Delivering its own "stay-at-home" message aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, one of the oldest hot springs in Japan is asking onsen lovers to go virtual as they take a breather and relax — in their own bathtubs.

Young hot spring inn owner Kazushige Kanai and like-minded colleagues in Arima Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture are offering a series of virtual reality videos, giving viewers the sense that they are at the famous tourist destination as they immerse themselves in hot water.

The first batch of videos, already released on YouTube, takes viewers wearing VR headsets to five inns, allowing them to enjoy various kinds of hot springs including the sound of the water and the breeze in surrounding nature.