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Inn apologizes for changing communal bathwater only twice a year

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"He didn't like the smell of the chemical"...

Translation: He didn't like the cost of the chemical.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Maybe "Come and bathe in the same bathwater as Emperor Showa" was to be a selling point.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Even before the scandal made headlines, there had been red flags. An inspection last year by authorities found double the permissible amount of legionella bacteria in the inn's bathwater.

And why wasnt it shut down right then, and there? Seems like the "authorities" themselves were negligent as well!

The lax measures at Daimaru Besso inn -- where the late Emperor Hirohito once stayed -- began around December 2019.

So, for roughly 3 years before the "inspection" found them to be double over the limit, their procedures were already going downhill.

Question here: "Who did the inspections in 2019? 2020? or 2021?" Seems to me they should have been found out much sooner!

My understanding of the law has been lax. I was complacent in thinking that legionella bacteria was just an ordinary germ that can be found everywhere," Yamada said.

This is pure BS! Anyone who runs an osen or any hotel facility should know about Legionaires disease.

Oh and what about the inspection done last year? You were notified then that it was double the authorized or legal limit! You should lose your license to operate this facility and it should be shut down until competent ownership can be found!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Legionella is very serious.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

My understanding of the law has been lax. I was complacent in thinking that legionella bacteria was just an ordinary germ that can be found everywhere," Yamada said.

That is a terrible excuse, knowing the risks is part of the responsibilities he took by managing the facilities. Being criminally inept does not mean he is less guilty.

"I feel sorry for our ancestors," Yamada said.

I feel sorry for the guests, that were exposed to serious risks to their health and lives.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Hahaha! Eeewww......and pewople look at weird when I say 'I'm not into hot springs and resorts like that'.

Enjoy your bath folks!

10 ( +14 / -4 )

"I feel sorry for our ancestors," Yamada said.

Eh? As a Westerner I can't go down the rabbit-hole with this one. Or was he misquoted, and actually concluded with the word "customers"?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

.... after taking showers....

Ive been to many hot springs and sento and Ive noticed that the older men DON'T shower first !!! They come in and fill a bowl with hot water from the main communal bath....throw it over their private parts ( genitals ) and then get into the main bath !!! they soak for a while and then get out and wash properly before returning to the main communal bath. Many do not follow the traditional bath etiquette....but are quick to point it out to foreigners.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Have these guys never heard the term “reputational risk”?

Apparently not…..

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"It was a selfish reason," Yamada added, describing the lapse as a "wrongdoing that completely disregarded the health of our customers"

First, this was no 'lapse,' but a willful disregard of the rules just to save some extra yukichi.,They even went so far as to falsify documents. So, where's the part about him now being fully contrite and absolutely loving the smell of chlorine so as to happily comply with the regulations. All the doublespeak around this is just ridiculous.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Or was he misquoted, and actually concluded with the word "customers"?

I think a more colloquial translation of what he said was probably something along the lines of "our ancestors are rolling in their graves".

I haven't seen the original Japanese though.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Gross. How sickening. I hope this isn't the tip of the iceberg. Makes me not ever want to visit an onsen again. This news is like the licking sushi story. Ugh.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, has this business been shut down? Has the person been banned from running future businesses?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

japancat

Ive been to many hot springs and sento and Ive noticed that the older men DON'T shower first !!!

Same here! I remember getting the usual lecture about sento etiquette years ago, and in my local sento they have posters in the place describing it, but most old guys hop right into the bath to warm up BEFORE washing themselves. Well, one of them at least sprays his behind with a little bit (thank you), but nothing else. It is weird.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh how the lies just keep coming from this Inn.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

just checked the word 'apology' in the dictionary.

apology | əˈpäləjē | 

noun (plural apologies) 

 a regretful acknowledgment of having been caught in an offense or failure...

yes, I 'moderated' it a touch.... (^_-)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A simple UV filtration would have easily taken care of this instead of using a "chlorine smell" excuse

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ive noticed that the older men DON'T shower first !!! They come in and fill a bowl with hot water from the main communal bath....throw it over their private parts ( genitals ) and then get into the main bath !!! 

Lazy and lack of etiquette fore sure. Common sense is not universal in the populace of any nation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow, toliet water would have been cleaner.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did the water smell funny or look discolored, considering how long it had gone without being changed and all the bacteria, dead skin cells, sweat, and oil it had surely accumulated?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan is such a competitive culture that the inn will probably go out of business and be bought by a new owner on the basis of its history.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The next two weeks are super safe now. If a scandal pops up , everywhere all measures installed and rules strictly abided. So if someone usually doesn’t like hot springs or has some fears about water quality and all such, forget it just now and take the chance for your best hot spring experience. Two weeks, the clock runs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People should have serious jail time for it. Apology doesn’t cure the diseases. I am still suffering an eye infection from a pool spa i went a month ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Toothless laws with toothless inspection.

My understanding of the law has been lax. I was complacent in thinking that legionella bacteria was just an ordinary germ

In the age of the Internet? Sure...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I get that too, "oh, you don't like Japanese culture!!"

Nope, I choose not to bathe with half the town

Hahaha! Eeewww......and pewople look at weird when I say 'I'm not into hot springs and resorts like that'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the inn "falsified documents to claim that the chlorine had been properly added," Yamada admitted.

This falsification of documents is getting more common, or more cases are being revealed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I admit, I too do not like the smell of chlorine while bathing. But this is not an excuse as you are dealing with the health of your customers, just like how chefs wash their hands before touching food, the water should always be replaced and the bathing areas should be cleaned and sanitized. Like someone stated above, there are plenty of filter options that can be used in place of chlorine like activated carbon or charcoal, UV lighting which is the most effective at eliminating harmful bacteria or viruses present in the water, biological filtration, and even boiling the water and mixing it with new cold water before putting it back in would work though I would assume this is costly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have to say that municipal pools as well as most school pools are chlorinated practically to death. Yes, it's better than being eaten by parameciums but the thought of swimming in someone else's urine never really seemed attractive to me. I got rid of of my hot tub after discovering its modus was just to add chemicals to it daily and to keep it running. No thanks. Expensive and nasty. The best place to swim is in the ocean. Preferably way outside an urban area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are a few different sanitation methods for water that isn't replaced.

Chlorine isn't the only solution.

Some people use salt water or Bromine or (66% bromine and 27% chlorine) or ozonator (w/ 10% chlorine), or PHMB, short for polyhexamethylene biguanide. Most methods use "some" amount of chlorine and chlorine is the lease expensive for waters that have lots of different people.

During my teens, I worked at pools year round. Some used chlorine tablets, some used chlorine gas injections, they all needed the filters cleaned - outdoor pools needed it every other day. These were not huge pools, perhaps 500K gallons (about 2.3M liters). Chlorine tablets are useful when algae is first seen on the pool bottom and might prevent more expensive solutions.

One summer the gas-injected chlorine couldn't keep up with algae growth, so we had to shut down the pool for 5 days, drain it, and use algicide chemicals to remove it. The algae only grew in 5-7 ft deep areas, so the shallow and deep end of the pool had none. That fall, they sandblasted the pool and repainted it to prevent the algae reoccurring the next year when the pool was refilled. It was a cold climate location, so all pools were drained before winter.

There are specific amounts of chlorine required for pool safety. We tested hourly, charted the results and submitted those results to the owner (county or school). The pool manager would tweak the amount of chlorine added based on current values and the weather forecast. Sunny days would require we try to get ahead of chlorine dissipation so at 3-4pm we wouldn't be outside the lowest safe levels. All our managers were really good at that.

For springs, I'd think the water flow would need to be sufficient to prevent any standing water. The idea that any chemicals would be introduced seems wrong. If the water isn't safe, perhaps due to flooding or high bacteria counts, they close it for a few days to help flush out the bad stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

AAAAAANNNNNNDDDDD another reason why I don't do onsen or sento.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And I'm sure this is just one of more. I prefer a private bath in clean water, thank you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The guy is a fruitcake, needs to be banned from this lark for life because he’s a danger to society.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Makes you wonder if there are other onsens and sentos like this.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In the world of microbiology, twice the limit is not really so egregious but orders of magnitude are, so 370X or 3700X is a bit problematic. Personally I am not so squeamish and know that a healthy person would have no problem even with these higher levels of Legionella. As long as the coliform (indication of fecal contamination) count was satisfactory, I see no real problem going there in terms of water cleanliness. Besides, I am sure everyone washes themselves afterwards, too.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hahaha! Eeewww......and pewople look at weird when I say 'I'm not into hot springs and resorts like that'.

Enjoy your bath folks!

I bet you don't go swimming pool either, that's worth than onsen actually.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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