Updated: Feb 14
Writer: Kalyana Sidra Wardhana | Illustrator: Ariyani Nuraini | Editor: Athaya Thahirah Hardono | Photographer: Reinardus Darren Tanoto
Have you ever found yourself stuck on Valentine’s Day, wondering what else there is to do in Beppu? If the answer is yes (and it must be), then read along! Here, we’ve curated 3 date activities within 3 different price points. From budget-friendly dates, to splurge-worthy ones, we’ve got you covered. So, whatever the condition your wallet is in, you’ll surely find the right fit!
$ — Picnic by the beach
The best things in life are (nearly) free. Sweet and simple, this activity is a crowd-favourite amongst APU students. Beppu is perfect for a beach date as it has an array of beaches along its coastline, with the favored one being Mochigahama (located right behind McDonald’s!). You could let go of your troubles while feeling the ocean breeze brushing through your hair, the ocean waves gently lapping the shore — need we say more? With the option of home-cooked meals available, you could easily get away with eating your comfort food without worrying about the cost. Buy your favourite snacks from the nearby Hirose or MaxValue and bring your spiciest, most pungent sambal, no one will say a thing!
Day or night, the beach is free to visit. During the day, soak up the sunlight and get some much-needed vitamin D! Be warned, the beach has no lighting at night, making it perfect to gaze at the nearby Oita lights. Just be careful to not step on some dead jellyfish. Yes, there will be some washed up jellyfish. All-in-all, picnic by the beach is the perfect Valentine’s Day date for when you’re trying to save up. All a date like this needs is good food and good company.
$$ — Go cafe-hunting
Don’t get it wrong, a quaint and quiet town like Beppu has a lot of underrated cafes. Requiring a bit of pocket-money, this option is the right choice for when you are truly bored. If you live downtown, we recommend going on foot or by bicycle, ‘cause why not save money and explore Beppu in a different way at the same time? For the AP House peeps, we recommend the bus — unless you’re feeling especially adventurous and decide to walk down the mountain. A quick search on Google Maps and Bus Doko will get you on the right track. Quick tip: when in doubt, ask your senpais.
Featured in this article is Othello Specialty Coffee Roaster, or just Othello for short. Located near Youme Town, it would be best to stop at Nagarekawa Youme Town Mae (流川ゆめタウン前), available from APU or AP House only through the AS54 bus line. From there, go by foot until you find a small but stylish coffee shop. The trendy exterior is hard to miss and the Instagrammable interior will surely make you wanna force your date to take a picture of you promptly. This particular coffee shop is a must-visit for coffee aficionados, as they offer quite a vast range of coffee beans from Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil, and even Indonesia! Definitely a pleasant surprise when you’re craving for a good cup of coffee, for only approximately 450-550円.
Aside from Othello, another alternative is Cocolate Cafe or ココラート (2-minute walk from Shiawase Dori bus stop), which offers various types of tasty food and beverages. Combined with a cozy atmosphere, Cocolate is perfect for a brunch date in which you can spend a longer time with your partner. Famous for its baked goods, you can pair up a meal (with drink incl.) with you choice of dessert for a total of less than 1500円 (for more info, check out https://cocolate-bakeshop.com/cafe/). Whichever cafe you choose, just make sure to bring someone who will surely appreciate you. Don’t worry too much about the language barrier, so long as you are respectful, you will surely have a wonderful Valentine’s Day cafe date!
$$$ — Umitamago Aquarium
Ever been on a train to Oita and wondered ‘What the heck is that ship-looking building?!’? Well, wonder no more because as it turns out, that building is the Umitamago Aquarium. If you have some money saved up, go splurge on this aquarium date. After all, it is Valentine’s Day. When else can you spend a lot of money on one date? Hop on the AS54, AS60, AS61, AS70, or AS71 bus and get off at the Takasakiyama bus stop. The entry ticket per adult is 2,300円 and for that price, you get to experience sea performances, make friends with an array of sea mammals, and peer into a tank full of all kinds of fish!
The blue tint of the giant fish tank makes for a unique atmosphere, definitely something special to experience — especially while holding hands. According to a recent visitor, the Umitamago Aquarium is a small one, especially when compared to the big shots like The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. However, if you’re craving for a new experience in Beppu, Umitamago is the place you want to visit at least once! Located right by the sea, Umitamago also offers a photogenic spot. Surely, where else in Beppu can you see cute dolphins, seals, searays, and other kinds of sea creatures at the same place? Just make sure to visit during the weekend, as most performances close on weekdays. For more information, visit https://www.umitamago.jp/index-en/.
Whether it be with a friend, a lover, or even going solo, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show appreciation and love. Of course, you could do those things any other day, but Valentine’s Day just has that inexplicable magic in the air, that special shimmer. Wouldn’t you agree? Don’t forget to still be wary of the pandemic, and please wear your obligatory masks! Let’s all stay safe together.
Have a sweet and wonderful Valentine’s Day!