BEPPU, Oita Prefecture--Patrons at a rustic communal bathhouse here who soak in the famed Beppu hot spring waters could enjoy the offerings of a rival resort hundreds of kilometers away without climbing out of the tub.
The Kotobuki Onsen accepted the spring water from its rival, the Kusatsu hot spring resort in Gunma Prefecture, on Nov. 6.
"We want people to enjoy another source of hot springs once in a while," said a Beppu official.
Two trucks carried 11,000 liters of hot water from the leisure spot, located about 700 kilometers from Beppu. Yasuhiro Nagano, mayor of Beppu, hosed it into the Kotobuki Onsen’s more than 90-year-old bathtubs.
Onsen lovers were enjoying the sensation of sinking into the hot water, which is a little different from their usual bath, and also pouring it over their bodies and tasting it free of charge.
The municipal government of Beppu, damaged by a series of powerful earthquakes that hit the Kyushu region in April 2016, has its traditional hot springs water transported and delivered around the country in appreciation for assistance it received following the disaster.
Over the course of their travels, the trucks were filled with the onsen hot spring water of Kusatsu and transported it back to Beppu.
Both Beppu and Kusatsu onsen are famed and popular Japanese hot springs with long histories that attract millions of tourists each year.