Finally to Kyushu
During my 2 years in Japan I never quite made it to Kyushu. So this time round I was determined to get there, even if it was just to visit one city. I had bought myself a Japan Rail Pass so I made sure I was going to use it as much as I could.
I didn't really have a plan. I just knew I wanted to go to Beppu and visit as many onsens as I could. Luckily for me Lisa hooked me up with her host family in Beppu over our okonomiyaki dinner and voila - I had a lovely host family to stay with and show me around their hometown. Thanks so much Lisa - I owe you big time!
Bullets trains are so convenient and before I knew it I was in Beppu - 'the Las Vegas of spa resort towns, a place where bad taste is almost a requisite.' - Lonely Planet.
I arrived at the station and made a call to Michiko who said her son, Roman would meet me at the station. Not knowing what he looked like and him not knowing what I looked like was our small dilemma but fortunately I didn't have to go around asking random strangers and we eventually found each other.
He took me to a nearby hotel for a delicious Japanese bento style lunch followed by a nice soak in the hotel's own onsen. Being in the middle of the day I had the whole hotel onsen to myself (the womens' one). It was massive with lots of different pools and a spacious outdoor one surround by beautifully manicured gardens. It was the perfect way to relax after the train ride.