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Controversial Tochigi onsen to reopen

Fudo no Yu
Fudo no Yu (Matsuya)

TOKYO (TR) – A hot springs facility in Tochigi Prefecture forced to close in June following complaints of lewd behavior will reopen with restrictions next month, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 4).

On August 1, the mixed-bathing Fudo no Yu onsen, located in Nasushiobara City, will begin accepting bathers during the day on weekends and holidays. It will also be open during the obon holiday period between August 13 and 16. The resumption will extend through the end of November.

A 16-member investigative commission consisting of the Shiobara Hot Springs Resort Association and the Fukuwatari neighborhood council came to an agreement under two stipulations: A manager will be on hand to monitor the bathers, who will be required to cover their bodies with towels.

In recent years, regular complaints were lodged with the management of Fudo no Yu and the association about bathers repeatedly engaging in orgies and the filming of adult video productions. The hot springs shut down on June 1.

Norio Kimijima, the chairman of the Shiobara Hot Springs Resort Association, told the Mainichi Shimbun (July 4) that the open-air bath at Fudo no Yu is a key attraction in the area. “In the future, efforts will be taken to ensure that manners are observed,” the chairman said. “I want bathers to be able to continuously enjoy their favorite hot springs in peace.”