Bringing Hot Springs to Survivors

Relaxation for the Body and Soul

AAR JAPAN has been participating in the project, “Let’s Bring Hot Springs to the Disaster Zone.”

The project aims to provide hot spring water to survivors of the Great East Japan Earthquake who have been unable to bathe while living in evacuation centers. With the hope of giving these survivors a little chance to relax, the project was proposed by Satoru Sudo of Shinagawa-based Ascendia Inc.

Various businesses, associations, and individuals have contributed to provide a specialized 20-tonne tank truck and drivers, as well as securing supplies of hot spring water, arranging for the filling of the tank, and coordinating reception in the disaster area, water distribution, and so on.

Businesses and Associations Engaged in the “Let’s Bring Hot Springs” Project:

Manyo Club Co. Ltd. (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture
Ascendia Inc. (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo)
Naruko Tourism Research Institute (Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)
Yamagakko Council (Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture)

*As well as many individuals who have made personal contributions.

With the cooperation of Kanagawa Prefecture’s Yugawara Onsen (hot spring), on the first day of the project, April 9th, hot spring water was delivered to four evacuation sites in Matsushima City, Miyagi Prefecture. After 8 hours’ transport, evacuees at Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School, Akai City Center, Ushiami Elementary School, and Asai Civic Center were able to enjoy hot spring baths, making use of facilities such as the swimming pool in a nearby kindergarten or the bathtub at a local civic center.

Since April 12th, with the cooperation of Miyagi Prefecture’s Onikobe Onsen (hot spring), hot water has been delivered daily to five facilities in Higashi-Matsushima City and Ishinomaki City, enabling 500-600 evacuees to bathe every day.

Facilities Receiving Daily Hot Water:

Higashi-Matsushima City: Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School, Ushiami Community Center, Akai City Center, Asai Civic Center, Miyato Elementary School
Ishinomaki City: Ishinomaki Shoshinkai Social Welfare Corporation

Even now, many evacuees tell us that they have bathed only once since the earthquake. With the hope that our efforts can offer survivors at least a small degree of comfort, we plan to continue this project until the end of the Golden Week holiday in May.

A specialized 20-tonne tank truck for carrying hot spring water. Driving even 100 kilometers, the water temperature drops only 1 degree Celsius per hour.  

April 9th- Hot spring water is poured from the tank at Yamoto Dai-ichi Junior High School, which is being used as an evacuation center.

April 9th- Hot spring water is poured into a bathtub with the help of members of the Self-Defense Force.