HAKONE, Japan – Men, women and children in straw hats, swimming shorts and bikini tops soaked themselves on Thursday in a wine-hued bath to match the vintage Beaujolais Nouveau on the day of the wine’s seasonal release in Japan.
The wine-lovers’ glasses were kept full by the ever-watchful servers at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun hot spring resort in Hakone, west of Tokyo, where the event was being held.
The resort has several themed tubs, including the wine bath, which is used year-round “as a rejuvenating bath” after which bathers “can expect skin beautification effects as well,” according to the resort’s website.
Some of the guests rubbed the fruity and light red wine, made from gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region in France, all over their bodies, believing it to be good for the skin.
The relatively inexpensive wine that is bottled soon after harvest and doesn’t need to age is sold once a year on the third Thursday of November, also known as the “Beaujolais Nouveau Day,” and released in local markets at 12:01 am local time.
Japan is a major market for the wine, along with Germany and the United States.