By KATSUTOSHI KATO/ Staff Writer
July 15, 2020 at 07:30 JST
BEPPU, Oita Prefecture--To lure tourists from all over the world as part of its post-coronavirus sightseeing promotion, a hot springs spa resort here has made a video showing its origins some billions of years ago.
The promotional footage, narrated in English, was uploaded on YouTube by Beppu city officials showing Beppu's rich history and culture.
“I would like everyone to learn about our long history and discover that Beppu is an attractive place that was created by a miracle,” said Michitake Kubota, 38, an official of city-affiliated organization B-biz Link, which made the video. “I hope viewers will choose Beppu from among a myriad of tourist spots around the world after the end of the coronavirus outbreak.”
The video, titled “Beppu: The Onsen Journey,” which runs 7 minutes and 20 seconds, was created under the supervision and instruction of Yuki Yusa, a professor emeritus of geophysics at Kyoto University.
In the movie, which is subtitled in Japanese, the history of the Beppu Hatto spa zone begins at the time of the birth of the Earth some 4.6 billion years ago.
Water carried to the planet by meteorites was heated with magma and leaked out of crustal cracks, generating hot springs rich with minerals. In Beppu, eight hot springs with different compositions arose along fault lines.
The magnificent story unfolds through various images and computer graphic technology.
Previously, the municipality had made promotional videos featuring a facility combining a spa and an amusement park as well as the program under which hot spring water was delivered out of appreciation for the kindness shown to Beppu following an earthquake in 2016. A movie was also released to show the men and others working there.
The latest creation, however, is the first of its kind, because no videos were available to target tourists outside Japan into selecting Beppu as their destinations, according to city officials.
During the Rugby World Cup 2019, many foreign sightseers visited Beppu, and B-biz Link started considering the release of a video appealing to those from outside the country.
When even Japanese visitors stopped coming to the spa resort amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Beppu-based video maker Steqqi, comprised of officials from B-biz Link and graduates of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, continued developing the material.
The creative process required nine months and 14 million yen ($130,000), with all the costs covered by Beppu city.
Beppu Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano said he has repeatedly watched the footage because of its high quality.
“Our video was created with the same top quality as professional film-making,” he said. “I expect it to be viewed by people around the world so they can learn not only how the spa area was formed but also the hot spring culture.”
The video can be viewed at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzbwKqLSvVw)
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