#4408

Seeing Kusatsu’s Yumomi Ceremony Live

The hot spring water that flows throughout Kusatsu comes from deep within the earth and, as a result, is very, very hot. Between 51 and 94 degrees Celsius to be exact. You may be wondering how this water is cooled. Adding cold water?

One of the ways the water is brought to a comfortable temperature for bathing is yumomi (water stirring). The process involves stirring the water with large, wooden boards measuring 30 cm wide and 180 cm long, adding air to bring the temperature down. Using other methods, like adding cold water, would reduce the pH and mineral content of the hot spring water, which is the secret to its healing benefits.

One of the most popular attractions in Kusatsu Onsen is the Yumomi Experience. Held six times a day (three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon), the performance lasts less than 30 minutes. Held in Netsu no yu, near the Yubatake right in the center of town, the ceremony is performed by eight to 10 women (sometimes men) to bring down the temperature of the water. The stirring is done rhythmically, while a song is sung.

The key to catching one of these performances is to get in line. And get in line early. The first performance of the day seems to be the most popular, and tickets can only be purchased 30 minutes in advance. The bathhouse has seating on two levels, given on a first come, first served basis. Sitting on the lower level does have one distinct advantage: close proximity to the entrance to the performance area, which provides the opportunity to volunteer. Volunteers have the chance to try stirring the water themselves.

The ceremony is a beautifully choreographed performance that really feels like a window into the past. It’s the preservation of traditions such as this one that make Kusatsu Onsen so special, reminding us necessity is the mother of invention and that sometimes the most simple method is the best.

Learn more here:
http://www.kusatsu-onsen.ne.jp.e.uh.hp.transer.com/category/detail/index.php?c=0&g=1&kcd=1

Petra image

Petra

Japan

Petra's other advice

Tips for Staying in a Japanese Hotel images

Tips for Staying in a Japanese Hotel

To properly enjoy Kusatsu Onsen, you really should make it an overnight trip. Staying for two or three days allows you the chance to fully explore the town and enjoy the benefits of the hot springs. …

Taking the Benefits of Onsen Home images

Taking the Benefits of Onsen Home

I’m a sucker for a good gift shop. Before most every trip, one of the first things I’m researching online is what the best local souvenirs are to take home from a destination. When it comes to Kusats…

The Food of Kusatsu Onsen images

The Food of Kusatsu Onsen

One the best ways to experience a town is through its food. When I travel, I love finding the diners, pubs, restaurants and cafés the locals choose to frequent, because that’s where I know I’ll get t…

Strolling Through Sainokawara Park in Kusatsu images

Strolling Through Sainokawara Park in Kusatsu

Kusatsu Onsen is a small town tucked away in the mountains. Within a few blocks of downtown, you can end up surrounded by nature. This is best on display at Sainokawara Park, home to one of Kusatsu’s…

Recharge in Luxury at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo images

Recharge in Luxury at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Being sick is no fun at all, especially when there is work to be done. Thankfully, the last time I found myself ill in Tokyo, I was checked into the Hyatt Regency hotel and it proved to be a perfect …

Unleash Your Inner Artist at Artbar Tokyo images

Unleash Your Inner Artist at Artbar Tokyo

Trying something creative is a great way to help you unwind. Artbar Tokyo in Daikanyama offers classes all week long that give artists of all experience levels the chance to create an original painti…

You might also like

Mt. Fuji access guide; trains and buses for Lake Kawaguchiko area. images

Mt. Fuji access guide; trains and buses for Lake Kawaguchiko area.

If you will visit Mount Fuji (富士山), Kawaguchiko Station (河口湖駅) or Mt. Fuji Station (富士山駅) are major gateways for magical Mount Fuji, designated as a world cultural heritage site in 2013, a…

Hagi image

Hagi

2-Day Trip to Fujigoko (Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji) in winter 1/3 images

2-Day Trip to Fujigoko (Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji) in winter 1/3

What do you think about visiting Mt. Fuji in winter and enjoy snow and Japanese high quality Omotenashi? Most people climb or visit Mt. Fuji during either spring or summer time. Unless you really lov…

ZEROIN -INTERNSHIP image

ZEROIN -INTERNSHIP

Travel to Shikoku Island from Hiroshima or Osaka images

Travel to Shikoku Island from Hiroshima or Osaka

Follow the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido cycling route“The cycling route runs for about 70 kilometres across 6 islands and bridges of the Seto Inland Sea, linking Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture with…

DeepJapan image

DeepJapan

Kusatsu Onsen – one of Japan’s best hot spring resorts images

Kusatsu Onsen – one of Japan’s best hot spring resorts

Visiting an onsen (hot spring) is an authentic Japanese experience“Going to hot springs in Japan is high on the list of great things to do and is a fantastic way to calm the nerves and get refres…

DeepJapan image

DeepJapan

World's Most Comfortable Economy-class Seats on Skymark Airlines images

World's Most Comfortable Economy-class Seats on Skymark Airlines

When I boarded my Skymark airline flight last weekend for a short trip down to Fukuoka, I was shocked by how large the economy seats were. Initially I miss took the economy seats to be business class…

GenS image

GenS

Japan’s Best Onsen For a Day Trip images

Japan’s Best Onsen For a Day Trip

Japanese travellers love to go on a day trip to an onsen. Spend the day with your friends, try some local foods, and relax in the bath. Higaeri onsen 日帰り温泉 is the Japanese word for a one day tri…

David image

David