The city was founded on April 1, 1924, and is famous for its onsen (hot springs), which are regarded as sacred. Beppu is Japan's onsen capital. It has the second largest volume of hot water in the world after Yellowstone in the United States and has the largest number of hot spring sources in Japan. Beppu contains nine major geothermal hot spots, which are sometimes referred to as the "nine hells of Beppu". Beppu is also divided into eight major hot spring areas, listed below and known as Beppu Hatto. Beppu is considered a tourist town by the Japanese. Like many other Japanese cities, it is sandwiched between the sea and the mountains.