Fukushima hot spring resort opens to typhoon victims for free


The Dake Onsen resort in Fukushima Prefecture has opened its hot spring baths to people hit by Typhoon Hagibis free of charge.

On Wednesday, Fukushima residents affected by the 19th typhoon of the year visited the facilities in Nihonmatsu from the morning. They included people from the nearby cities of Motomiya and Koriyama.

“Taking a hot spring bath provided some relief,” said Yuko Harada, 56, of Nihonmatsu, who came to the resort with her mother.

Harada could not take a bath due to a water outage, although her home suffered no damage from the typhoon.

Jun Sakuma, a 32-year-old self-employed resident of Nihonmatsu, visited Dake Onsen after seeing social media posts.

“It helped a lot, as I couldn’t take a bath,” Sakuma said. “The fatigue and grime have gone.”

The large public bath at the Soranoniwa Resort hotel is also open to the public for free.

Harumi Munakata, a 44-year-old corporate worker from the neighboring city of Tamura, visited the facility with three family members.

“With no water available, I had to wipe my body with wet tissues,” Munakata said. “I feel relaxed after taking a bath.”

Free hot spring baths were offered from Tuesday by nine ryokan Japanese-style inns and hotels in Dake Onsen, mainly at the initiative of a ryokan cooperative.

Satoru Saito, the 53-year-old head clerk of one ryokan, said, “When in need, we help each other.”

Bath facilities are also open to the public in other Fukushima cities, including Iwaki, Minamisoma and Sukagawa.