03.09.2014 - 03.09.2014
We missed the direct bus from Kumamoto to our next stop but we headed to the nearby town of Oita and grabbed a local tram to our destination of Beppu. This small town is known for its hot springs, both to soak in and ones that are known as the Beppu Hells. Within the surrounding areas there are several famous ones and here are a selection of a few.
Umi Jigoku (Sea Hell)
Oniishi Bozu Jigoku (Shaved Head Hell, named for the resemblance of a monk's bald head and the bubbles)
Yama Jigoku (Mountain Hell)
Oniyama Jigoku (Reptile Hell)
Chinoike Jigoku (Blood Hell)
Beppu is known for toriten (chicken tempura) and for various vegetables, eggs and puddings steamed/boiled in the various hot springs in the area. Toriten has a thinner batter than normal fried chicken that results in a crunchy exterior while still retaining its juicy interior. The meat overseas is much different than back home. In America, most livestock is bred to have minimal fat which significantly reduces the taste. When cooking these "low fat" animals, it is much harder to guarantee a moist product. As for the steamed dishes, they end up with a slightly sulferous taste except for the puddings which do not taste any different than one cooked normally.
We also at a conveyer belt sushi restaurant that had a electronic menu that you ordered through and a small train would deliver it directly to your table. No waiting for your favorites to come out and always freshly made.
In the evening we boarded the overnight ferry to Osaka. Similar to the Busan-Fukuoka ferry, we shared a room with several others while sleeping on the floor. At least this one had free WiFi and a vending machine that dispensed hot food. Unfortunately, the containers were rather flimsy and the contents scalding.