Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Spring Festival Report
The Noboribetsu Yu (Hot Spring) Festival was held at Noboribetsu Onsen on Monday, February 3 and Tuesday, February 4. Held annually, the Hot Spring Festival celebrates the gift of the natural hot water and its healing powers.
The Hot Spring Festival also gives thanks for the abundant amount and high quality of the natural onsen water in Noboribetsu Onsen. As you can see by the photos, it is a true celebration full of fun and plenty of hot water!
These two days were also full of tradition. On February 3, a special ceremony was held to honor the source of the hot water, while on February 4 another traditional event occurred. The event, known as the Hot Water Throwing competition, is the most important and fun part of this festival.
Men dressed in white loincloths gathered in Sengen Park across from Dai-ichi Takimotokan. They divide into two teams – the Red and the White – and in extreme cold (minus 10 degrees Celsius!), they throw hot water at each other. Legend has it that if the Red team wins, then the temperature of the water rises. However, if the White team wins, then the amount of hot water increases. Both teams had many brave members who did their best, and this year the Red Team won!
We hope that this year will be blessed once again with hotter and more abundant water, but most of all, we hope to see you here to celebrate with us next year! It will again be held on February 3 and 4. Please join us and enjoy the natural gift of Noboribetsu Onsen!