For anyone in search of geo-thermal excitement, the city of Beppu in the southernmost Japanese region of Kyushu is the place to visit. Hot springs bubble out of the earth in multiple locations while hydrothermal vents emit plumes of super-heated water. On the beach this heated water seeps into the volcanic sands in which the locals are happy to be all but interred in order to enjoy the therapeutic benefits on offer. If these postcards are any guide this also offers an opportunity for some serious posing – bathers display an impressive nonchalance towards the rising tide outside their field of vision. Western participants describe the agonies to be endured when arms and hands are buried and bodily itching breaks out. None of the Japanese bathers visible here have been silly enough to place themselves in that position.