Noboribetsu Yu Festival and Water Battle
However, this year the water gods were serious…
We would like to introduce you to the rare appearance of Yukijin, who serve as stern protectors of our hot water, our town, and our guests.
On Sunday, at 6 p.m., with bells and gongs ringing all around, ten Yukijin were guided down from Hell’s Valley to Senden Park. They came quietly but with heavy footsteps.
At the opening ceremony, blessings were made to guarantee a successful supply of hot water throughout the year.
Next, the water gods lit a fire in a great kettle.
Then, wooden plaques with wishes and hopes written by locals and guests were thrown in…
And the blazing flames carried our wishes up to heaven!
The Yukijin then walked around the town, performing special dances to drive out evil spirits in shops and hotels, including our own lobby!
Our guests also observed the traditional performance of rice cake (mochi) pounding and enjoyed complimentary sweet hot soup with mocha.
Tomorrow is the main event of the Noboribetsu Onsen Hot Water Festival and should not be missed. At 9:30 p.m., 100 men wearing only loincloths will fight by splashing hot water on each other in the freezing temperatures. Please be careful as water will be flying everywhere!
However, don’t worry. If you become cold while watching the festival events, you can always come and warm yourself in the hot water of our baths.
We, along with the water gods, are waiting for you!