Photo: PR Times

Japan’s coldest prefecture offering frozen river open-air soaking this winter

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japanese love a good bath, and at any hot spring the nicest tub of all will be an open-air one. It’s not like the joys of an open-air soak are confined to the warmer parts of the year either, as Japan even has a word, yukimiburo, for the special luxury of sitting in an outdoor hot spring and keeping your body toasty as you look out over snowy scenery.

Travel provider Moving Inn has begun taking reservations for its Tokachi Avant program, which provides open-air soaks in the town of Obihiro, Hokkaido Prefecture. Instead of giving you access to a hot spring, though, they simply cut a hole in the ice of a frozen river in Japan’s northernmost, and coldest, prefecture and say “Hop on in!”

Photo: PR Times

How cold is it? Moving Inn says the midwinter temperatures around the site can dip down to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

▼ But hey, at least they give you a bathrobe to use.

Photo: PR Times

The ostensibly invigorating dip into the frigid water is only half the package, however. The other part is warming your body back up in the mobile sauna room set up on-site.

Photo: PR Times

Once you get too hot, you can hop back into the water to cool yourself off, repeating the cycle to your heart’s content (or your heart’s stoppage, we’re guessing, should the shock of the water send you into cardiac arrest).

Photo: PR Times

150-minute sessions are being offered on Dec 26 and 27, Jan 16, 17, 23, and 24, and Feb 6, 7, 20, and 21, all of which are pretty much guaranteed of having sub-zero weather. Two sessions are offered each day, the first starting at 11 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m., with a maximum of 12 people in each. Reservations can be made online here, but be advised that each session requires a total of at least two reservations in order to take place, so if you’re planning to go you’ll need to keep your fingers crossed that at least one other person is as brave/crazy as you are.

Source: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- 18 awesome overnight hot spring trips from Tokyo, and a quiz to help pick the best one for you

-- How to make open-air dining in winter awesome: Take the kotatsu outside!

-- Rakuten Travel reveals the top 5 best-rated, off-the-beaten-track Japanese ryokan inns

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds crazy to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We have the Polar Bear Club in North America. Take off your clothes, step into the freezing ocean nude. Whichever way you look at it, with the CoVid-19 I don't think this is a good idea right now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing beats the fun of freezing off your snowballs out in the middle of nowhere with a whole bunch of strangers, huh? What are the chances a polar bear thinks you are on today's menu? I'll pass and GoTo Iriomote instead: Awamori, warm temperatures and short skirts sound much more appetizing to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I honestly can’t think of anything I’d like to do less in Japan in winter. And they’d want me to pay too?

Now a nice fireplace and a glass of sweet sherry and slippers......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There'd be shrinkage!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Makes me cold just looking at the pictures! This guy is amazing!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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