Uncovering Beppu: Culture, Customs, and Festivals

Uncovering Beppu: Culture, Customs, and Festivals

Uncovering Beppu: Culture, Customs, and Festivals

Beppu, located in Oita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan, is a city rich in culture, customs, and vibrant festivals. Known for its hot springs and natural wonders, Beppu offers visitors a unique experience that combines relaxation, exploration, and immersion into the local way of life. Here, we will guide you through the various aspects of Beppu's culture, customs, and festivals, ensuring you make the most of your visit.

Culture and Customs

Beppu's culture is deeply rooted in traditional Japanese customs, but with its own local flavor. The city is renowned for its onsen, or hot springs, which play an integral role in the daily lives of its residents. Be sure to experience the therapeutic benefits of these natural springs by visiting one of Beppu's many public bathhouses. Here, you can relax in the mineral-rich waters and soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

When visiting an onsen, it is essential to follow proper etiquette. Firstly, make sure to thoroughly wash your body before entering the baths. This is done in designated shower areas provided at the bathhouses. Additionally, it is customary to disrobe completely before entering the bathing area, so leave your bathing suit behind. While in the baths, it is polite to keep your towel out of the water and to refrain from swimming or splashing. Embracing these customs will ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience.

In addition to the onsen culture, Beppu offers a variety of traditional arts and crafts. The city is known for its bamboo crafts, pottery, and traditional Japanese papermaking. Take the opportunity to witness local artisans in action, visit workshops, and perhaps even create your own unique piece to take home as a souvenir.

Festivals in Beppu

Beppu is also renowned for its lively and colorful festivals, which offer a glimpse into the city's vibrant traditions and celebrations. One of the most famous festivals is the Beppu Hatto Onsen Festival, held annually in October. During this festival, the streets come alive with parades, music, dance performances, and various entertainment activities. The highlight of the festival is the onsen-themed floats, beautifully decorated with intricate designs and vibrant colors.

Another fascinating festival is the Beppu Fire Festival, also known as Hi No Yoake Matsuri. Celebrated on the last Saturday of July, this event is a spectacle of fire and tradition. Local men, dressed in traditional white clothing, carry giant torches through the streets, symbolizing the purification of evil spirits and praying for a bountiful harvest and good fortune. The festival culminates in a grand fireworks display, lighting up the night sky and creating a breathtaking atmosphere.


Beppu, with its rich cultural heritage, fascinating customs, and vibrant festivals, offers travelers a truly immersive experience. From relaxing in the healing waters of the onsen to witnessing the awe-inspiring fire festivals, a visit to Beppu will leave a lasting impression. Embrace the local traditions, engage with the community, and explore the city's cultural offerings to make the most of your time in this fascinating destination.