Jan 23, 2012

The Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Beppu Ropeway)

'Shichi Fuku Jin' are the seven gods of good fortune which bring people good luck. It came out from syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism.'Shichi' means 'seven', 'Fuku' means 'good luck' and 'Jin' means 'god' in Japanese.

One of them, 'Daikokuten', who put his foot on bags of rice with a lucky hammer and a big sack in his hands is the god of success in business and matchmaking.

Another one, 'Fukurokujyu', who has an abnormally high forehead is the god of happiness, wealth and longevity.

There are many places that have Shichi Fuku Jin statues in Japan, even on Mt. Tsurumi located in the Aso-Kujyu National Park.
You can walk along the trail toward the top of Mt. Tsurumi from the mountaintop station to visit them while enjoying the seasonal landscape.

It takes 20 minutes by local bus from Beppu station to the foot of Mt. Tsurumi and 10 minutes by ropeway to get the mountaintop station.


Jan 5, 2012

Series - "Onsen Town Beppu Is Ready To Welcome You!"

Part 2 : Lodging

Lodging is very important for the tourists to enjoy both sightseeing and Onsen in Beppu. Your first choice will be “minshuku” (also called as toujiyado) , guest house or “ryokan”, Japanese style inn.
Beppu Down Town

You can stay at ryokan overnight with two meals for about 15,000 yen. Ryokan usually serves “kaiseki ryori”, a formal Japanese dinner. It will enchant you with a series of Japanese dishes served in a tiny, pretty china plates. While drinking Japanese sake, to have “kaiseki ryori” after Onsen bathing will give you a wonderful memory of Japan. 

Meanwhile, overnight at “minshuku” costs some 10,000 yen including two meals (dinner and breakfast). At “minshuku” you will enjoy home-cooked meals. If you are lucky, the landlady will cook for you by herself. Sometimes, you can stay at “minshuku” with room charge only, if you prefer. It costs about 5,000 yen and instead of a bed, you sleep on “futon” (Japanese sleeping mattress) spread on “tatami” mat. Many ryokan and minshuku are available in Kannawa area, one of Beppu’s eight major hot spring areas. As Kannawa is the center of Jigoku tour, the major sightseeing spots in Beppu, to stay there is very convenient for you to see Jigoku on the day and after.

Around the JR Beppu station, there are many modern hotels and ryokans. Meanwhile, hotels and ryokans standing at Beppu bay side provide you gorgeous view from open-air bath in the hotel. The range of the room charges of those hotels and ryokans is from 6,000 yen to 8,000 yen. They all have western style rooms and facilities.

For those who prefer economy class lodging, Beppu provides you of business hotels (about 4,000 yen) or dormitory type inns (from 1,500 yen) within 15 minute walk from JR Beppu station. Some economy class hotels or inns have in-house Onsen.(KI/KK)