February 10th 2023
Most of the time in Beppu has been spent stressing over travel plans. Even though we could not do what we wanted to do here, it was still nice to get away from big cities, I think I've had my fill of those.
The main draw for Beppu was Mount Takasaki, an old volcano/hill where 'free-roaming' Japanese macaques live. That seems to be a careful choice of words, because although they are supposedly wild, the entire perimeter of the mountain is lined with an electric fence - I know, I walked almost all of it. There is also a monkey park, because the authorities feed monkeys regularly at the base of the mountain, you can pay to go watch. I chose to not do this, but after hiking the entire length of the volcano, including getting lost and descending on my butt down the sketchy sheer slope, I saw a total of 0 monkeys. I suspect they were all at the feeding area. From monkeys to deer, overall the concept of 'wild' seems to have a different definition in Japan.
One part of Beppu is also a famous onsen town and the site of seven 'hells', basically very hot thermal springs.
Warm vents across the town makes it a good city for cats