Continuing the trend of music in unusual venues, This weekend sees the world’s very first hot springs music festival launched. Onsen Ongaku Vol. 1 is organized by the Naturally Gushing ambient works project and held in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture. The event runs from 5 p.m. Saturday to 5 p.m. Sunday and the headliner will be dance music act De De Mouse who samples Mongolian vocals on top of sweet electro-pop keyboards. Other acts include Metal Mouse, Asa-Chang, Yoko Nagisa and Snow Effect. Due to the confined space, attendance is capped at 300, but despite that, tickets cost a rather reasonable ¥6,500.
Adding to the magical and unusual atmosphere is the fact that the building the event is held in is famous for being one of the onsen that inspired the bathhouse in “Spirited Away.” Visitors can’t camp, but there are a number of hotels and inns available to stay in in the town. The best way to get there is by car though the hotel can be reached via 5-min. taxi ride from the nearest station. The place is also famous for its snow monkeys who come to bathe in the onsen, though who knows if the ambient tunes will attract or repel them.