Common during the winter? The sight of capybaras comfortably bathing in hot springs has a healing effect. “Izu Shaboten Park”

2017-04-21   Seasonal, Travel Destinations, Shizuoka,

kapibara


【 CONTENTS 】

It is not only humans who like hot springs!

Japan has grown chillier and it is currently very cold; we can feel the depth of winter approaching day by day.

When the weather is this cold, we all want to warm up our bodies bathing in a hot spring! The Japanese love hot springs. Open air baths are exceptional especially during the winter, when one can enjoy charming views of snowscapes or the autumn tints.

But it is not only humans who like hot springs! In Izu Shaboten Park, located in Izu, Shizuoka prefecture, the “capybara open-air bath” has become a popular sight during the winter. When winter comes, a special open-air bath for the capybaras is built, and visitors can see how they comfortably bath in it. They close their eyes as they relax while they soak in the water just like humans do.

kapibara02【Photo by Koji Ishii

 

Why did capybaras start going into the hot springs?

Once, when the caretaker was cleaning the exhibition area with hot water, a small puddle formed and the capybaras gathered around it, dipping their buttocks and paws in it to warm themselves. Capybaras are originally from South America and they love water. It appears that the caretaker, seeing that they looked very comfortable as they soaked in the warm water, built them an open-air bath, and the capybaras happily went into it. They have since been famous for this for over 30 years. The sight of the capybaras as they bathe in bliss has a healing effect, hasn’t it?

kapibara03【Photo by Tatsuo Yamashita

 

What is an effective fruit to warm up the body?

At Izu Shaboten Park, guests can see capybaras bathing in a hot citron bath, where yuzu (citron) is added to the hot water in their stone bath, made with superb rocks.

Yuzu has been used in Japan for a long time as a fruit that is effective to warm up the body when added to one’s bath. This winter custom of having a hot citron bath still exists today.

Izu, where the park is located, is a touristic spot famous for its hot springs. After you enjoy watching the capybaras bathe, make sure you become one more of them by enjoying your own hot spring bath at one of Izu’s open air baths.

kapibara04【Photo by Koji Ishii

Map

1317-13 Futo, Ito-City, Shizuoka Pref.

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AUTHOR

Yumiko

Yumiko

Writer

I’m a freelance filmmaker who was born in Tochigi prefecture. I like the Southeast Asian subculture. I’d like to present information that will make the people of the world want to visit Japan.

Information

Address 1317-13 Futo, Ito-City, Shizuoka Pref
Access About 35 minutes by Tokai Bus from Ito Station via the Ito Line