weather wine

Japan is becoming known worldwide for its natural hot springs and public bath houses. Lately, bathers have more and more soaking options with specialty baths popping up all over. We’ve seen snow-covered baths, tea baths, sake baths and herbal baths.

Every November however, a bathhouse near Tokyo has a unique 10-day wine bath to celebrate the release of France’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

The annual vino celebration, known as Beaujolais Nouveau Day, takes place on the third Thursday of November every year, so this year you’ll be able to crack open your own bottle of the 2014 on November 20. Although not the top choice of “wine snobs,” since it’s often served chilled and only flash-fermented, Japan absolutely loves Beaujolais Nouveau and consumes a lot of it. In fact, Japan is the second highest importer of the stuff, behind only Germany.

They like it so much they even bathe in it.

▼Wine the whole family can enjoy.


The Yunessan spa in Hakone, Kanagawa changes a nearly 13,000 liter (3,000 gallon) bath into their famous wine bath by adding nine liters of Beaujolais Nouveau per day. The selection is from a winery called L’Aboure-Roi, from which the vice-president will even make a guest appearance. I wonder if he’ll strip down to his skivvies and jump in too! Speaking of which, since there is only one wine bath available, it is mixed gender, so unlike most public baths in Japan bathers are free to wear bathing suits or other modest coverings (I’d avoid wearing white though), so it’s perfect for shy newcomers to public bathing culture.

Customers can feel free to drive and bring the kids, since the alcohol content is so low you’d, sadly, have no chance of even a buzz (but I’d hope you wouldn’t drink the bath water anyway…). The only things you’ll be soaking up are the antioxidants that supposedly lead to beautiful skin. The giant wine bottles stationed around that bath also add some extra vino to the atmosphere.

If you can’t make it all the way out to Kanagawa, why not make a wine bath at home? Just grab some wine, dump half of the bottle into your regular bath and you’re set! You’ll miss out on the wine tasting, but you can always pour yourself a glass later on!

Source: Nlab, Beaujolais Nouveau Day
Top image: The Weather Channel, Insert image: Find Travel