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Sip and dip: 'Beaujolais nouveau' bath opens on wine's release day at east Japan spa

Visitors toast with Beaujolais nouveau wine while the drink is poured into a bath, in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Nov. 18, 2021. (Mainichi/Yuki Motohashi)

HAKONE, Kanagawa -- Visitors to a hot spring theme park in this east Japan town celebrated the release of this year's Beaujolais nouveau wine on Nov. 18 by dipping in a bath infused with the alcoholic drink as they imbibed.

    Since last year, this annual event at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun spa resort has been held in an open-air bath to avoid confined spaces amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    On Nov. 18, sommelier Yasunari Kuwajima poured new wine that had just been opened into the bath, and visitors toasted to the word "Beaujolais!"

    The French region of Beaujolais suffered unseasonable weather this spring but had plenty of sunshine in the summer. Kuwajima said that this year's wine has a scent like strawberry jam and it "tastes fresh and typical of nouveau."

    The wine bath will run until Nov. 23. Wine is poured in twice a day at noon and 2 p.m. For more information including admission, contact Yunessun by phone on 0460-82-4126 (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Yuki Motohashi, Hiratsuka Local Bureau)

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