Since Beppu is known for its hot springs, onsens, there are some where people can actually dip in and relax. Basically, it's a glorified way of taking a bath. OK, the catch is, you have to get buck ass naked in front of complete strangers. I was walking around with my delicates all over the place, trying not to be bashful, but it was pretty hard not to laugh! hahah I get enough stares being a foreigner, let alone the fact that I was scrubbing myself--naked--on a stool the size of a bike tire. So, we tried some sand baths, mud baths, steam rooms, pebble baths, outdoor baths, etc. The outdoor bath was prtty cool b/c you're basically in this enclosed outside area with waterfalls and trees. One of the places we visited was up in the mountains, so you had to take this long pathway to finally get to the mud bath. Evidently, Mother Theresa went there before she died. They had tons of pics of her stay hanging on the walls. Needless to say, going to an onsen is a must when it comes to having an authentic Japanese experience. The whole process from start to finish--taking a shower BEFORE getting in the onsen, washing your hair, body, shaving, etc; slowly pouring small amounts of the ridiculously hot water over your body, then dipping into the onsens, remaining as still as possible, then cleaning up afterwards--is a methodic and sacred process.
Of course, we couldn't leave Beppu without checking out the sex museum...that's our motto: "Sex museums 'til death." Even in sex, the Japanese are overly poilte and inhibited. Not only do they scramble their porn, but they also scrambled the glass covering the paintings conveying tantric positions. This resulted in Anh, Hannah and I simply stretching--spraining really-- our necks to look at the goods. Oh, that Lord Adinath was quite the devil... This museum wasn't as impressive as the sites in Amsterdam, but it did boast an over-sized wooden penis. I couldn't help but reminisce of the "Ambigously Gay Duo" sketch on Saturday Night Live--the museaum was only missing the ass-shaped cave.
Other notable mentions at the sex museum:
1) Those claw vending machines that could grab anything from porn videos to vibrators
2) A room dedicated to the Prince walking in on Snow White having an orgy with the 7 Dwarves (leave it to the Japanese to find Disney remotely sexy)