Thursday, January 03, 2008

A sake bath to ring in the new year

In addition to hatsumode—the first shrine visit of the year—another Japanese New Year's tradition is the first hot-spring bath of the year.

In Kumamoto City, the capital of the prefecture in which the Aso region is located, 16 public baths gave their first customers of the year a special treat: a bath with genuine sake added to the water.

A "sake bath" is said to speed up your metabolism and make you skin soft, hence its popularity with women, according to the article from which the photo below was taken.

There are also hot springs where you can heat up flasks of sake to drink later.

The bath owner shows bathers which brand of sake they're soaking in.

[Source: Kumamoto Nichinichi Shinbun.]

—Mellow Monk

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