Annual Deep Cleaning of Our Bath

On Monday, December 17 we cleaned the baths at Dai-ichi Takimotokan. Beginning in 1986, when the bath took its present form, we began this annual tradition. This year marked the 33rd time that all of our staff gathered to scrub and clean the baths to give thanks for the year that has passed, the warm water given by the mountain in steady supply, and to welcome the New Year and those who join us here.

When everything was scrubbed and scoured to sparkling perfection, we hung a shimenawa (a rope made of rice straw) on the central pillar of the baths. It is a symbol of our gratitude and our prayer that the hot water continue to flow for another year. It weighs 10kg and will hang in this place of honor until the New Year arrives.

This year Noboribetsu Onsen was also affected by the autumn earthquake. However, the hot water continued to flow as usual afterward. We are grateful for the blessing of this constant water and will continue our preparations to welcome guests so they may also enjoy its bounty.