Japan has more than 500 volcanoes on its main islands; many lie dormant but others remain active. There are also hundreds of areas of thermal activity throughout this nation. One of the biggest thermal areas in the world is Beppu.
Located on the southern island of Kyushu in Japan, Beppu is a big tourist attraction. People go there to bathe in the hot sand baths or soak in the healing, mineral-laden waters. The city of Beppu is at the bottom of a slope near several volcanoes. In Beppu there are about 3,500 hot springs, geysers, and fumeroles. Fumeroles are vents that allow gas to escape. 57,000 cubic meters of water emit each day because of the hot springs and geysers.
In Beppu there are nine boiling ponds called Jigoku, which means “hells.” The nine ponds vary greatly in size and color. There is one pond called Chinoike Jigoku that is rust red because the water has oxidized some of the rocks at the bottom of the pond. On the other hand, Umi Jigoku is a deep blue color that reflects the sky.
Not only does Beppu attract tons of tourists, it also attracts animals seeking warmth. One species in particular is the small Macaque Monkey. These monkeys are often found sitting in the heated waters. They even have a rotation system, sending one or two monkeys to get food while the others relax.
Beppu is one example of Japan's active volcanic landscape.
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