With most of the world’s borders remaining closed due to COVID-19 concerns, booking a vacation now seems an unattainable dream.
Hoping to offer a little zen to the travel-starved, as well as tackle the coronavirus-caused decline in tourism, a group of traditional Japanese inns in Arima have started a virtual reality project featuring recorded footage of their onsens, or hot spring baths, online.
Japan’s ancient hot spring town of Arima in Kobe went under a state of emergency this month which, according to reports, resulted in 90 percent of the resorts closing temporarily. The virtual relaxation tours aim to showcase these resorts, while bringing this Japanese therapeutic experience into potential guests’ homes.
“Japanʼs hot springs can help heal people in quarantine around the world, as well as increase the efficacy of the quarantine,” the group said in a press release. “This way, we may, even if only slightly, help reduce infections and suffering from the new coronavirus.”
The group has uploaded videos to the YouTube channel Arima Hot Springs which features the top hot spring resorts in the area. To date, this includes Arima Sansoh Goshobessho, Takayamasou Hanano, Taketoritei Maruyama, Tocen Goshoboh, and Motoyu Ryuusenkaku.
If you fancy giving the virtual onsen experience a go, all you’ll need is a nice, hot bath and a 4K resolution VR headset. So here it is, Japan’s unique but incredibly relaxing answer to get through these stressful times.
This story first appeared on Prestige Hong Kong