Oita is the Onsen prefecture of Japan, and Beppu is the main onsen city in Oita. If there is one thing people come to Beppu for, it is onsen. With a population of about 122,000 and a constant stream of tourists, Beppu feels like a suburban tourist town. Situated on the side of a volcano next to the ocean, it also has a lot of readily accessible nature. In recent years, the city has become more diverse and modern due to efforts by the region. The establishment of the international college, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), has brought in a lot of foreign residents, and the area now has the second highest density of foreigners in the country outside of Tokyo. As such, a wide variety of restaurants can be tried within the city. In the past the city was known for being fairly wild, with legalized prostitution and a strong yakuza presence. Local leaders have helped to eliminate much of this, but some of these elements still remain today.
JET Life in Beppu
As of 2015, there are 7 JETs in Beppu: 3 Prefectural BOE ALT’s and 4 city BOE ALT’s. Prefectural BOE ALT’s will be provided with government subsidized teacher housing, while city ALT’s will be responsible for finding their own housing, which is considerably higher in rent. JET’s in the area generally use the local buses/trains or their bike to get around. Although one prefectural ALT is currently required to have a car to get to one of their schools located in the Usa region.
Transportation within the city is not a problem. The JR line runs along the length of the east side and has three available stops in town. There is also an extensive bus network in the town and area, and additional routes that run to the airports in Oita and Fukuoka. Check hyperdia or bus navi oita for train and bus schedules. A bike can also be a good choice, especially since there is a fairly new bike trail linking Beppu to Oita City, but since Beppu is one big hill from east to west, be prepared to sweat.