Japan is home to many onsen resorts where you can rejuvenate your body and mind while soaking in natural volcanic spring water. One of the country's most scenic traditional hot spring town is the atmospheric Kurokawa Onsen in Kumamoto, famed for its annual winter Yuakari illumination, which starts on December 19 and runs until May 30 2021.
Locals have crafted approximately 500 spherical bamboo lanterns and long, tube-like bamboo lights for the event. The wood is all sustainably harvested from renewable bamboo groves. After the event is done, the bamboo lanterns will be made into charcoal and fertiliser, so nothing is wasted.
The event is completely free to attend and you’ll find the lights hanging all around town. The best spots to catch the glowing lanterns are along the 300m-long Kawabata-dori or at the Hiranodai Observatory. To make the most of the event, Yuakari tour maps will be available for guests to follow and use during their visit.
The illumination begins at nightfall and goes until 10pm every day. For more details, visit Kurokawa Onsen’s official website.
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