Fragrance of wine: Aging barrels become saunas
“Daichi” (Obihiro City) is a company that operates the resort facility “Tokachi Makibanoie” in the town of Ikeda in Eastern Hokkaido’s Tokachi region. It recently built three sauna structures in Ikeda. The saunas are “wine barrel saunas” made by reusing giant barrels previously used for aging wine. Visitors can enjoy the wine fragrance steeped into the barrels.
According to “Daichi”, “This is the first wine barrel sauna in Japan.” The giant barrels were originally purchased in 1988 by the town of Ikeda, and consist of two French-made 8,000 liter barrels and one Italian-made 7,000 liter barrel. They are made of six-centimeter-thick oak wood. Ikeda used these barrels as actual wine aging barrels until around 2015, after which they were purchased by Daichi. Daichi then spent approximately seven million yen to turn them into saunas.
“Daichi” Chairman Hayashi Hideyasu commented, “The idea came from wondering how I could provide fun experiences to individual customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to broaden our customer base.” Ikeda Mayor Yasui Yoshihiro said, “I am profoundly touched to see these giant barrels, which had played an important role in the wine town of Ikeda, come back to life in a different form. I hope they will become a new tourist attraction.”
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