#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

Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years ! images

Kusatsu Onsen: Rated No.1 of Japan’s 100 Best Hot Springs for 12 consecutive years !

Kusatsu Onsen in Gumma Prefecture is known as one of Japan's three best hot springs. By the way, Arima in Hyogo Prefecture and Gero in Gifu Prefecture are the other two locations. These three wer…

ZEROIN -INTERNSHIP image

ZEROIN -INTERNSHIP

Japanese sweets : “Tansan Senbei” images

Japanese sweets : “Tansan Senbei”

Thin and round carbonic acid rice cracker is mainly made of flour. They really melt in your mouth and taste slightly sweet. They are famous confections of Arima hot springs located in Hyogo prefectur…

OKAKI-sun image

OKAKI-sun

Samurai Spirit in Fukushima images

Samurai Spirit in Fukushima

I always wanted to explore Fukushima so I headed north from Tokyo station for a short ride on the Tohoku Shinkansen Toward Koriyama station. It's only about an hour and half. and is a great way to en…

DeepJapan image

DeepJapan

Go to Tokyo Disneyland in Japan for a Cheaper Ticket Price images

Go to Tokyo Disneyland in Japan for a Cheaper Ticket Price

For a half-day trip in the evening, I often take advantage of the cheaper starlight pass offered from 6pm at Tokyo Disney Resort. If you are a Disney fanatic like I am, this is a great way to experie…

GenS image

GenS

The Glory that is Onigiri images

The Glory that is Onigiri

Often translated as a Japanese rice ball, they tend to come in two distinct shapes: disc and triangle. Onigiri is packed rice with some kind of filling inside then usually (but not always) wrapped in…

Nate image

Nate

Water, Water, and many drops to drink images

Water, Water, and many drops to drink

Omizu (mizu if you're not using the honorific "O") is the Japanese word for water. If you're visiting Japan you can be assured that the water from taps is safe to drink wherever you're visiting. Howe…

Joe Peters image

Joe Peters