Japanese traditional baths open their doors in virtual reality

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the travel industry hard, including in Japan. According to the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Shimbun, ninety percent of the ryokans in the famous hot spring resort town of Arime were closed earlier this month when Hyogo Prefecture declared a state of emergency.

In response, a group of ryokan owners began uploading videos of their hot spring baths to YouTube. At the moment, the project has a video of five ryokans: Arima Sanso Goshobessho, Takayamau Hanano, Taketoritei Maruyama, Tozen Goshobokh, and Motoyu Ryuusenkaku.

All you need to do to immerse yourself in the virtual mineral bath is fill the bathtub at home, add some salt, go down to neck level, put on a spherical video headset and start recording. "Users must be careful not to lose touch with reality in order not to drown, " warns the press release.

Such a bath in the best Japanese traditions really relaxes and gives an opportunity to abstract from the household. The video recording is quite decent quality for a spherical YouTube video, and the sound of flowing water creates a feeling of freshness. Unfortunately, there are some nuances in handling the equipment in the bath: not only should the headset not be dropped into the water, in addition, the glasses will fog up after a few minutes, and the session is over.