Virtual YouTuber cross-promotion gives fans a real-world memento.

The main reason to go to a Japanese hot spring or public bath is, of course, to take a bath, but it’s not like guests scrub themselves off, take a quick dip in the tub, and then get dressed and head out with the same speed and efficiency as they would if they were bathing at home. Instead, the preferred thing to do is first to take a nice, leisurely soak, then come out of the tub and relax in the facility for a while, and then repeat the whole process again, perhaps multiple times.

Of course, if you’re making a day out of your trip to the baths, you might get hungry in the middle of your stay, so many facilities also have attached restaurants. For example, if you’re feeling peckish between baths at the Raku Spa chain, you can pop into their eatery and order up all sorts of Japanese favorites, like tempura rice bowls, ramen noodles, or a rice omelet. Or, starting later this month, you could try one of their brand-new menu items…

…some raw carrots.

OK, so it’s not the heartiest option, but it’s definitely a healthy one, and maybe if you caught your naked reflection in the mirror while you were changing after your bath and noticed you’ve put on a few unwanted pounds, this veggie option should be easy o your waistline. That does not, however, mean that it’s going to be easy on your wallet, because the bowl of carrots is priced at 3,938 yen (US$34.25)!

▼ There are a lot of things that we have to consider our finances before purchasing, but we didn’t expect “carrots” to be one of them.

Now it’s true that Japanese foodies are no strangers to premium-priced produce, as our experiences with 1,080-yen bananas from Hokkaido and 3,240-yen Taishu persimmons have shown. However, these carrots don’t come from a region or farm fabled for their deliciousness, and Raku Spa doesn’t describe them as anything other than just plain old “carrots.” So what’s supposed to justify the price?

Yep, it’s the otaku appeal of the carrots’ connection to Usada Pekora, a member of the Hololive virtual YouTuber family. The rabbit girl, as you’d expect, loves carrots, and in addition to the uncooked veggies, 3,938 yen also gets you the washtub container to take home, and it’s autographed by Pekora herself.

The carrot bucket is just one part of an upcoming Raku Spa/Hololive cross-promotional event, which also includes art a slew of exclusive merchandise showing Pekora and her fellow virtual YouTubers dressed in post-bath yukata robes, such as these tenugui wrapping cloths.

And thankfully the Pekora carrots (which will only be available in limited quantities) aren’t the only special menu item being added for the event, which also features Shiranui Flare, Houshou Marine, Shirogane Noel, and Uruha Rushia.

You don’t get to keep the bowls for the other items, but their prices are much more in line with standard restaurant fare in Japan. And, as always with otaku-oriented dining, you get character art coasters with your orders, and those willing to shell out for the Pekora carrots get two of them, instead of the one that other orders get.

Other benefits that come with the carrots are the option to have the kitchen staff slice as many of them as you want into carrot sticks, although you have to make this request at the time of ordering. Also, Raku Spa says that depending on the size of the carrots, you may get more or fewer than the five shown in the promotional photo.

The event runs from January 27 to February 28 at Raku Spa and Gokuraku Yu (Raku Spa’s parent company) facilities, including downtown Tokyo’s Raku Spa 1010 Kanda and Raku Cafe Monzennakacho (a full list of participating locations is available on the official website here).

Source: Raku Spa via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Raku Spa, Pakutaso
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