10 Levels Of Hot Jigoku Hells – Beppu In Oita
Welcome to Hell – or what should I say?! Hell is definitely a place on this planet Earth. In fact here on Kyushu island in Japan we have ten different boiling hot Hells to experience!
Follow me on this virtual photo trip and I will guide you to Hell and back – hopefully alive.
It starts on a luckily rainy Spring season day. Why is it good? It’s HOT in Hell, you know?! You can see a glimpse of Hell in my photo above. How do we get here? What’s the plan?
We get to Hell in Japan by following the highway road map as seen in my photo above of the electronic Nexco highway rest stop map. It shows main connected Kyushu highways.
You’re now going to follow on a journey along the East side of our active volcanic island.
I could bore you with how it looks like along the highway to Hell in Japan, but I will not do that – except for mentioning this strange Japanese tunnel. Guess what it is built for?
If you guessed protection against falling down golf balls from the sky – you are correct! Sometimes Japan is simply more odd and strange in reality than its fun rumors abroad.
Just like on TV where everything is prepared in advance, we can speed up the car travel. We have arrived to the parking area outside of one the famous gates of Hell – in Japan.
You can already smell the mists of sulfur and see the boiling hot smoke behind the trees. This dirty as hell sign below shows you the current location and the other nearby Hells.
So, where are we? We are in Hell in a town area called Beppu in Oita prefecture, which is located on the East side of Kyushu island in South-West Japan. Confusing…like Hell?
Well, that must be the best position to put it then! Only confused souls (like us) find here.
This is your last chance to regret, ok? There’s no turning back anymore. Let’s go to Hell!
The mean looking Samurai age guard on the right stares as you enter the gates of Hell. Doesn’t he look freaky? Maybe he should have went to an anger management course?
Just like the rest of the stamp loving Japanese society – I follow their behavior, placing a stamp from Hell on the visitor card I got for paying the entrance fee. That’s me…Marko.
In case you don’t know it by now, the Japanese people are crazy about stamps. There has to be a stamp for everything. Stamp this, stamp that – stamp even in Hell as well!
How does the stamp from Hell look like?
Well, you can peek at my final vicious stamp here in the picture seen on your left. A close up shot.
Tilted, evil looking ink lacking bastard ass stamp is what it is. Not even the dark lord Satan himself could have done it better…or worse than this.
I hate stamps that lack color…like this in Hell.
It was at this point I got the idea that I just have to send a steaming hot postcard from Hell to my parents living back in Europe. Guess if they were surprised when they got it!
Enough talking about tourist souvenirs. Let’s enter the burning hot smoky mists of Hell!
Cool, isn’t it? It’s hot as Hell! The white mist is boiling 100 C (212 F) hot in temperature. Lucky for us it’s a rainy day – so the cooling down raindrops are truly welcome today.
Walking through the Zen gardens of Hell is a highly mystic experience with its peaceful meditating gurus from ancient Japanese Samurai age and beyond. Look at the hot mist!
Pretty as Hell too, isn’t it? Look at this beautiful traditional Japanese garden architecture landscape! Notice how the colors get reflected in the water surface of the Koi fish pond.
To visit Japan during early Spring season is according to me one of the absolute most beautiful and wonderful parts of the year to experience Japan. Summer is also great.
Nowadays I live in Japan, though I wanted to give that tip to those of you who have never visited Japan – but who’d love to travel here and experience it all by yourself – in real! : )
There is some serious hot smoke piling up! To you this is just a photo I took, but in my mind I can still hear the loud brutal ROAR sound of the active volcanic hot spring!
A powerful memorable sound, I must say. This exact location is called Sea Hell and was created 1200 years ago by an exploding (!) active volcano. Water is light blue, like a Sea.
It left this furious hot boiling hole in the ground. Notice that long Japanese bamboo stick!
And even nowdays – more than one thousand years later it boils like insane.
I must repeat it again – it truly roars while it boils in a scary powerful way.
No wonder they call this place Hell, because that’s how it looks and sounds like too. It was my first time experience.
You can see how they boil Japanese eggs in a basket in the boiling hot and steaming volcanic hot spring water.
People can buy those eggs and eat them. Of course I wanted to try! It’s not every day you have a chance to be in Hell and eat eggs boiled in Hell. See my photo here below.
The paper tray was carefully folded in traditional Japanese origami style. Do you see it?
Ok, now we have enjoyed a quick meal in Hell. It tasted good like…Hell? That is a tricky question to answer since the volcanic sulfur in Japanese Hell smells like – rotten eggs!
After an egg meal in Hell – being it good (or evil?) or not – it’s inevitable that sooner or later nature calls. Where is the toilet? Luckily for tourists there is an image on this sign.
This is Japan. Signs are written using Japanese.
That means unless you get to see the completely Katakana syllable spelled toire word sign instead.
You see there are different ways of writing toilet in Japanese…using three different alphabets.
Better get used to them, or you may find yourself in a difficult situation by not being able to find a toilet outside of the main tourist areas in Japan.
It’s a Hell of a crappy situation to be in, isn’t it?
Don’t fear the evil! The solution is directly above on your left. Let me present to you: The Amazing Japanese Pyramid Power Toilet! Yes, you heard correct. Japanese are funny.
What the hell is that?! Well, it’s a toilet in Hell! Think of it. With the united powers of holy pyramids your pee line is going to be diabolic straight or who knows – flow backwards?
After a visit in the Pyramid Power Toilet world of fluctuations within gravitational forces, it becomes time to wash you dirty hands. Hey – you wash your hands after toilet visit, right!
No more complaining that there is only cold water available. Here in Hell the water is hot like burning! It literally burns your finger flesh off. See my photo above of such a place.
Notice all those coins Japanese throw to the guardian spirits of Hell…to get good luck.
When you dry your hands from the previous hand washing, then is there anything better than an all natural eco-friendly powerful rising hot air wind in Hell? See my photo above.
Since you are already in Hell among sinners, dirty minded people (and what else fits into the description) and other likeminded people – then why not visit the evil fox shrine too?
The evil tempting fox is a mythological creature in Japan who makes you do the things you don’t want to. Sometimes people do unexpected bad things and regret it later on.
That’s when they say -”It was not me! The evil fox made me do it! I’ll never do it again!”.
You can see these red (or sometimes orange color) rows of Japanese torii gates leading to a final fox dedicated shrine. Not just here in Hell in Japan, but allover the country.
It’s a big business, because the person who has done something wrong (and basically destroyed their life or other people’s lives by their troubles) can visit a fox shrine like this, walk through a long line of gates…and at the final holy altar pay a big amount of money.
Followed by your relatives – just to make sure that you really are truly going to change!
Yes, big bucks. It can be tens of thousands of US dollars – or even more. This is Japan.
Have you ever had a nasty feeling that somebody stands behind you – staring at you?
That happened to me in Japan – in Hell. Suddenly I felt a strong urge to turn around as if someone bad was going to attack me from behind or at least do something scary to me.
Guess what I saw? This demon above – staring at me. Yes, just a statue – but scary one! These ones can be seen throughout Japan as guardians against evil spirits and the like.
The stench of rotten eggs surrounds you while you walk through volcanic Hells in Beppu.
Even the Japanese palm trees get burned by the hot steams of Hell in Oita prefecture.
There are bright sides of hell too. You can let kids (who weigh less than 20 kg = 44 lbs) walk on large lotus flower leaves. Notice it is only available from August 13 to August 15.
Here is a little flying fellow. A dragonfly in Hell. It’s a Japanese dragonfly with blue dots.
This dragonfly seemed to be tame – or it simply fell in love with the blue digital camera? Hey, you are more blue than my partner! Can I touch your blue color? It feels sooo good!
Except for tiny camera kinky dragonfly creatures in Hell, there’s also green evil bananas! Now all you vegetarians out there know that it’s perfectly food safe to end up in hell, ok?
I feel satisfied to have changed from Christmas trees in Sweden to palm trees in Japan.
What a worse Hell it could be if people couldn’t wash off their stinky foot sweat, right?!
Therefore this Japanese Hell has these free (or included in the entrance fee) foot hot springs where you can dip your tired feet after a day of walking. It’s volcanic hot water.
I decided to try it out myself. Would you like to join? Please do, but know it’s very h-o-t!
There is my white pale caucasian gaijin foot on its way into the volcanic hot water in Hell. Damn what it hurts! I was fully aware that the water was hot – but not THIS insane hot!
Being a Scandinavian and Finnish Sauna culture indoctrinated person…I stood the heat.
Though I wasn’t even half as brave as the Japanese male counterparts who jumped in with no fear what-so-ever. There were others who couldn’t stand the heat, so it’s ok too.
After an impulsive foot bath in a volcanic hot spring in Japan – the question arises:
-”Where is there a towel? I didn’t bring any?! Damn!”.
Once again – luckily for you the industrious Japanese have thought of everything and developed a specific towel vending machine for you as a visitor. One towel is 200 yen.
Notice that there is no description in English. Nothing in Korean or even in Chinese. Everything is 100% written in Japanese. This is real Japan outside of the tourist zones.
Those of you who fool yourselves learning Japanese by writing it with Western alphabet (using Rōmaji) – stop it now. Please learn real Japanese. You will benefit of it yourself.
Don’t dip your feet here because this is a stream of sulfur mixed with water. Strong acid!
Let’s walk to another section of Hell. There are 10 different Hells in Beppu in Oita prefecture here on Kyushu island in South-West japan. Each has a different Hell theme.
Only 9 of them are in tourist catalogues, because the tenth is not part of the payment club to be able to target tourists with direct commercial. Japanese find the 10th Hell.
Follow these bamboo poles and keep wandering deeper into the hot cloudy mists of Hell.
Here are some small mini volcanes of bubbling hot mud. It sounds too. Extremely hot.
Here is one of the roaring devils. It is loud like Hell and sounds like it is in angry mood. Notice that blue devil on the Japanese information board. Is he the fat blue smurf devil?
Here above you see a vertical view of the landscape of Hell. It felt like being in a movie!
Say hello to these four Japanese tourists! We took some pictures of each other for fun.
Hell seems to have no end. It continues and I have not visited more than a fraction of it.
These white and gray color mud hells are another type that is available. There are all kinds of colors. Another big one looks like a blood red lake. A new home for vampires?!
As with all places in Japan – the Japanese have built souvenir shops for you. It doesn’t matter how far out on countryside, how high up on a mountain or how deep inside a tropical forest you reach – there’s a tourist shop for you…no matter you want it or not.
I took my chance and sent postcards from Hell to my closest relatives in Scandinavia.
Time to leave Hell. It was nice, but it’s time to begin heading back to the heavenly world.
A scent of heavenly flowers in Hell follows you where ever you go. Is it cherry blossom?
No, it’s not cherry blossom. It’s Japanese Ume blossom – which most tourists have no clue about what that is. It’s a plum tree in Japan. It blossoms BEFORE the cherry trees.
The fruit from the Ume tree is a red plum, often pickled with vinegar until it becomes sour. Some people hate it, while others love it. I have never heard anyone in between.
The red filled circle in the center of the Japanese flag is not the rising sun. It’s this fruit. The white in the background of the Japanese flag is rice. Were you aware of that fact?
So, essentially the Japanese flag represents a typical Japanese lunch box meal with rice and a red pickled umeboshi in the middle – keeping the rice from getting bad in the heat.
Forget the rising sun. The Japanese flag is rice and an ume fruit. Ask Japanese school.
Finally the car trip back home to another part of Kyushu island in Japan. I hope you have enjoyed today’s short visit in Hell. You didn’t forget anything, right? Like…your soul? ; )
Filed under: Japanese Words
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