On April 26th, actress Ueto Aya attended the 'Japan Bathhouse Summit' held at the Ikaho hot springs in Shibukawa, Gunma in order to celebrate the upcoming release of her new movie 'Thermae Romae'.
The theme of the summit was "Bathhouses are making Japan a healthier country!", and was attended by around 250 female managers (okami) and other women working at traditional Japanese hotels (ryokan), hot springs (onsen) and other bathhouse establishments all over the country.
Ueto attended the event wearing a beautiful kimino with a hydrangea pattern. She stated about okami who were in kimonos, "Don't they look good?! They are really getting used to wearing kimonos, I respect them." Moreover, she revealed that she loves hot springs. "Although longer vacations are very rare, my mother and I often take the romancecar and travel to Gora. We always pick a hot spring when we want to travel domestically."
Tsukagoshi Hiroko, the okami from the local Ikaho Onsen Tsukagoshiya, already saw the movie and praised it, "It's been a long time since a movie made me laugh that much." Upon hearing Ueto's love for hot springs, Tsukagoshi replied, "She should become an okami. She's just so adorable that I want her to become my son's wife immediately. I want to see her all the time." She added, "Bathing at Ikaho is said to bless you with a lot of children. It has produced many twins already."
Ueto replied amazed, "Really? Twins are nice. I want to have three pairs of them!"
Some parts of the movie were also filmed at the Ikaho hot springs, and Ueto revealed that she often went on "dates" with co-star Abe Hiroshi during their free time. "We enjoyed a foot bath together at a place called Ishidan and went to a shooting gallery. It was a lot of fun," she explained. "This movie made me fall in love with hot springs even more. I think it would be nice if it could spread the tradition of Japanese bathhouses to many other countries."
'Thermae Romae' is going to open in cinemas nationwide on April 28th.