So, Jude and I tried to go to the el-cheapo onsen right across the road from the dumpy hotel we went to last time. I parked in some other hotel's lot and immediately a crusty old guy comes motoring up on a moped, "You can't park here." I feigned ignorance of the sign, but quickly left. Winding through the narrow streets behind the station, I tried to find another el-cheapo onsen I had passed once, but it was dark and before Iknew it we were heading up the hill away from the station. So Plan C was the BBQ restaurant in the Kankaiji district. I had my doubts about the onsen, I mean it's a BBQ joint. But I was pleasantly suprised. It was a little wooden structure (recently redone) with a bath that could handle about 10 people. All made of volcanic boulders. Very cool. And we happened to be the only ones there so even better. Not too hot and very soothing water. It had the faintest hint of sulfur and you could see the sulfur crusties on the side of the tub. Those are ok. Not like mildew or anything. We had a nice bath and afterwards, Jude insisted on pushing the ink stamp into the spaport. needless to say he left very clean except for the purple ink on his hands. ha ha.
There are actually quite a few places in Beppu where you can eat then grab an onsen. There is even a ramen noodle joint with its own onsen. We will have to check that one out some night.