Tsubono Mineral Spring, situated in Uozu City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan, is a feeble saline natural hot spring. The water temperature remains a constant 18°C throughout the year, rendering it a miraculous remedy for skin ailments and gastrointestinal disorders. However, despite being a geomantic treasure, it has been neglected and untouched for numerous years. This peculiarity stems from the ongoing series of murders at Pingye Mineral Spring since the 1990s, which is undeniably enigmatic. Tragically, even two young girls who ventured there in search of excitement and exploration mysteriously vanished… What secrets lie within the azure spring waters of Tingye Mineral Spring?
Bizarre rumors recount the events that transpired on the afternoon of May 5, 1996. Emi Yatomi, a 21-year-old college student, had just finished her part-time shift at a convenience store. The radiant sun cast its brilliance, inducing a drowsy state. However, Emi’s fatigue dissipated as she overheard a group of high school boys, brimming with excitement, discussing a place of interest: Tsubo Mineral Spring. One of the boys exclaimed, “Let us embark on an exploration after the holiday. I’ve heard tales of numerous hot spring hotels and peculiar occurrences. It is a perfect venue for a test of courage!” Emi’s enthusiasm surged instantaneously, and she expressed her interest to the boys, asking, “Where is this place you speak of? I, too, yearn to witness its wonders.” In response, the boy informed her, “It is Pingye Mineral Spring. Haven’t you heard of it? It has gained tremendous popularity recently. Many people journey there to explore the hotels.” Emi, consumed by her studies and part-time job, seldom paid attention to news beyond her immediate surroundings. The more she inquired about Tsuno Mineral Spring from her colleagues, the more her curiosity intensified.
It emerged that in the late 1980s, Pingye Mineral Spring, boasting abundant hot spring resources, attracted numerous tourists. Sprawling hot spring hotels emerged, one after another. The grandest of them all occupied an expansive 3,000-square-meter area, soaring eight stories high.
Initially, the hotel’s proprietor, Katsumura Yota, reaped substantial profits. Yet, good fortune proved fleeting. Shortly after the hotel underwent renovations in 1991, tragedy struck when a young girl tragically drowned in its waters. The grieving parents claimed that their daughter had exhibited peculiar behavior upon entering the hotel, often standing by the window, weeping in the dead of night. When her father inquired about her distress, the frightened girl confessed to witnessing ominous shadows lurking outside the window, a truly terrifying ordeal.
Although this incident tarnished the hotel’s reputation, Katsumura Yota dismissed the girl’s father’s claims. After all, people succumbed to death every day, and it was not entirely unheard of for a child to meet her demise in a hot spring. Thus, the hotel continued its operations.
However, fate took a grim turn one month later. In the dead of night, panic ensued as a guest suddenly cried out, “Fire! Fire!” The ensuing chaos led to a stampede, with pleas for help and screams echoing through the air. Once the fire was extinguished, the police tallied twelve casualties.
During interviews with the surviving guests, the police received consistent accounts of a power outage lasting over ten minutes preceding the outbreak of the fire. In the darkness, someone reported witnessing a spectral figure flitting about outside the window, remarking, “It must be the girl who drowned, returned to claim vengeance. Yota Katsumura was her killer.”
After an extensive investigation, the police ultimately attributed the tragedy to a tourist’s careless smoking. Yota Katsumura faced no criminal charges, but compensation was inevitable. After fulfilling the obligations of the settlement, he found himself burdened with substantial debts.
Following the devastating fire, the hotel’s fortunes plummeted irreversibly. Whispers of “unclean entities” proliferated, and the dwindling number of tourists made the hotel unsustainable. By the end of 1991, Yota Katsumura was discovered hanging in the hotel lobby. Prior to his demise, he left behind a poignant message on the lobby table: “A voice guided me here, where I beheld the specter of the drowned girl.”
These few cryptic words ignited fervent speculation. Some believed that the girl’s ghost had never departed, exacting vengeance by claiming the lives of twelve innocent tourists and now seeking retribution from Yota Katsumura. The police, however, reasoned that Yota Katsumura, burdened by repeated setbacks in his career and coerced into debt repayment by a financial institution, crumbled under immense mental strain, succumbing to hallucinations.
Following Yota Katsumura’s demise, the hot spring hotel lay abandoned. Within a mere two years, it succumbed to overgrown weeds, transforming intoa dilapidated and eerie structure. The local townspeople, wary of the hotel’s dark history, avoided the premises, leaving it to decay further.
As time passed, Pingye Mineral Spring became shrouded in mystery. The stories of the girl’s specter and the tragic incidents associated with the hotel fascinated thrill-seekers and urban legends enthusiasts alike. Some dared to venture into the abandoned hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of the supernatural or uncover the truth behind the strange occurrences.
In 1996, Emi Yatomi, driven by her curiosity and a thirst for adventure, decided to explore Pingye Mineral Spring along with her friend, Mika Sato. Mika, a fellow college student, shared Emi’s enthusiasm for the unknown and was eager to experience the rumored haunting for herself. Equipped with flashlights and a sense of trepidation, the two young women set out on their ill-fated journey.
On that fateful day, Emi and Mika arrived at the dilapidated hotel, its once-grand facade now crumbling and weathered. They cautiously stepped inside, their footsteps echoing through the deserted hallways. The air was heavy with an indescribable aura, as if the tragedy of the past still lingered within those decaying walls.
As Emi and Mika explored further, their excitement turned to unease. Shattered glass and debris were strewn across the floors, remnants of a place long forgotten. The eerie silence was broken only by the distant sound of dripping water, a constant reminder of the mineral spring’s presence.
Venturing deeper into the hotel, Emi and Mika stumbled upon a room that seemed relatively intact compared to the rest of the building. Intrigued, they cautiously entered, their flashlights illuminating the darkness. Inside, they discovered a collection of old photographs, newspaper clippings, and handwritten notes, all relating to the tragic events that had unfolded years ago.
As they sifted through the forgotten relics, Emi and Mika’s sense of foreboding intensified. Shadows danced on the walls, seemingly moving of their own accord. The temperature dropped, sending chills down their spines. A gust of wind blew through the open window, extinguishing their flashlights, plunging them into darkness.
Panicked, Emi and Mika fumbled in the darkness, desperately trying to relight their flashlights. As the room remained shrouded in blackness, they heard a faint whisper, barely audible yet unmistakable. It seemed to be calling their names, a haunting voice from beyond.
In that moment, Emi and Mika’s courage wavered. Fear took hold, and they made a hasty retreat, stumbling through the dark corridors, guided only by their trembling hands against the decaying walls. The presence seemed to follow them, its spectral presence growing stronger with each passing moment.
Then, as suddenly as it had started, the haunting ceased. Emi and Mika burst out of the hotel, gasping for breath, their hearts pounding in their chests. They had escaped the clutches of Pingye Mineral Spring, but a lingering sense of dread remained with them.
From that day forward, Emi and Mika vowed never to speak of their harrowing experience. The memory of the spectral voices and the oppressive darkness haunted their dreams, a constant reminder of the mysteries that lie within the abandoned hotel and the tragic events that had unfolded there.
To this day, the legends surrounding Pingye Mineral Spring persist, drawing thrill-seekers and those intrigued by the supernatural. The abandoned hotel stands as a silent testament to the horrors of the past, its secrets buried within its decaying walls, waiting for those brave enough to uncover them.
At 11 o’clock in the evening, the two girls finally arrived in Uozu City. At the gas station, Emi Yatomi excitedly called her friend’s pager and left a message: “We have arrived at Tsuno Mineral Spring! We will explore here tonight, and I will tell you what happened when I come back tomorrow.” The next
morning , according to Emi Yatomi’s plan, she will leave a message on her friend’s pager again, but her friend has not received it yet. Two days later, when the family members of Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka saw that they had not returned home, they anxiously called the police.
After receiving the call, police officer Yamamoto Ryuji immediately went to the homes of both parties to investigate the situation. But the clues the two families knew were really limited. They only knew that they went to Tsuno Mineral Spring together, but they couldn’t tell where exactly.
Yamamoto Ryuuji conducted a focused investigation on Kaiwangmaru Park, but in the surveillance video of Kaiwangmaru Park, he only saw Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka meeting a girl of their own age, and the three of them chatted for a while. The Queen of Heaven, Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka left, and there was nothing suspicious about them.
The girl who met the two was named Reiko, and Yamamoto Ryuuji asked her about the specific situation that night. Reiko was very surprised when she heard the sad news that Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka were missing. She cried worriedly: “Emi Yatomi contacted me that afternoon and said she was going to Tsubono Mineral Spring that evening, and asked me if I wanted to go with her. Because I live there. Near Kaiwangmaru Park, they have to drive through here.”
Yamamoto Ryuuji asked her: “Did you agree to them? Why did you meet them in the park?” Reiko replied: “I am timid, knowing that they want to go to that scary place I refused after entering the hotel, but Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka said that we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and they missed me very much, so they agreed to meet in the park.” Ryuji Yamamoto investigated Reiko’s whereabouts that day and determined that
she There is no problem with the testimony. The patrol officer of Kaiwangmaru Park also said that he saw three girls chatting happily around 10 o’clock in the evening, and the atmosphere was very good.
No valuable clues were found at Reiko, so Yamamoto Ryuuji went to the gas station again. The staff at the gas station said: “There were indeed two girls who came to refuel that night, but because the light was relatively dark at night, I couldn’t see clearly what they looked like, so I’m not sure if they were the two girls you were looking for.” Ryu
Yamamoto The second person retrieved the surveillance video of the gas station. The picture was not very clear, but it was still clear that the two girls went to use public messaging. The style and color of their clothes were the same as those worn by Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka when they disappeared. The gas station could only give Yamamoto Ryuji these clues, which were of no use to the investigation of the case.
The truth came late
. The police’s carpet search found nothing. Yamamoto Ryuji suspected that the two had had an accident on the road, so he dispatched the local mountain disaster search team and also dispatched a helicopter to join the search. After all his efforts were fruitless, Yamamoto Ryuji began to suspect that there was something wrong with the direction of the investigation, so he focused the investigation on the reasons why the two girls ran away. He felt that the two of them ran away from home together and hid in a secret place. Because there had been many disappearances before, those students who were in the rebellious stage eventually returned home obediently.
Once he had such an idea, Yamamoto Ryuuji slacked off in his investigation. Unfortunately, the two families waited for a whole month but still did not get them home. As a result, Toyama Prefecture police conducted two large-scale searches in July and October, starting from Himi City, where the two started, and searching to Tsubono Mineral Spring. But even with this massive search, nothing was found.
With neither living nor dead bodies visible, news about the mysterious disappearance of the two girls spread rapidly. Some people said that the two must have encountered a “ghost beating the wall” at the hot spring hotel and could never find their way home.
The police conducted an all-round search of the hotel, and found nothing unusual except for graffiti by some explorers, which added to the terrifying atmosphere. However, after testing the water quality of the hotel, the police discovered that the culprit of the “supernatural incidents” that occurred in many expedition teams was that in order to improve the therapeutic effect of the hot springs, Yota Katsumura put a substance called belladonna into the hot springs. powder, which can cause hallucinations if consumed in excess. Time has passed, Yota Katsumura has passed away long ago, and there is no way to account for the addition of Belladonna.
“Is it possible that the disappearance of Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka is related to Belladonna?” Yamamoto Ryuji quickly ruled out this conjecture. At this point, all clues to the disappearance case have been closed.
Winter comes and summer comes, and time flies by to 2023. On January 4, a man named Kitahara Kurasuke suddenly came to Yamamoto Ryuji and said that he might know the truth about the disappearance of Yatomi Emi and Tanaka Tamaki.
It turned out that on the night of the incident, Kitahara Kurasuke and two friends were drinking in an izakaya. In the early morning, the drunken three people were preparing to go home. On the way, they saw a car parked by the lake with two young women sitting in the car, so they walked up to talk to them.
However, before they could say a few words, the car started suddenly and rushed directly into the sea. “We were drunk at the time and were not very clear-headed. After seeing them rushing into the water, we were so scared that we hurried home.” I thought about it the next day, but I was afraid that people would find out about it and say we refused to save it, so I kept it a secret until today…”
According to the directions provided by Kitahara Kurasuke, the police salvaged a rusty car from a lake near Tsuno Mineral Spring. The tattered car was the same model as the car driven by Emi Yatomi, and there was a document with her name written on it. In the car compartment, two bodies that had turned into bones were found. After DNA testing, they were confirmed to be Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka.
The identities of Emi Yatomi and Tamaki Tanaka were confirmed, but Ryuuji Yamamoto was even more confused: the destination of the two girls was Tsuno Mineral Spring. Why didn’t they go directly to the hotel and park the car by the lake? After the three witnesses saw the car crashing into the lake, their first reaction was “feeling scared”. In any case, shouldn’t the first reaction be to call the police?
Yamamoto Ryuuji felt that a more reasonable explanation should be that Kitahara Kurasuke and the others suddenly had evil thoughts of intrusion after seeing the two girls. Yatomi Emi and Tanaka Tamaki fought hard, and drove the car into the lake in a panic and struggle. The reason why Kitahara Kurasuke came to Yamamoto Ryuji 27 years after the incident was because the case had exceeded the 20-year prosecution period stipulated in Japanese criminal law. In other words, even if the court found these three murderers, it would not be able to prosecute them. They bring them to justice.
“But why did Kitahara Kurasuke expose the truth of that year?” Yamamoto Ryuuji investigated Kitahara Kurasuke’s background. He soon discovered that the three people did form an alliance after the incident and planned to keep the matter in their stomachs. , they also tried their best to spread rumors of supernatural events in the hotel, and later, with the exaggeration of many media, they successfully diverted the attention of the police. However, as he got older, Kitahara Kurasuke felt that the past was like a big stone, often weighing him down. Considering that the prosecution period had passed, he decided to find Yamamoto Ryuji to tell the truth in order to get justice. Spiritual relief.
Recently, Kitahara Kurosuke accepted an interview with Japan’s “Yomiuri Shimbun”. He said that over the years, he has been troubled by conscience and felt sorry for the two girls, so he decided to tell the truth, at least not to let the bodies of the two girls continue to soak in the water. In the cold lake.
The other two people refused to be interviewed and kept secret about what happened that year.
Since the case has been going on for many years, the police have been unable to extract useful clues from the wreckage and cannot determine whether it was an accident or a homicide. The case could only be closed hastily and the girls’ remains were sent back to their respective homes.
This ending made many Japanese feel sad: the two girls were in their prime, but they lost their lives because of curiosity and were trapped at the bottom of a cold lake for 27 years. It was really pitiful.