Monday, October 03, 2005

Beppu - The Hell Tour

Beppu is Japan's onsen (hot spring) capital, containing nine major onsens, which are sometimes referred to as the 'nine burning hells of Beppu'. The city is sandwiched between sea and mountains. The combination of sea, mountains and onsens makes Beppu an ideal location for vacation.
Beppu has two types of hot springs - jigoku (地獄, hells) are the ones for looking at and onsen are the ones for bathing in. The hells are Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pool Hell, top picture), Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell), Kinryu Jigoku (Golden Dragon Hell), Shiraike Jigoku (White Pond Hell), Kamado Jigoku (Oven Hell), Oniyama Jigoku (Devil's Mountain Hell), Tatsumaki Jigoku (Water-spout Hell) and Hon Bozu Jigoku (Monk's Hell). We saw only four of them.
The Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Pool Hell) - a favorite for tourists features a pond of hot red water (iron oxide renders the pond red).
Onsens are reknowned for their therapeutic qualities - healing many physical and mental conditions including arthritis, stomach problems, anxiety and depression, skin conditions, nervous disorders and rheumatism to name but a few. And each onsen is unique.
For example, a perfect treatment for dry skin and sooths skin irritations - the magical restorative and healing power of onsens.
Umi Jigoku is so called because it resembles the sea. This 200 meter deep, cobalt blue pond of boiling water emerged 1200 years ago after a volcanic explosion.
The making of onsen tamago (literally translates as hot spring eggs) - soaking of eggs in the natural sulfuric pond.
A lotus flower - symbolic of all that is good and beautiful and revered a sacred symbol despite on hell grounds.
Another picture - the blossoming of white lotus flowers.
Throwing few coins into the pond (with a little red demon standing inside a basin) for some good luck.
The devil on earth - a mascot to the hot spring sites !
The warning sign. It's kinda funny.
Kinryu Jigoku (Golden Dragon Hell) - the dragon with steam gushing out from its mouth. She is a beauty but not so much of a golden dragon though !
Steam power at the Kinryu Hell.

These are certainly terrifying hells. Though you cannot see demons (real ones), it is clear that one wrong step, one slip, will bring you to rapid destruction (some 80 - 90 degree Celcius of hot water). Beppu is the hell city ! To be continued ...


Anonymous said...

I like the danger sign! Really funny!

zbjernak said...

wow...the red hell is cool
the blue one is beautiful too

they take their "hell" status seriously..
and the sign...they spell the boiled wrongly??

lovely...but is it smell as in like those with sulfur? must be smelling like rotten egg then??

and thts your toes? looks funny... very short toe u have....

Acrix said...

Does the onsen tamago taste differently from normal boiled egg? Sometime i really wonder will soaking too much onsen result in infertility coz the water is well over 40 degree celsius rite?

Amanda Brightwell said...

I've said it before, but I am truly jealous of all the wonderful places you explore. I love watching your blog and the photos... they depict so well the culture of the areas in which you travel. Your photos speak.

Patrick Leong said...

ailing : yea. i like that sign too. be aware unless one unresistingly allow herself to be boiled like the frogs. hehehe !

zbjernak : yea. true. an obvious give-away in the hot spring compounds, the strong smell of sulphur can be quite pungent to the nose (the classic rotten egg smell). didn't you see the little pimples between those ugly toes ? wei ... those are not mine. well better not say too much (probably someone will ask the picture be removed) :P

acrix : i did not try the onsen tamago (they eat the boiled egg with some salt and pepper it seems). i do not know how it tastes like (maybe like normal hard-boiled egg). and it is believed that soaking in hot springs enhance fertility. some says spending the whole evening soaking in hot spring spas ensure FERTILITY. of course HOT WATER alone does not do the trick. by the way, what has HOT WATER got to do with FERTILITY ? you mean hot water leading to genital malfunction and slumping sex drive ? in japan ? well, i do not think so lor.

amanda : thank you so much for your lovely comment. hey ... you should come and visit one day ! it is lovely here. autumn is beautiful in kyoto.

Sidney said...

I like you blog. Nice documentation.
Love the sign" You will be boiled alive " !

Amanda Brightwell said...

Would love it!

Anonymous said...

Acrix: Coz the testes are normally at 34 degree celsius and prolong exposure to high temperature will lead to low sperm count and maybe infertility :) Just a thought thou~

zbjernak said...

hahahah..this has turn into testicles blog?

well... of course depends on how much is too much...

but god has designed testicles in a way that it is "mobile" in order to maintain the temperature....

when it is cold...temperature low, "IT" will hugged itself..nearer to the body..where our body has the constant temp of 36

when it is hot...temperature high, "IT" will distant itself from the that it will has less contact with the body of 36 celcius...and at the same time...expanding the scrotum will expel the heat faster.

zbjernak said...

so yes...i think constant contact on hot bath...for normally u spend like 1 hour? 30 minutes? 2 hour in it?

then i think it will somehow affect in one or another way...

same case with tight undies...


too much info liao

Patrick Leong said...

the physiology of hot water (without the minerals) - when soaking in a hot tub, the first body's reaction is changes in our circulatory system that affect other aspects of the body's operations. this reaction is in order for the body to get back to its normal temperature by pumping the heart faster, so as to bring blood to the surface. but because spa water is maintained at a high temperature the blood being carried to the body's surface is then warmed, rather than cooled. The longer the soaker remains in the spa, the more times the blood cycles through the body - and the deeper into the body the warm temperature is carried. the warm blood causes the blood vessels to dilate, lessening the resistance to blood flow and dropping the blood pressure. several benefits are then enjoyed :

1. muscle relaxation - warm blood causes vessels to expand and helps muscle rid itself of lactic acid and other metabolic wastes.

2. temporary relief pain - as the body tries to register a temperature change, the central nervous system becomes depressed, contributing to muscle relaxation and temporarily relieving, or at least lessening, pain.

3. bodily cleansing - sweating helps get rid of body toxins.

4. promotion of healing - jet action found in spas can promote healing by providing even more oxygen to the area than is provided by warm water alone. raise the level of antibodies and white blood cells delivered to the area, promoting the destruction of bad cells and stimulating the formation of new tissue.

5. help for insomia - sleep deepens as body temperature falls. some medical experts recommend that anyone wanting to induce sleep soak in warm water for an hour or two before bedtime.

zbjernak, acrix : adaptation to hot bath is on an individual basis. i would probably pass out if i were to soak in a jacuzzi whirlpool hot bubbling bath for more than 30 minutes. after all, the penis is not so much of a delicate organ. but bottom line - Do not masturbate in the hot tub !

sidney : thanks for comment and correction :P

Anonymous said...

i dont think hot spring causes infertility also!
well...nice photos anyway!!
hope i can go there next summer!(^_<)

seserak said...

Hey Patrick,

Thanks for dropping by at my site.

I like the pictures you take. Beautiful.

Also find the warning sign very funny. " If you fall in the pond you will be boiled"...ahahahahahah

Patrick Leong said...

ah fu : i think you should visit beppu during winter or spring. during winter months, beppu can be quite an experience !

seserak : thanks for comment. i heard you live in osaka. when did you come to japan ? i have a few cambodian friends here in kyoto and also osaka. maybe you know them :P