Beppu is synonymous with onsen, and the higher up you go into the highlands, you literally see steam rising from even drains by the roadside. Eight ‘Hells’ await you and while most of the more exclusive onsen are located in the highlands (i.e. the Myouban area 明礬), some are either too outdated or too exorbitant. For those conscious of budget but still desire a rewarding onsen experience in Beppu, check out Ebisuya Onsen (湯屋えびす), nestled midway between Yama no yu (山の湯) and the main bus stop at the foot of the Myouban hills.
Sometimes, the most rewarding experience can be right at the place you stay. Forget about checking out every atmospheric (think ‘outdated’) onsen, such as the Takegawara Onsen (竹瓦温泉). Yes, this onsen shrine dates back to the Meiji era and all, but for a fabulous onsen experience, it does not offer. Stay at the Nishitetsu Resort Inn in Beppu (西鉄イン別府), and you can soak in an inhouse onsen that is just as incredible as any of the other more exorbitant / outdated / traditional ones out there. LS