Jul 7, 2009

A ryokan owner's son arrested for filming ladies' changing room

The Houkokukan and its ladies' indoor bath. (photo: June 2004)

The second son of the owner of the Houkokukan, a ryokan in Manza Onsen, Gunma Pref. was arrested for filming ladies' changing room of the ryokan on June 29, 2009.

A female guest noticed a small video camera set in a ventilation pipe near ceiling of the changing room and called the police. The police easily found the offender as he had filmed himself while setting the video camera (The camera wasn't wirelessly controlled).

According to some newspaper reports, he admitted he had filmed the changing room several times before. The ryokan has suspended its business after the scandal was reported widely. It is said to open again in late July.

The Houkokukan has more than 80 years of history and being popular among Japanese soak addicts including me.

[Update] The Hokokukan resumed its business on July 14, 2009.


  1. Too bad..It's quite easy to acquire a bad reputation but it's very hard to get rid of it, so even they re-open the onsen I think they'll struggle to get back in the business, what do you think?

  2. Hi, Rashai! I think you are right.

    I have mixed feelings. Their onsen is really wonderful. I dream of bathing there anytime again and again.

    But... they explained nothing about the scandal on their website, just said "sorry for the unpleasant affair". I was so disappointed.

    After reading their website, I thought I would rather go to other ryokans in Manza Onsen. The other ryokans there also have wonderful onsens.


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