Hotel New Matsumi
It was an unusual second day in Beppu.
I confess, I didn’t know much about the city or what it had to offer. I browsed the Internet and asked a couple of my Japanese friends about what to do and where to go — and I just had no idea.
I saw that there was a sand onsen — sounded nice! — near our hotel and decided that was a start. But I had no idea you would get buried in hot black sand for 15 minutes, listening to the lapping ocean at our feet and sweating profusely.
And I had heard about this town called Yufuin, about an hour from Beppu City, which had lots of ryokan, cafes, boutiques and onsens to visit. But that’s all I knew.
So I decided to just wing it.
We’d walk to the sand onsen, then head to Beppu Ropeway to see the city — which was halfway to Yufuin — then catch the bus to the small resort town at the base of Mount Yufu and figure it out as we went.
And like many spontaneous things you do while on vacation in a new city, the fun was in the surprises we found at every turn.
Follow my #CatTravels adventures in Europe and Japan on Twitter @thedailydish and Instagram @catherinetoth.