This is a continuation of our Fukuoka 2016 trip chronicles.
It was an easy drive to Tosu Premium Outlets, and we had lunch at the food court here which has an Ippudo Express. Prices at the outlet shops here were not exciting, but it was an easy stop from the highway and a good lunch break after our red eye flight in.
Onward to Beppu, we were planning to visit the Kokonoe Yume Grand Suspension bridge, but we decided not to take the detour as we didn’t want to be late to check into Hotel Shiragiku for our first kaiseki dinner since the hotel suggested we reach by 530pm. Priorities, right?
It was also an easy drive to Beppu, passing beautiful valleys and countryside. Our ILs prefer countryside to cities, so they enjoyed this tremendously. We also stumbled onto a very scenic rest stop, which is called the Murata Time Hills Beppu Bay Service Area (Lover’s Sanctuary).
Seriously, where got highway rest stops with nice toilets and nice views?? What a wonderful welcome to Beppu.
We were able to locate the hotel easily with the GPS. The hotel is a medium sized property, which has both western and Japanese rooms, of course we went with the Japanese rooms. The rooms are dated but well maintained, so it is quite quaint rather than drabby.
They set up the kaiseki dinner in our room for our party of 7, while the kids hung out in their grandparents room next door.
There was some confusion over my booking and dinner for the kids – they had a child meal for my 4YO and a different kind of meal for the 6 and 8YOs. All of which don’t come cheap. Apparently child meals are mandatory, as is a common practice is all ryokans, although I wonder how many children can really eat so much?? Only children below 2 YO eat for free, so I’m thinking I’d bring my 23month old (hypothetically) but leave the rest home until they’re 12 and have voracious teenage appetites and can finish everything. Ha!
Anyhow, the kids loved their yukatas, the kaiseki dinners, the buffet breakfasts, sitting on the floor to eat and then sleeping on the same floor… The boys even loved the onsen but my 4YO refused to go in (just like she refused in our previous trip to Gunma). My ILs really enjoyed the ryokan experience, and the food every night was amazing.
Our first day in Beppu was bright and sunny, so we headed for the African Wildlife Safari Park straight away. That place deserves a post of its own (coming up soon).
After that we headed back to town to a conveyor belt sushi place Kappa Sushi Beppu with plates starting from ¥100. Yes, my boys love sashimi and my girl loves ikura, so they love Japan! It is just down the road from the Hells of Beppu.
After lunch, as we were pretty close to the seaside, we decided to have a look, but it wasn’t much of a seaside that you could stroll along, so we headed back to the Hells of Beppu. My husband was shocked when I suggested we go to the HELLS OF BEPPU, but it’s not anything like our Haw Par Villa Park, but a natural geological phenomenon. Beppu has 7 hells, but we only got to visit 2, although I wouldn’t mind visiting all. I won’t write much about it because there’s lots of information of it everywhere.
On our last day, we decided to take a walk to the Beppu Park since it was highly listed on TripAdvisor and just next to our hotel. Although they have a nice small patch of bamboo, and it was nice to be out in the open, IMHO you can certainly give it a miss.
We decided to head back to Fukuoka and OTW we stopped by a Daiso (one of many 100¥ stores) and ate at a ramen place across the road.
Coming up next, the African Wildlife Safari! Woohoo! Fukuoka 2016 – Beppu, Oita, African Safari
You can find ALL the Fukuoka posts here. but I’ve also listed them here for your easy reference:
- Fantastic Fukuoka
- Fukuoka 2016 – Tosu – Beppu
- Fukuoka 2016 – Beppu, Oita, African Safari
- Fukuoka 2016 – Fukuoka City
- Kyushu with Kids 2017 – Part 1 – Mt Aso and Kurokawa
- Kyushu with Kids 2017 – Part 2 – Minamiaso, Takachiho, Fukuoka
You might also like to read about all our family travels here.