Ready for a New Year

An important part of New Year celebrations in Japan is osouji or cleaning. Before the New Year arrives, every house gets a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. The idea is to welcome the coming year with as fresh a start as possible.

The onsen, of course, is no different. The baths are cleaned regularly throughout the year, but each December, we do an even more thorough than usual cleaning. This is no small endeavor as our public bath boasts an area of 1,500 tsubo ( nearly 5,000 square meters). The whole staff – not just those who work in the bath area but everyone – comes together to do this task. By the end, we are all sweating and tired, but happy, too.

It is a long but good day of work that ends by tying a thick shimenawa (rope made of rice straw) around the main pillar in the bath. This symbolizes both the end of our preparations and our promise to do our best in the New Year.

We had many wonderful guests from all over the world this past year, and we are grateful for the opportunity to meet and enjoy everyone’s company. We look forward to doing the same again in 2017!

Dai-ichi Takimotokan, Noboribetsu-onsen, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan 059-0595
Tel. +81-143-84-2111

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