By Plane -- The nearest airport is Oita Airport (OIT; www.oita-airport.jp), a 45-minute bus ride away (bus fare: ¥1,450). JAL flights from Tokyo's Haneda airport take about 1 1/2 hours and cost ¥35,700 one-way, though 28-day advance-purchase fares dip as low as ¥14,600 for certain flights.
By Train -- From Tokyo, take the Shinkansen to Kokura and transfer there to a limited express bound for Beppu; the trip takes nearly 8 hours (not including transfers) and costs ¥22,420 for unreserved seats. There are also direct trains daily from Hakata Station in Fukuoka (trip time: 2 hr.) and Kumamoto (3 hr.).
By Ferry -- Ferries make nightly runs to Beppu from Osaka, with fares beginning at ¥8,800; at last check, a ferry departs Osaka's South Pier at 6:50pm and arrives the next morning. Contact tourist offices in Osaka or the Ferry Sunflower in Osaka (tel. 06/6572-5181) for more information.
From Shikoku, the most practical ferry is from Yahatahama, running six times daily and costing ¥3,020 one-way for the almost 3-hour trip; contact the Uwajima Unyu Co. for information (tel. 0894/23-2536).
Before leaving Tokyo or the Narita or Kansai airports, pick up a copy of the leaflet "Beppu and Vicinity" at the Tourist Information Center, or download it at www.jnto.go.jp by looking under "Browse by Destinations." The Beppu Tourist Information Office (tel. 0977/21-6220; daily 9am-5pm) is located in Beppu Station at the east (main) exit. A second tourist office (tel. 0977/23-1119; daily 10am-5pm) is in Sol Paseo, an international shopping arcade, a 5-minute walk due east of the main exit. Here you will find computers with free Internet access. More information is available at www.beppu-navi.jp and www.we-love-oita.or.jp.
Orientation & Getting Around
Beppu Station is located near the center of the city. Its main exit is to the east and the sea, while to the west lie the Hells and the majority of hot-spring baths. Because most destinations are not within walking distance, the easiest ways to get around Beppu are by bus and by taxi. Of the two bus companies serving Beppu, the Kamenoi Bus Company (tel. 0977/23-0141) is the largest and serves most of the city. Bus fares begin at ¥140 and increase according to the distance, but if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, there's a 1-day pass called My Beppu Free -- which nonetheless costs ¥900 for adults, half-price for children 11 and under. It allows unlimited travel on Kamenoi Company buses (which are blue) in the city as well as slight discounts to a few attractions. You can purchase the passes at the Tourist Information Office in the station.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.