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2023/01/01

Do you need a local tour guide in Beppu?

Dear Visitors to Beppu, Oita-pref.,

Welcome to our website! If you need a local tour guide in Beppu, please click the title, "TO REQUEST A LOCAL TOUR GUIDE", listed on the top-right of this page. If you agree with our policy, click "Agree" at the bottom and fill out the request form and follow the instructions.

Thank you for your interest on our organization.

Kuni Kumamoto
President,
Beppu SGG Club (a.k.a. Beppu Friendly Guide Club: BFGC)

2018/11/01

Series: Unique Shops in Beppu No.3 Yamasho, Bamboo Craft Specialist Shop

Yamasho is one of the oldest bamboo craft shopps in Beppu. The reason of its uniqueness is the philosophy of the mistress, Masa Katayama. Although a number of new bamboo craft shops have come into the market and put trendy and fashionable goods into it, she's been sticking to the traditional and highly artistic ones which are created by many notable producers.  
The entrance of Yamasho
Ms. Masa Katayama, Mistress of the shop, surrounded by a series of bamboo products


Bamboo crafts have been getting popular among foreign people, both visitors and locals. The mistress says, "You will never get tired of looking at the good bamboo art crafts and I want you to live with them as they will also grow in its color turning into beautiful amber as time goes by. 


Party plates and food containers
Being located on Nagaregawa Street, which used to be the city center in old Beppu, Yamasho has long been a popular bamboo craft shop. Although the major line of items is artistic crafts, they have various accessories, daily necessities, interior decoration, etc. in the shop.   
Flower Vase, a typical bamboo art craft

Bamboo were first used by peddlers as carrying baskets in the Muromachi era (14th to 16th century) in Japan and it had become popular in Beppu since it got crowded with many onsen visitors in  the Edo era (17th to 19th century).


There are over 600 kinds of bamboo in Japan and out of them, madake is mainly used to produce bamboo goods because of its endurance and flexibility. Additionally, its mild, white-yellow color eases those who look at them. Since Oita-prefecture is the greatest producer of madeke in Japan,  bamboo crafts have become one of the biggest industry in Oita.


Flower vases

Chopsticks and saucers made of bamboo


2018/09/14

Series: Unique Shops in Beppu #2 Kyushu Shochu-kan

Shochu’is a Japanese traditional alcoholic beverage, which is mainly produced in the prefectures in Kyushu and Okinawa prefecture. While Japanese sake (seishu) is a brewed liquor, shochu is a distilled liquor like whisky. It is usually taken on the rock or with cold/hot water. For women and foreign people, taking with soda or fruit beverages is recommended.



Front entrance of Kyushu Shochu-kan

In Kyushu Shochu-kan, over 500 brands of shochu  produced in Kyushu and Okinawa are sold, and Mr. Kikuchi, the store manager, will give you appropriate advice on the way of drinking and brands suitable for you. 


Raw materials of shochu are sweet potato, barley, rice, brown sugar, etc. and each material has its own flavor. Some specific shochu are respectively labeled such as 'Satsuma shochu' made from sweet potato in Kagoshima, 'Kuma shochu' made from rice in Kumamoto, 'Oita mugi-shochu' made from barley in Oita-prefecture, where Beppu is located.


Store shelf displaying various shochu and other alcoholic beverages


Many shochu are sold in 720 ~ 900 ml bottles and some are in small bottles or even in big 1800 ml bottles.  

The range of alcoholic degree of shochu is from 20 ~ 25% and there are some with higher degree out of which you can select as you like.

Benitsurumi (made from sweet potato with 30% alcohol) and Nitonana (barley with 27%) are exclusively sold in Kyushu Shochu-kan.


Superior grade shochu : 'Nitonana' and 'Benitsurumi'


In addition to shochu, in Kyushu Shochu-kan, they also have other alcoholic beverages including sake (seishu), wine, whisky, liqueur and Oita's traditional folk arts such as Onta-yaki earthenwares, cedar clogs, boxwood handicrafts, etc.



Whisky

Wine

Onta-yaki earthenware

Hita clog

Boxwood crafts






2018/08/14

Fireworks in Beppu


Fireworks displays are one of the Japanese summer traditions.
Beppu locals also love fireworks.

This is from Beppu Hinoumi Matsuri, the biggest summer festival in the city. It is held in the end of July every year.

During this three days festival, many attractions such as dance performances are held at the Spa Beach, close to Beppu Tower. Food stools are also there for you to enjoy the lively atmosphere.

The climax of the festival is the 6000 fireworks launched from the sea, along with the music played at the beach. The view of fireworks in the night sky and the reflection on the sea surface are spectacular.




2018/08/06

Series: Unique Shops in Beppu #1 Maruniya Tea Shop

Maruniya Tea Store

Located at Ekimachi 1-Chome in the JR Beppu station, Maruniya is well-known as a Japanese tea store which specializes in first picked green tea produced in Kyushu district.

Maruniya started its business in 1948. The motto of the tea shop is to please people's body and heart with delicious Japanese tea.




They sell 'gyokuro', the highest grade of green tea, 'sencha', medium grade, 'genmaicha', mixture of green tea and roasted brown rice, 'konacha', smashed green tea, 'fukamushicha', deep steamed green tea, and hojicha, roasted green tea.




Out of many kinds of teas, 'fukamushicha' named Halley's Comet (ハレー彗星) is the signature brand of this store. It has a deep green color and the taste is very astringent.


A number of items related to green tea are available in the store such as teapots, tea cups, etc.


2018/06/05

Rice Fields in the Rural Area of Beppu






It's the rice planting season in Beppu area.


A rice field just before rice seedlings are planted.













Blocks of rice seedlings in the bottom 
left and lines of young rice just 
   planted in the upper right.








                                             Rice planting is almost finished.


       Mt. Tsurumi and Mt. Ohira-yama reflected in an agricultural reservoir.


2018/05/07

Let's enjoy the rainy season in Beppu!

June at the Kagurame-ko lake
Irises in full bloom at the Kagurame-ko lake
 Although June is the middle of the rainy season here in Beppu, irises at the Kagurame-ko lake invite visitors not only on sunny days but rainy days. Irises rather fit rain.