Thursday, Sept. 21 
Horita onsen  

  Beppu Youth Hostel was up a steep but short hill off the main road. It was too early to check in, so we gathered some tourist information and left our panniers there and went in search of the nearest onsen

Rick bathing at Horita onsen
  At Horita onsen we had a private, open-air family bath. There was a long list of rules, in English, including: 
  • Do not use your own soap or shampoo because it could pollute the river; use the mugworts soap provided.
  • One-hour limit.
  • Do not kill dragonflies, grasshoppers, etc. (However, there was a flyswatter in the dressing area.)
Rice harvest in Beppu
  Relaxed, we went back to the hostel and checked in. We had time before supper for a short walk toward downtown but didn't get as far as the Foreign Tourist Information Office. We stopped in a bike shop and caught some bike racing live on TV -- track cycling at the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. 
  Beppu Youth Hostel was relatively expensive but shabby. The air conditioning wasn't working.
Beppu Youth Hostel