Spa Resort Hawaiians in Fukushima Prefecture has re-opened for business following repair work on damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Toshio Matsubara reports.
Located In Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Spa Resort Hawaiians is popular for its many large indoor and outdoor onsen (hot spring) baths and pools, and for its shows on a poolside stage by the Hula Girls. The resort was closed after cracks formed in the large onsen pool due to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Repairs on some facilities with less severe damage were completed and operations resumed on October 1, with the entire resort scheduled to reopen in January 2012.
Joban Hawaiian Center, the forerunner to Spa Resort Hawaiians, opened in 1966. Iwaki once flourished as a coal-mining town, but demand for coal fell drastically due to competition with imported coal and the switch to petroleum fuels. Joban Hawaiian Center was developed to offer new employment opportunities to coalmine workers who had lost their jobs. To attract more visitors, daughters of coalmine workers received intensive training in hula dance so they could start performing shows, which became the major feature of the facility. A 2006 hit movie in Japan titled Hula Girls, named best film in the 2007 Japan Academy Awards, depicted the true story of the team’s origins and success. The members, who were known simply as the Hawaiians’ dancers until then, came to be known as the Hula Girls, and became well-known nationwide.
|Access and Admission|
|Access:||• About 1 hr. and 50 mins. by car from Tokyo via the Joban Expressway (free bus services are available for hotel guests of Spa Resort Hawaiians)
• Yumoto Station is about 2 hours by train from Ueno Station on the JR Super Hitachi express. The resort is about 10 minutes from the station via the free bus service or taxi.
Copyright © 2011 Cabinet Office, Government of Japan All rights Reserved.