Apr 22, 2013

Beppu Hatto Walk (2) Asami Romantic Walk

Many foreign tourists like to visit Japanese shrines and temples. Asami Shrine is one of the best choices for them. It is located at the edge of Beppu Onsen area, one of the  Beppu Hatto. Many local people visit there to pray for good fortune all through the year. To walk around Asami shrine and its neighboring area is a fun for toursits.
It is a 15 minute-walk away from JR Beppu station west exit. At this time of the year, people can enjoy watching fresh green tree leaves and many kinds of flowers at their best. 

The main shrine 
An over 1000-year-old camphor tree(A god is believed to dwell in it.) 
 A married couple of cedars  
If you stand in front of the big tree, you will feel secret air
and get an energy and power by the deity.  

A monument of Martha Argerich. This world famous pianist
has been the General Director of Beppu Argerich Music Festival
since 1996. She dedicated a Sakura tree here.

If you are lucky, a "Samurai" in full Japanese armor will welcome you as a demonstrator in the regular Asami walk held on every 3rd Sunday morning.

A branch of Asami River near the shrine.

Many old houses remain here and there.
Wisteria blossoms



Apr 18, 2013

Beppu Hatto Walk (1) Horita Yunosato

 To walk around Horita hot spring area, one of the Beppu's eight hot spring areas, is a good experience for foreign tourists. being located at the foot of Mt. Tsurumi, people can taste the beautiful nature and also enjoy some historical atmosphere of the area.  Beppu Inter Change is the closest exit on Oita Highway.
A relief of dragon created by a plasterer using trowels.

The Shiraito waterfall. Shiraito literally means "white strings" in English.

Fudo Myo-oh, one of Buddhas, standing on the hill.

Five hundred statues of stone Buddha.

During the regular Horita Yunosato walk held on every 2nd Sunday morning, 
 a steamed  sweet potato, an egg, an Ishigaki bun and a cup of tea were served. They give the participants the energy to keep walking.

A stone monument of the historic battle field in early 17th century. Nobody can imagine the fierce battle from this peaceful land.

A source of hot spring providing hot spring water to the houses around the area.

A shrine with the beautiful drawings on the ceiling.

Shiraito Onsen. The bathtub was made by hollowing out a big stone. 


Apr 17, 2013

Beppu Today, 2013 April 16th, Double Cherry Blossoms

   It is said that there are more than 300 kinds of cherry blossoms in Japan,  and 80% of them are Someiyoshino that I showed you in this blog before.
   In the blog above, the top picture were taken in Beppu Park, many people enjoyed watching cherry blossoms and had Hanami parties.
   Someiyoshino in Beppu park fell about 10 days ago and now green leaves attract you.

In Beppu park
 Today's topic is about double cherry blossoms. I show you double cherry blossoms and someiyoshino below.

double cherry blossoms

  The pictures below were taken at the entrance of Beppu partk.
There are double cherry tress along the street.
They are in full bloom right now.



Apr 14, 2013

Koinobori over the Sakai River

The picture below shows one of the spring features in Beppu.
About 600 carp-shaped streamers (Koinobori)  are flown over the Sakai River that runs in the center of Beppu city.
The Sakai River is decorated by the neighbors.
The carp is believed to be a lucky fish symbolizing success in life.
      Generally and originally, families with boys fly carp-shaped streamers
in their garden, wishing for good health and growth of their boys.
 This magnificent sight has been familiar to people for more than 20 years. It will last until May 5th (Children's day).                                   


Apr 12, 2013

How to get to Mt. Aso from Beppu (2013/4)

Visiting Mt. Aso from Beppu is popular among those who visit Beppu.
JR and a bus company provide ways to get there.

< The JR Kyushu >
●  Kyushu Odan Tokkyu

    4 services / day  (the deperture time at Beppu station: 7:52,11:44,14:46,18:30)
  *Please transfer a local bus at JR Aso station to get Mt. Aso crater.
●  Aso Yufu Kogenbus
    1 service / day  (the deperture time at Beppu station   9:45)

   *Advanced reservations required.

<The Kyusyu Sanko Bus>
● Kyushu Odan Bus
     2 services / day  (the deperture time at Beppu station  8:11, 9:19)

     *Advanced reservations required.

Please ask about further information at FTIO offices.        (AW)

Apr 10, 2013

Beppu Today, 2013 April 8th, Lake Shidaka

  Today I visited Lake Shidaka and enjoyed the beautiful spring nature.
This place was shown in this blog last fall. The foliage season was beautiful.

  Getting off the bus at TORII, Lake Shidaka is about 1.3 Km from the bus stop.
 The lake is about 2Km in circuit.

 The mountain in the picture is Mt. Yufu.

 It was sunny today and a slight breeze made me feel very comfortable.
Cherry blossoms were still blooming and many people seemed to have a nice time in nature.

There were some little flowers by the roadside.
The lake is located 600m above sea level, so spring is a little late in coming compare with in the town of Beppu.

At  the other end of the lake, there is a path to Lake Kagurame.

I got the entrance of Lake Kagurame in 10 minutes.
In Jun, irises bloom at the edge of the lake.
The Iris festival will be held and attracts many people.


Apr 9, 2013

Beppu Today, 2013 April 8th, Ohgiyama Fire Festival

  Mt. Ohgi Fire Festival was held today.
  Mt. Ohgi is named after the shape of reversed fan (Ohgi is fan).

Mt. Ohgi before the fire festival

 The fire festival started at 6:30PM and the pilot fire used to light was  lit in Asami Shrine on April 1st when the ritual for Onsen Festival opening was held.

People in Happi coat in the shrine attended the ritual on April 1st.

 The picture below was taken an hour after the festival started.


Apr 8, 2013

Beppu Onsen Festival in downtown (2013)

 Today was the last day of Beppu Onsen Festival, and Yukemuri parade was held in down town.
          note) Mt. Ohgi Fire Festival that was originally planed on April 6th will be held
                    on April 8th 2013, if weather permit

 The shrine ritual was practiced before staring the parade in front of JR Beppu station.

 Kagamibiraki, that is performed at celebratory occasions in which the lid of sake barrel is broken open by wooden mallets and the people gathered drink the sake from the sake barrel and celebrate together, was also held.

 Something written on the back of Happi coat is "Beppu Hatto Onsen FESTIVAL."

Carrying Mikoshi (a portable Shinto Shrine)



in Beppu JR station

A samurai warrior and Tengu (a long‐nosed goblin ) were walking together.

Jungle bus from Arican Safari took part in the parade.

Dance performers.

Mochimaki from long nosed goblin portable shrine in front of Tokiwa Departmentstore.
Mochimaki is an event of scattering rice cakes for people who come to a Shinto ritual.
In the picture, people stretched their hands and tried to catch rice cakes.
Fortunately, I catched a rice cake.

Open booths in Kaimonji park.