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“Animals kept in pitiful conditions. Don't spend your money here.”
Review of Beppu Onsen

Beppu Onsen
Ranked #8 of 51 Spas & Wellness in Beppu
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 February 2014

The onsen were very interesting and made some great pictures. However, their charm was completely overshadowed by the disgust I felt on seeing the animals in the small, run-down zoo in Yama Jigoku and Oni Jigoku. All the animals were on their own, with very little space to move around, and no enrichment whatsoever. The animals seemed to be in OK physical condition but they were obviously all suffering from complete lack of interaction and comfort. There was a Japanese monkey, living completely by itself in a concrete cage. It was obviously distressed, as it was rocking backwards and forwards, as if it was going mad from isolation. Monkeys are very sociable creatures; they thrive on social interaction, and to keep this monkey permanently on its own is horridly cruel. There was also a hippopotamus, again, completely on its own in a very small enclosure. The African elephant’s enclosure was also completely inadequate; living by itself in a tiny concrete block, with no soft resting space. This is a snowy area in winter but none of the mammals had warm or soft areas to rest, their enclosures were made of concrete and nothing else. Oni Jigoku was almost as shocking, with hundreds of crocodiles either lying on top of each other or in their own concrete enclosure. According to reviews I have read online, the zookeeper routinely hoses the crocodiles with water in order to get them to fight with each other. The other tourists visiting that day seemed only mildly interested in the zoo. I left the Jigoku feeling depressed and worried for the animals.

I've written a letter to the owners of the attraction and have filed a report with the Born Free Foundation.

Date of experience: February 2014
19  Thank Lottie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 10 July 2013

I don't usually write reviews but thought it was necessary to add a positive English review - it would be a huge shame for visitors to Kyushu to miss out on this onsen resort. There are about 100 onsens in total so you'd be hard pressed to not find some ones for you. There are the incredible hotel onsen spas like at suginoi hotel - with amazing facilities and views, some great little rustic tub baths to share with wizened locals and some lovely natural baths in outdoor settings - including a steaming mixed mud bath.

The jigoku hells tour is interesting for an hour or two - but you can easily pass a couple of days exploring the onsens - and if you're desperate for more, continuing onto Aso and Kurokawa for some really rural baths.

Date of experience: July 2013
5  Thank Orangutangi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2013

When you visit the Onsen s best buy multiple ticket, more cheap, you could visit all Onsen in beppu area.
must try public bath, you will have new experience, and food cook with hot steam from hot spring,

Date of experience: December 2012
1  Thank ong_giri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2012

I am an onsen freak. I love them. My idea of a good holiday is going to Japan and visiting my favourite or a new bath everyday. I was rather excited about visiting Beppu. We'd stayed in Kurokawa Onsen the night before as our splurge for the holiday and then went onto Beppu with anticipation. We drove through Yufuin but decided it was too block building resorty for our tastes. Yufuin is salubrious compared to Beppu.

We went to all the hells which didn't keep animals as the first and only one we went to with animals (fish in tanks way too small without plants, rocks/sand or other fish, nothing just concrete and a glass wall) treated them very poorly and I couldn't bear the idea of going into the others with large animals like my local zoo keeps in 100x better conditions.

The organisation responsible for these hot springs really isn't developing them into anything fun. I am saying this as an onsen freak. They have built a stone box around the geyser. The point of a geyser is to be big and splashy. I like kitch too but really the could make more of these hot springs. There's some information at some (in Japanese and English but text when available was in both) and sometimes somewhere to sit but it was pretty dull.

I was also put off by the cheery old lady demonstrating the cold water dressed lady, hot water naked lady towels during the obligatory walk through the gift shop at the cooking pot hell. They all have gift shops, pretty much with the same stuff.

The rest of Beppu is very worn down, dirty and dull. It's the Karratha of Japan, only a lot less interesting. I was glad in the end we only stayed one day before taking the Ferry to Yawatahama and then onto Matsuyama by train. Go to Kurokawa Onsen or Mt Aso or Matsuyama (not Yawatahama it's also a hole) but skip Beppu.

Date of experience: January 2012
12  Thank spiceg01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 November 2018 via mobile
Google Translation

Date of experience: November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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