As the novel coronavirus pandemic worsens, Japan recently announced the extension of its state of emergency protocol to the end of May.
Under strict regulations, citizens must stay at home while authorities regulate movements across cities; thus, greatly affecting the tourism industry in the country.
With this observation in mind, hot springs inn owners in Kobe have unveiled the “VR hot springs trip” to let you enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the hot springs whilst laying in their own bathtubs at home.
The Arima Onsen owners created a series of VR videos that allows you to choose one of the five hot springs hotels while staying at home. The video even includes sounds of the water flowing and the breeze blowing.
Kazushige Kanai, one of the inn owners who launched the campaign, told the Japan Times, “We’ve seen the number of visitors dwindling, but we can’t ask people to come under the current circumstances,” adding, “So we decided to change our message, to ‘stay home and relax,’” he added.
As the coronavirus brings the tourism industry into a slump, the Japanese government is working hard to provide financial aid for said businesses and is planning to encourage citizens to visit national parks and hot springs once the pandemic passes.