Recently I joined a field trip organized by the Ishigaki Chamber of Commerce to Onsen Hot Spring Town Beppu in Oita Prefecture. Beppu has a long history in hospitality, and the town continues to live the same spirit based on a solid foundation of hospitality. It has a very good set-up with local universities, whose students play an important role in the daily life of the city.
If you are into onsen hot springs, and looking for an original destination with shops and restaurants ranging from shabby yet very interesting to very stylish, then Beppu is definitely a good choice. It is also a good destination to try out traditional ryokan accommodations. Personally, the field trip has given a lot of food for thought for tourism in Ishigaki and Yaeyama.