In an area Northwest of Tokyo, roughly an hour by bullet train, sprouts one of Japan’s three most popular “onsens” or hot springs. The Matsunoyama hot springs reach temperatures of 208 degrees Fahrenheit (98 Celsius) which is enough for the onsen to generate power — enough power to charge the electric Nissan.
In the area hosting the Art Triennale 2015, equal to the size of Tokyo’s 23 wards, visitors are happy to have a carsharing service, and an electric one. Tomohiro Iguchi, President of Isen Co., says, “The Art Triennale 2015 is currently underway but we also actively try to preserve and promote Snow Country culture as well as regional eco-tourism. Thus, this combination of Nissan EV car sharing and regional tourism is a perfect conceptual mix.”
The Japan Travel Bureau has been increasing the number of public charging stations in the country, placing many of them near the JR railways. This enables travelers to swiftly move from bullet train to EV in rural environments. According to Hiroyuki Kuroiwa JTB Eco-Market Producer, over 1,600 regular electric chargers will be installed in over 1,000 locations by August 2015.
Nissan has a history of providing carsharing services in remote tourist areas. In 2013 on the island of Teshima, Nissan deployed low-speed two-seat Renault Twizys for visitors to explore the small island.
The owner of the inn “Chitose” Kazunari Yanagi declares, “The hot springs here are a blessing as well as the fact that onsen can produce electricity. My experience in the Nissan LEAF is a quite ride but that the EV has power. It matches very well with the hot spring environment.”
No word yet as to whether or not these gentlemen were compensated for their participation in the following video.