Upsetting the established order – that is why we recognize the truly adventurous – we changed a bit our program to see today the eight Jigoku or eight “hell”. Nothing awful, but extraordinary things.
Beppu is known for its onsen, here is an onsen of a particular type, where we do not bathe: it is very hot springs, whose chemical composition differs from one point to another and sometimes gives red blood hues, sometimes opalescent blue. There are also mud-like kaolin”baths”. It’s very strange to see, as close to each other, so different waters.
During the preparation of the trip, when I read the literature on the eight hells, I was expecting a walk in the forest, with the turning of a path seething revelation. So, no. The hells are in town already, well served by bus. Everything is still very well done, since the route is secure, so that there cannot be a fool guy that goes to touch the boiling water. Barriers prohibit you from getting too close, the route is signposted a hell to another, made attentions to walking, and one does not escape the trilogy toilet-restaurant-shop (and commemorative stamp for the fools, like me). It is very well designed, but it lacks adventure.
Nevertheless, the show is very beautiful. It is said that just under our feet, there is an invisible force that moves the water and the land, which heats and boils, and whose manifestation is sudden a geyser, or a pool of mud bubbling quietly, like a cauldron. We feel a bit small.
Obviously that says “hot water” said “steaming cooking”, so we ate odds cooked by the volcano (well, the heated water in the bowels of the earth …).
We had another experience today a little less friendly. The Japanese eat very early. Yesterday at 18 am, we were refused entry to two restaurants just because they were full. So we came early in the first restaurant that we were advised, hoping to find the place. This time, it’s good. Except that the server tells us immediately that “this table is reserved for 8:30 p.m.”. Yes, okay, it’s 5:50 p.m., I think that by then we will have largely finished eating … A couple Japanese moved to another table. We order, they too. But they have little appetizer on the house, and not us. Same for the second couple who moved to another table. Xim has returned to cleaning the dishes for soy sauce which were not clear. For me, when you serve, you do not put plqte on the table directly from the dishwasher, you always check first. Drinks and food arrived a bit late. In any case much less rapidly than those of the other two tables. The accumulation of small details made us feel like guests of second class, whose presence was not really desired.
We were comforted by going eating mochi.
It is also true that the atmosphere of the ryokan is also very different from our previous accommodation, Matsuyama there, there was a careful and considerate team, extremely friendly. Here, we are entitled to the polite indifference.