Beppu Jigoku Meguri Tour (Hell tour)
We started called "Hell tour" which is visit 8 hot spring sources dotted in Beppu hot spring town.
First place we visited called "Chinoike-Jigoku" and "Tatsumaki-Jigoku" which is further from down town of Beppu.
Rode short passes from Kannawa hot spring by motor bike, there was a dreaming beautiful azaleas view in front of us.
Standing "Chinoike-Jigoku" sign before the hill looks like heaven.
There is a souvenir shop building after pass the "Chinoike-Jigoku" gate.
We bought "Ticket Book" which is a set of 8 entrance tickets of each Jigoku. You are able to purchase this ticket book at each Jigoku.
They give you 10% discount if you show the ticket on "Jigoku-Meguri" website.
There is reception of Chinoike-Jigoku inside of the souvenir shop. Give the ticket at gate then gate person told us "You better go "Tatsumaki-Jigoku" first. It's time to geyser will splash out soon".
Thanks for your kindness.
Tatsumaki-Jigoku and Chinoike-Jigoku located next to each other and 2 mins away by walk.
Fences around the rocky mountain and lay out oval stone steps looks like colosseo around there. Audiences waiting on actors play.
"Oni" character with glasses being friendly around audience seats.
What is "Oni" for Japanese
Oni is most famous monster in Japan.
I can't explain in a simple word since people been open to interpretation, but they have common characteristics looks that they have horns on head, colorful skins such as red or blue and half naked with beast leather cloths on.
They translated as "Goblin" or "Demon" usually, however oni is the totally different kind of monster. To begin with, "Personification of natural disaster".
For example, people believed in Oni is making thunder sounds by beating a drum, also Oni brings plague, earthquake and volcanic eruption too. Oni is lower social level of the god, they charged on all of the work human hate.
"Hell guard" is one of the most important duty of them.
They work for "the Great King Emma(King of the hell)"and give physical punish on criminals at the hell where there are bad people who couldn't go to heaven.
However most Japanese doesn't hate Oni.
There are several reasons but I think one of the reason is because of most hot spring sources called "Jigoku (Hell)".
There are a lot of name of the places which makes you imagine the world after death around hot spring since hot spring flowing out area is like desert as no plants can grown because of fill with volcanic gas staying around there.
However hot spring lover Japanese reclaim those hell and built resorts. Once Oni whipped the dead, now they are existence as door man of resort hotels.
He may in charge of Tatsumaki Jigoku. Tape the bandage on his head and dress is covered with patches. He looks like Nobita in Doraemon cartoon with his glasses on.
He trying hard to close to kids but scared them and kids crying now.
Audiences laughing because he head down and looks sad.
These days, Oni is drawn as more cute character, however no wonder that innocent children afraid of him and cry since Oni is should be a monster of fear symbol.
In the mean time, hot spring splashed out with steam from geyser with shout of joy.
At the same time, all audiences stood up and run to geyser who were sitting at audience seats very orderly so far.
Oni looks like have no idea where he have to be at and walking around. What was that they were sitting very orderly so far.
Hot spring splash out higher naturally but it was blocking by rocks since it is dangerous.
This is the hell! "Chinoike Jigoku" as looks as blood
We back to Chinoike Jigoku.
It says there is a pond filled up with blood of criminals at the hell, the pond at Chinoike Jigoku is exactly red color as blood.
Look closer then found it why it is red color, it because of sinter is red color in the bottom of the pond so not because of water is red.
Goofy looking red Oni is in charge of Chinoike Jigoku.
Copper coins become shiny by washing with hot water of Chinoike Jigoku.
There is foot bath based on hot spring source of Chinoike around Chinoike Jigoku.
Sign says "Blood Service". Is human can't live without saying jokes?
There is no Ryokan(Hotel) around here in 8 Jigoku, means this foot bath is the only the way you can soak your body in this Chinoike hot spring.
During when I'm enjoying foot bath, local taxi driver explaining about this foot bath to his customers next to me. By his explain, copper coins become shiny if you wash them because of strong acid hot spring.
I tried with 10 yen coin...
Wow! That's true!
There is promenades around Chinoike Jigoku, I tried to walk around there. There is old bower by the steps toward hills.
I guess roof top built by imagine the horn of Oni. Old generation imagine same thing as today's people.
This bower is souvenir shop and sells bath additive, toner, ointment and others which is made by extract ingredient of Chinoike hot spring. I was going to buy some but I didn't since more stuff to carry with me.
This is the view of Chinoike Jigoku from hills behind. Contrast is really vivid with red of Chinoike and green of trees.
This post is also available in 日本語.