Beaujolais nouveau hot in Japan, literally
Japan's craze for Beaujolais nouveau has beaten the global recession, with tourists taking a dip Thursday in a hot mountain spring coloured red with the fruity wine.
The Hakone Kowakien Yunessun spa resort celebrated the annual uncorking of the seasonal drop by having a sommelier pour a few bottles into an open-air hot spring bath as holiday-makers enjoyed soaking themselves.
"It's a very fruity taste," said visitor Eri Yamagida, 21, who also experienced the wine bath last year and said she planned to return next year for the same aromatic pleasure.
It was the fourth annual bath using the produce of the French winery Laboure Roi at the spa, which also offers baths with green tea, coffee and sake.
The Beaujolais service, in which patrons also sip the wine, has struck a cord with Japanese people, who highly value seasonal events, said spa official Mika Okitsu.
Outside the hot spring's soothing waters, however, enthusiasm has waned for the wine, which is traditionally released at the stroke of midnight on the third Thursday in November.
Japanese sales of Beaujolais nouveau have fallen since before the global financial crisis hit the world's second largest economy last year, although Japan remains among its top foreign markets.
Sales in Japan have fallen from a record 12.5 million bottles in 2004 to 8.26 million in 2007 and 6.7 million in 2008.
Life & Style blogs
Guest post by Richard Sexton, business development director of e.surv chartered surveyors
Plus lateral thinking and living on London's waterways
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Living with Google Glass: what are they actually like to wear?
Microsoft's Xbox One: Have the price (£399) and release date (30 November) been leaked by online retailer Zavvi?
Splint made by 3D printer used to save baby’s life
The 10 Best road-trip gadgets
Google Glass: First images taken on Google's new glasses appear on Twitter
- 1 Exclusive: Woolwich attack suspect attended meetings of banned Islamist group - and were known by security services
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.