Bamboo Lanterns Illuminate Hot Spring Town in Kumamoto Pref.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Bamboo lanterns dot the landscape at the Kurokawa Onsen hot spring resort town in Minami-Oguni, Kumamoto Prefecture.

An illumination event is being held in Kurokawa Onsen in Minami-Oguni, Kumamoto Prefecture, in which the hot spring resort town is lit up with bamboo lanterns.

The event, called Yu-akari, was started in 2012 by Kurokawa Onsen’s ryokan association and others to make effective use of wood thinned from neglected bamboo groves.

Ball- and tube-shaped lanterns about 2 meters tall were made over about a month by people from the inns and stores in the area. They are hung on the town’s bridges, around inns and at bus stops.

“I hope visitors will enjoy the subtle lighting and then spend time relaxing in the hot springs,” a ryokan association official said.

The lanterns are lit from dusk to 10 p.m., and the event runs through April 2.