Furry representatives from five prefectures amaze everyone with their love of hot springs as they compete for this year’s illustrious title.

Over the years, capybara have proven themselves to be big fans of hot spring bathing, whether it be with yuzu citrus fruits for the winter solstice, or as cute radish figures floating in nabe hotpots.

Given their love of the hot water, a number of Japan’s animal parks have been joining forces recently to put their capybara to the test with the annual “Capybara Long Bath Showdown”, and this year’s event was held on 5 January.

Furry representatives from Shizuoka, Nagasaki, Saitama, Tochigi and Ishikawa prefectures were selected to take part ahead of the event, and as the day began, staff were at the ready with timers on hand, waiting patiently for their elected capybara to enter their bath and begin the challenge.

Let’s take a look at the results below!

5. Kokone – 1 minute 39 seconds (Saitama Children’s Zoo in Saitama Prefecture)

Kokone, a three-year-old female weighing 46.2 kilograms (7.3 stone), just wasn’t in the mood for bathing on the day of the event, with staff saying the unseasonably warm weather in Saitama Prefecture meant they had to wait for a long time before she even decided to go into the water. After keeping everybody on edge about whether she would even take part in the showdown, she eventually dipped in and out of the water in less than two minutes.

4. Shiratama – 9 minutes 14 seconds (Izu Shaboten Park in Shizuoka Prefecture) 

Shiratama, a three-year-old female weighing 40 kilograms, placed second in the competition last year, with an impressive time of 1 hour, 51 minutes and 29 seconds. This year, she was in a different bathing mindset, leaving the water after soaking for less than ten minutes.

3. Sacchi – 11 minutes 11 seconds (Ishikawa Zoo in Ishikawa Prefecture)

This is the seventh time for Ishikawa to compete in the event, and Sacchi, a 7-year-old female weighing 45 kilograms, did her best by clocking up a bathing time of 11 minutes, 11 seconds. This was just short of her effort last year, which was recorded at 12 minutes and 40 seconds.

2. Aoba – 1 hour 20 minutes 4 seconds (Nagasaki Bio Park in Nagasaki Prefecture)

Aoba, a four-year-old female weighing 50 kilograms, did everyone proud by spending almost an hour-and-a-half in the water. After leaving the bath, she went straight to the shower area next to it, continuing the spa enjoyment with a constant trickle of water on her body.

1. Peko – 3 hours 58 minutes 43 seconds (Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi Prefecture)

Four-year-old Peko came second in last year’s event, clocking up a bathing time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 16 seconds. This year, though, she surprised everyone with an epic soak that lasted close to four hours, earning her the illustrious title of longest bather for 2019.

▼ Peko’s bath is so gorgeous we’d happily spend hours in it too.

This year’s title is particularly impressive, given that last year’s top time came in at just 1 hour, 36 minutes and 17 seconds, achieved by an entrant called Maple at Saitama. With so many onsen-loving capybara taking part, the annual bathing showdown is a nail-biting event where anything can happen. We can’t wait to see who outbathes who next year!

Source: Net Lab
Featured image: Instagram/3kan3