to these places yet. I love nature and the only way that I can express my feeling about it is through writing. Thanks for reading again. Forgive me for not being around often to read your articles. I'm preparing some documents that I need in my work this coming weeks. When I finish everything, I will drop by your page and say hello. Thank you Cn.

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