Yuwaku Onsen’s Hanasaku Iroha Inspired Festival Was Reinvigorated for Its 10th Anniversary
After a two-year COVID-19 forced break, Yuwaku Onsen’s Bonbori Festival returned to the streets of the hot-springs town, reestablishing itself as one of the premier tourist destinations for anime fans – especially those who love the Hanasaku Iroha TV anime. Though this was the big return for the festival, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, visitor numbers were kept low, only allowing those who had booked an onsen room in advance, plus pre-bought tickets, allowed to partake in the festivities.
Though, those who were lucky enough to be able to attend the event seemed to enjoy themselves, with anime traveler ye_bi_su noting on Twitter that the festival feels like it has transcended its anime roots and become a local custom, much like other bonbori events across Japan. Even so, Hanasaku Iroha opening theme song singers Nana.RIPE performed at a local school, keeping some of those anime roots alive. The Twitter user posted footage from the event, which can be seen below.
— 夷（ゑびす）@「聖地移住」通販中 (@ye_bi_su) October 22, 2022
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The Yuwaku Bonbori Festival came about after the airing of the Hanasaku Iroha TV anime to aid in boosting the economy of the local area, due to tourists flocking to the onsen town after it was the inspiration behind the P.A. Works show. This led to an annual tradition where the Bonbori Festival is held every October which mixes the fictional festival with traditional Japanese customs. This was the event’s 10th anniversary.
— 湯涌ぼんぼり祭り (@yuwaku_bonbori) October 22, 2022
The festival’s official Twitter account thanked those who attended the event (which can be seen in the above Tweet) and confirmed that the festivities will continue next year, hoping to “see even more smiling faces.”
Sources: ye_bi_su on Twitter, Yuwaku Bonbori Festival on Twitter
Daryl Harding is a Senior Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.