The Volkswagen Beetle (often known as the Bug in the US) has been around since the 1930s, and is adored worldwide for its simplistic and cute rounded design. Though the German automobile has evolved over the years, it still keeps the characteristic bug-like shape that everyone recognizes at a glance.
But will you still be able to recognize a Beetle on the road if it had a Japanese bathtub in its backseat? We’re not kidding, the Beetle makers in Japan really did make such a car!
The Volkswagen Group Japan organized a caravan event titled the “Whatever you wish to do with the Beetle, do it” project, in which they travelled to five locations within the country, encouraging local Beetle lovers to dream big and write down what they wished to do with their signature vehicle on these adorable car-shaped cards.
▼ With the Beetle, I want to ＿＿＿＿＿＿＿ !
A total of 6,500 wild wishes were collected, from which the organizers picked the temperature-raising desire of wanting to “drive with an open-air bath in the rear seat of a convertible Beetle” to fulfill in this dream come true campaign.
▼ The lucky dreamer, Mr. Maegawa.
And so they conjured up The Beetyu (pronounced as bee-to-yu in Japanese, a pun on the car’s original name which is pronounced as bee-to-ru, and “yu” meaning hot water). Using The Beetle Cabriolet, a convertible model of the bug-mobile, they customized the sporty vehicle into a mobile bath by installing a Japanese bathtub in its rear seat. Constructed with Japanese cypress wood and equipped with an original noren (traditional Japanese curtains often used at bath houses), The Beetyu is a dreamlike fusion of the east and west, tradition and modern technology, and there’s definitely nothing shoddy about this creation!
In Japan, soaking in a relaxing outdoor hot spring overlooking beautiful scenery is considered ultimate luxury, which is why many indoor bath houses often have wall paintings of Mount Fuji in poor attempt of recreating the mountain-gazing atmosphere within their humble bath. With The Beetyu, Mount Fuji is just one of the many scenic spots you can feast your eyes on while enjoying a long, hot soak! We couldn’t be more envious!
Video footage of Mr. Maegawa taking an actual soak in the backseat tub will be rolled out on 19 November on the event website (Japanese). Until then, catch up on the makings of this incredulous vehicle!
▼ Creating The Beetyu (Japanese)