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Old 04-19-19, 12:59 PM
Mountain Mitch
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Location: Back-of-beyond, Kootenays, BC
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Bikes: Specialized Roubaix Expert Road and Specialized Stump Jumper FS Mountain; De Vinci Caribou touring, Intense Tracer T275c, Surly Moonlander, Cramerotti

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Your tour of the Kunisaki Peninsula will lead you to Beppu. It is a university town with some very strange attractions. The first thing you need to understand about Beppu is that is is directly downhill from Mount Aso. The is a huge ancient but still active volcano (in fact I heard of some road closures near there). As a result of the vulcanism, Beppu sits on a river of superheated water. There are huge steam vents in the streets just to relive the pressure. There are tons of Ďfoot onsensí - small pools to soak your feet in the hot water. Even the most basic Minshuku will have an Onsen but get to some of the big old ones. They are very hot and left me wondering how the locals could manage a decent length soak. The seven Buddhist hells are another attraction. Some are beautiful but some are a bit run down and exploit animals.

From Beppu you could ride up to Mount Aso (or take the train, thatís what I would do!). The Aso Cauldera would be a good ride but you will definitely have you work cut out for you to get there. Also check about road closures - I think itís only right near the Volcano. There is a great hostel right near the Aso train station. From there you have a big downhill to Kumamoto and beyond.

Your other two options from Beppu is to continue along the coast or take the ferry to Shikoku. I havenít been along the coastal route but it leads to Kagoshima, which is a very cool city!

I need to get back to Japan!

Last edited by Mountain Mitch; 04-19-19 at 01:03 PM.
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