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You don't have to look far in Beppu (別府) to see the reason for its popularity: steam rising from vents in the earth means there are onsen-bathing opportunities galore. Beppu is by turns quaint and touristy, modern and traditional, solid and rickety, but the charm of this hilly, hospitable city grows on visitors as sure as the waters are balmy. Winter visitors get the seasonal treat of seeing the entire town filled with warm escaping steam.

Located in in Ōita Prefecture, Beppu's also one of Kyūshū's more international cities, thanks to the large foreign-student population at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, locally known as APU.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Beppu.