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Bathe in Beer in Japan
A recent report from our Osaka embed suggested that visiting a hot spring--and acquainting yourself with a dozen naked Japanese strangers--is the way to get ahead in Japan. But we're going to raise the bar higher. Don't go to just any hot spring: make it one filled with beer.
From now until December 31 the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun hot springs amusement park and spa resort in Hakone, a short distance from Tokyo, has a beer bath installation. Now the bath itself isn't filled with beer, but rather with heated amber-colored water and white foam, infused with the aroma of hops and barley. But three times a day staff pour beer into the bath and over the lucky customers who happen to be bathing at the time. The extra good news? The beer bath moisturizes and cleanses the skin.
If you're a tee-totaller, don't worry, the spa also offers tea and coffee baths. But the beer bath concept will probably be of interest to the politicians traveling to Japan's Lake Toya for the 2008 G8 Summit--though perhaps the Russian delegation might prefer a vodka bath.