Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Onsen In A Long Time

I had the pleasure of going back to Beppu on business and staying at the Nishitetsu Inn right downtown.

Having just spent 3 weeks in the US, I thought, "I could really use an onsen" Then I got the call, and the job required me to spend the night.

The onsen is clean and spacious and pretty good as far as low-end business hotels go. The faint whiff of chlorine was a turn-off, but the temperature was nice.

Having lived in Fukuoka for almost 1.5 years now, nearby onsens are truly one of those things I miss.

Friday, October 12, 2007


After 3 years and 2 months in the hot spring capital of the world, we have decided to move on to some new and bigger challenges.
Our new home: Fukuoka City!

Thank you to everyone in Beppu and everyone who followed our blog. The soon to open official English language Beppu Tourism Bureau site, Beppu Navi, will be based on our very own onsen adventures. Tune in at BeppuNavifor a sleek new look at our thermal conquest.


Oct. 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Experimental Travel

World Hum | Travel Interview | Joel Henry: Dean of “Experimental Travel”

In searching for Joel Henry, I found an interesting article on experimental travel. I think Beppu or some of its many NPOs could do something cool with this idea.

What next?

My tour of duty at the uni is coming to a close, but it looks like I will be sticking around Beppu for 2 years doing freelance work.

I will try to get son#2 to Master status in that time.

Next stop: Hawaii, 2009-2010
Anyone have some leads/connections in the PR or tourism indsutry there?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Great Family Onsen

Well, I seem to have gained a reputation as the "onsen guy." Shhh! Don't tell anyone that we haven't onsened since January....

In any case, by popular demand I present to you my recommendations for family baths (In no particular order). These are places where you can either rent a separate family bath, or by virtue of their design, you get to hog the whole onsen until you are done.

If you need directions, see me, or buy one of those Zenrin map books (or see me to make copies of my Zenrin map book).

A great little ryokan in Kannawa with cool historical postcards and photos all throughout the lobby. There are 5 baths here, some indoor and some semi-outdoor. They are all "kashikiri."
It's run by a very charming woman named Ito-san, so be sure to say that I sent you!
Going up Odan Road, turn right just past the huge Marushoku. Pass Hyotan Onsen and it is on the right located on the corner of the next intersection. Turn right there to find the parking lot behind the inn.

Mugen no sato is located in Horita. From Route 11, turn at the Horita intersection and go down past Horita Onsen. Turn right at the little road just past the highway under pass. Go slow when it's dark because it is very easy to miss. Not more than 30 meters up the little road you take a left-hand turn, then immediately take another left onto the bridge that goes over the highway.
At the other end of the bridge is a 3 way intersection of some of the narrowest roads you will encounter in Beppu. Take the hard left. At night it looks like you are going to drive right off the cliff. Don't worry, you won't. You wind around a little rice paddy, then down a little hill and it widens out into a gravel road. By this time you can see the ethereal green and blue lights of the onsen. The onsen is very close to the highway, but you would never know. It is built straddling a river. Great scenery. And good for lightning bugs in summer.
* PS I didn't use the family bath here.
Mugen no Sato

Going up Odan Road, you will turn left on the little road at the Kannawa-Guchi highway bus stop. Tanimoto's parking lot is right behind the bus stop. The inn has 2 onsen that you "kashikiri" just by being in there. Perhaps weekdays are a better chance at getting a bath for a longer time. There is an indoor tub and an outdoor tub. Nice wooden interiors make for a great atmosphere.

I haven't used the family baths here, but there are several types to choose from. There is also a playground for the kids (Be sure they play before they bathe...) and a cool little knick-knack shop in the reception area.

Going up Odan Road, turn left at Oita Bank (Rt. 218). Just past the Kanpo no Yado and just before the Cosmo Drug Store, turn right up the hill. I think there is another turn up there somewhere but you can't miss the onsen. Plenty of parking, too.
Mikaeri Onsen

Hyotan is a very famous and very large onsen. I have never used the private baths here, but if they are anything like the actual onsen then it must be good. The general manager, Mr Kouno, is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet with a nice thick Kansai accent. If you see him and his trademark moustache, be sure to say hi.
Going up Odan Road, turn right at the Marushoku. It's on the left with ample parking. You can't miss it.
Hyotan Onsen

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

TV and Radio, oh my!

Greetings! I am still in Beppu doing my thing. Check out my latest media appearances!

Sat, Feb 17 in the morning (check your newspaper)
Channel: OBS
Show: Kabosu Time

I will tour Kannawa with Mr. Kai and the student guides and the gaijin tarento at OBS.
Check it out!


Tuesday, Feb. 20
Show: Konnichi wa, Hachimaru-chan Desu
Channel: NHK Dai 1 Radio (National broadcast)
Time: 11:30 - 11:50 (for 12 minutes in the middle somewhere)

I will team up with NPO Chairman Mr. Kai to sell the Kannawa area to the entire nation of Nippon via the airwaves. Tune in to hear me do the hard sell! It should be a laugh!

Friday, December 29, 2006

One More Time

The NHK documentary that we "starred" in this summer is being re-broadcast by popular demand. If you missed it, don't miss it!

12/31/2006 5:10 AM
"Furusato Hatsu"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Joel's WORLDWIDE Debut

My worldwide debut is now available for all to see in 6 different languages. If this link gives you trouble, try accessing from the front page here.

This was produced by NHK International for the Japanese Foreign Ministry, who have distributed this to hundreds of Japanese embassies worldwide, in addition to providing the streaming link online.

How cool is that?