spirited away bathhouse is basically for spirits to replenish them, Yubaba was a witch and the owner of the bathhouse. Chihiro works there as a servant to earn freedom. The bathhouse design and infrastructure present in the movie were inspired by the real bathhouse in Japan. The bridge that connects the bathhouse and the other side, the temple design, the waterfall aside of the bathhouse are taken from different iconic and ancient Japanese bathhouses, hotels, and museums. Miyazaki presents his great artwork that is truly a masterpiece.

Spirited away bathhouse:

Spirited away is a famous Japanese animated movie released in 2001 written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. This movie is among the most popular animated film in the history of Japanese animated features. The movie won many awards and was voted in the best 4 films of the 21st century by BBC in 2016. In 2017, the New York Times declared “spirited away” as the best film of the 21st century.

Highlights of spirited away:

The story is based on a 10-year-old small girl named Chihiro who is shifting to a new location with her parents, they forgot the right way and went to the other way, in between the scenario they went to a tunnel, there they decided to stay for a while and eat something.

The place was so mysterious, no one was there. They were so hungry as they found a place where lots of food waiting for them. Chihiro’s parents decided to eat that food and later on, they paid for it. While eating they turned into pigs, Chihiro didn’t eat that food, she was curious but she didn’t know that she entered into the world of spirit with her parents.

While running away she found a boy named Haku who brings her to a witch named Yubaba, she offered her a job in the bathhouse and signed a contract, according to the contract she changes her name to Sen and she can’t leave the bathhouse until she earns freedom. She did lots of efforts to earns freedom and at last, she got it.

What is the bathhouse called in the spirited away?

In the animated movie “spirited away”, the bathhouse called ‘Aburaya’ that is owned by a witch ‘Yubaba’ is situated in the spirit world. The bathhouse is specially made for spirits, here spirits went to fill them up again.

The outer building is made with traditional Japanese style, the roofs of the bathhouse are typically designed as temples in the Japanese costumes. The outer is viewed in a combination of red and green color with a blend of dark brown in between. The building is consisting of multiple floors with one side elevator that is only allowed to reach the selected floors.

Workers of the bathhouse:

Yubaba who is an owner of the bathhouse gives a job and stays with her workers. Chihiro, Haku, lin, Kamajii, and Boh worked there as a servant to replenish the spirits. Servant’s rooms are congested then Yubaba office and Boh room because Boh is her son.

The reality of spirited away bathhouse:

Maybe you have seen this film and if not then the highlights of this movie gave an overview of it however, what if you come to know that the spirited away bathhouse actually exists?

The infrastructure and the interior of bathhouse presents in this movie are actually inspired by the actually exist bathhouse in japan here is a list of some of the bathhouse that is iconic and if you have seen the film called” spirited away” then you can relate it more clearly.

Dogo onsen honkan

This bathhouse is situated in the Matsuyama in Ehime prefecture. The building is stylized with a modern exterior. The similarity between Dogo Onsen Honkan and the bathhouse executed in the movie “spirited away” is its complex wood structure.

If you ever visit Dogo onsen honkan, then you must have seen a drum called “Tokidaiko”. This drum daily struck at 6:am morning which is the sign of bathhouse opening. The drum also struck at noon and evening to mark the time of the day.

Dogo onsen honkan opening hours are from 9 am to 10 pm and the price they offer for adults is 410 yen and for children 160 yen.


Kanaguya is located in Nagano prefecture on Sahibu Onsen street. Kanaguya is the most famous and historical hotel and bathhouse constructed in 1758. In 1936 kanguya is modified into a four-story building which can facilitate their guest not just bath but accommodation called” Saigetsurou”.

Kanaguya’s building is made with wood and the infrastructure especially its unique temple design is truly the main inspiration of the animated movie named “spirited away” bathhouse.

The hotel is engaged with 29 room and every room has its look and interior, that makes it more special and unique. The hot spring bath area is the center of attraction, contains water from four different sources. The water is rich with iron that can provide moisture to the skin.

Yubara Onsen Aburaya

This bathhouse is located in Okayama, Aburaya is counted as an ancient bathhouse established in 1688. This bathhouse offers a private hot bath outside a green bath and an open-air bath.

The building of Yubara Onsen Aburaya from the Meiji era was used as a model structure in the animated movie. The building had lots of rooms but afterword98 it becomes renovated and now only one room on the 3rd floor is left for accommodation. The restaurant on the second floor and the opened air bath remain the same.

Shima Onsen Sekizenkan Honkan

In the movie spirited away, Sen crossed a bridge with red railings before entering the bathhouse, this bridge is inspired by the bridge in Sekizenkan Hokan. The bridge is constructed as a passage to enter the bathhouse, when you walk through it you feel mysterious vibes.

It is one of the ancient bathhouses in japan, kinds of bath offered there such as stone bath and outdoor bath. The inside of this hotel feels like a spirited away bathhouse.
Apart from the bridge, there is a tunnel side the bathhouse that is similar to one seen in the animated movie. This hotel is the oldest hot spring in Japan and important cultural property of Gunma prefecture.

Summary: the architecture and the interior of the bathhouse as shown in the film spirited away is inspired by some of the iconic and ancient Japanese bathhouses, this can be experienced if you visited these places. If you think about the spirited away bathhouse reality, then they are existing but the only difference is they relax the real human being rather than spirits (as shown in the movie).

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What was the spirited away bathhouse theory?

Aburaya is the bathhouse owned by a witch named Yubaba. When Chihiro lost in the world of spirit she went to the bathhouse there she struggled to earn freedom by doing a job as written in the contract. The Spirits came into the bathhouse to replenish themselves. This animated movie exposed a very sensitive agenda of a society that is “child prostitution”.

Child’s prostitution theory:

Miyazaki who is the writer and the director of this movie is known to addressed social issues and political problems through his movies. He targets the child’s prostitution issue in his animated movie.

  • The first aspect through which the author target this issue is the ‘yu’ sign at the entrance of the bathhouse. ‘Yu’ is a Japanese word that means hot water. In Japanese tradition ‘Yuna’ means hot water women and in the ‘Edo era’ men go to meet hot water women.

    In the animated movie the owner of the bathhouse ‘Yubaba’ name means hot water old women, this is the first evidence of this agenda.

  • The second aspect is the change in name of Chihiro into Sen. When a girl comes into prostitution life the first thing demands change her name, this is because no one recognized her. Now you get the second evidence.

  • The third and final evidence is when no face named spirit tries to buy Chihiro, he offers her to do anything whatever she wants and in return, she does what he desires. Sen always refuses him, one day she caught him but luckily she ran away.

  • if you are curious about what happens and how she earns freedom from the spiritual world then you must watch this movie.

What are the characters of spirited away?

Spirited away consists of various tremendous characters that have their importance in their places, on the whole, they made a spectacular animated movie that ranked among the best-animated movie in the history of japan. Some of their glimpses will be highlighted in the below section that will make you familiar to them.

1. Hako spirited away dragon:

Haku is a deuteragonist character in the movie. he is a 12-year-old spirit in the form of a human. He can turn himself into a dragon because he is a spirit of the river and can transform himself into a dragon, in this state he can fly as well.
He helped Chihiro throughout her journey in the spirit world. He worked for Yubaba the owner of the bathhouse. Sometimes he turns himself arrogant because he was in control of her. If you know more about Haku then read the article Hako spirited away dragon.

2. Yubaba:

Yubaba is the main villain of the story. She is a greedy witch and owner of the bathhouse. She gave a job to Chihiro in her bathhouse as Haku suggest her to do job to earn freedom. She penetrates something in Haku to control him.

3. No face:

No face or faceless semitransparent spirit who swallow other individuals to gain physical appearance. Chihiro gives him shelter in the bathhouse when there was heavy rain outside. he likes Chihiro and is emotionally attached to her.
He was a lonely spirit and offers her gold 3 times to get her company always but she refuses all the time, then he tried to chase her but she runs away. In the middle of the movie, he comes up with abilities like mimicry, alchemy, and absorbing.


As this topic is as curious as the movie called “spirited away”, a lot of questions arise in your mind. This section will help to wipe out some of your curiosity.

1. Why do the Japanese use bathhouse?

Japanese consider the bathhouse as the most relaxing place when they back from their tough work schedule. As it not only clears their dirt but also helps to remove their fatigue and tiredness. Japanese love to take bath before going to bed.

2. What is the moral lesson behind spirited away?

Chihiro put herself in danger to rescue her parent, in the bathhouse she helped even the spirits and in return, she gets back favor that she was not expected. We can say the moral lesson of the story is to help others.

3. Did Haku die in the spirit away?

When Chihiro gets out from the spirit world Hako dies. When Chihiro’s hairband shines it shows the tears of Hako when he dies, in the movie Hako was a river spirit.


To comprise the above article” spirited away bathhouse” I can say that, spirited away bathhouse is an animated mysterious movie. It can scare kids to some extent. The beautiful thing about that movie is its execution, the effects use in it and superfine movement. the story is based on a little 10 years old girl Chihiro who has no superpower no extraordinary talent, and no like a super cool dude kind of character who inspired children from miles of years.

In the beginning, she is an ordinary, simple, and somehow irritating girl who is lost in the world of spirit. The positive growth in the whole journey in Chihiro is such an inspirational factor for many children. The way she worked in the bathhouse to earn freedom for her and her parents, the way she becomes strong, and the way she becomes an extraordinary girl from an ordinary girl is the best thing of this film.

The bathhouse that we can see in this film is truly inspired by some real-life examples of the Japanese bathhouse. Japanese love to take bath, they believe that by taking restful bath no only remove their whole day dirt but also helps them to get free from fatigue and stress. They feel relax after taking a bath. If you did not see this movie, then I recommend you to see it, this masterpiece of Miyazaki truly worth seeing.

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Enjoy The Spirited Away Bathhouse In Person: 3 Onsen Inspired By The Film

Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki’s beautiful classic, is one of the most successful Japanese films of all time, and it retains a particular fascination.
It carries you to a strange land just by watching it, but unless you could visit the Spirited Away bathhouse?
Aburaya, the story’s iconic onsen, is based on some very real and very beautiful locations. Why not include one during your next expedition?
Continue reading to find out how you might familiarise yourself in the spirit of such beachside hotels — as well as a reward accessible museum in Tokyo.

1st Spirited Away Bathhouse: Onsen Dogo Matsuyama, Honkan

In The Photography of Spirited Away, Dogo Onsen in These, Ehime Prefecture, was revealed as the inspiration for Aburaya. This onsen’s main strength is that it is the oldest in Japan, going back over 3,000 years. Who knows how long have jumped in since then, but it has to be a great deal. Dogo Onsen, with its famed healing abilities, has also been a royal refuge since 1899. According to tradition, the curing waters were found by a wounded heron. It was noted by the villagers regularly, and it finally made a remarkable recovery. They led the way and have continued to do so ever since. We can’t guarantee any wonders after only one soak, but the natives confess by it.

Another of the baths at the Dogo Onsen Honkan acted as the basis for the Spirited Away Bathhouse. The Konkan (main entrance) is a National Significant Historical Property that was restored in 1894 and is highlighted in the Michelin Green Map for its elegance and importance. Visiting now will transport you away in cost and time you just 410. The wooden wall construction strongly influences the Spirited Away bathhouse’s architecture. Its close, corridors interior and twisty corridors, in general, enable workers to appear and vanish as though through magic.

Dogo Onsen is undertaking upgrades in preparation for 2020. Usually, the Tama-no-Yu and Kami-no-Yu swimming areas, separate rest areas, and two public-private offices are accessible. They also have a small tour of the onsen’s most well-known locations. Dogo Onsen Honkan, Matsuyama City’s Spirited Away bathhouse, has a separate restroom. However, the Yushinden room principle is “look, don’t touch” — this area is strictly reserved for the Royal Bloodline, who haven’t made a formal trip since the 1950s.

2. Sekizenkan, Shima Onsen, Spirited Away Bathhouse

Shima Onsen is a quaint beach resort town in Gunma Prefecture’s hills, and it is host to the famous Sekizenkan ryokan. The Spirited Away bond here is remarkable, in its striking red bridge — so you don’t need to hold your breath to pass safely. Another ancient hot spring spa is Sekizenkan. Its bamboo honkan was founded in 1691, creating it Japan’s oldest onsen building. The secret feeling, hidden away far in the trees, makes it possible to believe you’ve crossed over to the spirit realm. We dare you to come behind your Ghibli Radar, sending shivers down your back.

Shima Onsen translates to “40,000 Hot Springs,” and these hot springs are often regarded as “the remedy for 40,000 illnesses.” Bathing in the mafic seas is said to assist with rheumatism, psychological conditions, and gashes. Even as drinking the hot spring water is said to help with skin, digestive system, and even losing weight. The two main houses, Sanso and Kashotei, both Designated Culture Assets, provide more contemporary facilities in addition to the old honkan.

Building Sanso

The Sanso Building was built in 1936 in the Momoyama-period design by architects of the time, yet every room’s fixtures highlight their fine craftsmanship. The framework is now a registered tangible intellectual property that politicians and celebrities visit. Sanso, which is constructed on a hill immediately behind the honkan, attaches to the honkan through a mystical underground tunnel a further Spirited Away link.

Shima Onsen’s Spirited Away bathhouse is located under Sekizenkan. The latest structure, Kashotei, is located much farther into the woods at the highest point on the lands, near a large town noise. Classic Japanese images suggest scenes of old pine trees, high skies, and floating clouds. This location offers travelers a slow, quiet, and exclusive experience in dark woodlands.

3. Kaguya, Shibu Onsen, Spirited Away Bathhouse

As you would imagine, Shibu Onsen is another classic hot-spring hotel, this time high in the Japanese Alps. For even more than 250 years, the ryokan Kanaguya has been buried deep on an Edo-period side lane. Even if Kaguya isn’t formally recognized as Aburaya’s source, it hasn’t kept people from drawing comparisons.

Although Studio Ghibli has remained quiet on the topic, the ryokan’s interior contains striking parallels, and, coincidentally, Joe Hisaishi, who served on the film’s score, grew up in nearby Nakano City.

Despite this, a short tour of this rare inn shows why Ghibli fans book it daily since they can only visit it if they remain overnight. Although the architecture is stunning, Kanaguya is also known for its soothing waters. Kaguya has nine separate baths, each with its supply of water. These are used to fill five private pools, one for men and one for females, and two public outdoor baths.

Area of Shibu Onsen

Beyond Kanaguya, the town of Shibu Onsen is worth visiting in its own right. Although Kanaguya is another Spirited Away bathhouse that can only visit if you remain overnight, visitors at any ryokan in town can obtain an onsen-hopping token that enables them to visit all of the Soto-yu outside baths in the city. The popular way to experience a hot spring beach resort like Shibu Onsen is to go onsen hopping.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What sort of nature is a faceless spirit?

No-Face is a shadowy ghost that seems to be a black person with a white mask. He consumes other spirits and can consume their feelings into his soul, allowing him to imitate their behaviors, especially negative ones, culminating in his conversion into a villain.

What was the reason for being spirited away?

The Dogo Onsen is a Japanese hot spring.
Although some guidebooks and articles say that the old gold city of Jiufen inspired the film in Taiwan, Miyazaki has refuted this. The Dogo Onsen is also often cited as a major influence for the Spirited Away onsen/bathhouse.


The Spirited Away Bathhouse is built in the typical Japanese bathhouse theme, with a color scheme that includes red, green, and semi-dark brown tones. A fountain can also be located at the bridge’s passing. Separate from the main gate, and several side exits and back doors are not visible to consumers. Some ancient, shaky side steps directly lead into Kamajii’s Boiler Space, preventing the normal method of reaching through internal lifts.

The Bathhouse has many levels. They are counted in a unique way that combines the terms “,” which means “heaven,” and "which means “earth.” There are functional, one-way lifts that fly to any, if not many, of the floors by pulling a lever.

The Bathhouse is the core location in the Japanese animated film Spirited Away. It is owned by the witch Yubaba, who made a promise to hire anyone asking for a position as a worker there.

The Bathhouse, which stands on a half-dried swamp is a very grandiose and opulent structure on the island Yūya in the Spirit Realm. Built in a traditional Japanese bathhouse style, its color scheme encompasses shades of red, green and semi-dark tones of brown.

A waterfall is also present at its bridge crossing. Early in the series, it is established that the bathhouse has a set of old, unstable side stairs that lead directly into Kamajī’s Boiler Room, bypassing the usual method of arriving by the internal elevators.

Aside from the bridge, waterfall, entrance and side stairs, the Bathhouse has multiple side entrances and back doors that can be used to dump water outside without being seen by the customers. Haku takes Chihiro through one of these backyard routes and instructs her to enter through the Boiler Room via the side stairs to meet Kamaji.

The Bathhouse is a structure with multiple floors. The floors above ground level are numbered in a special manner that incorporates use of the words, literally meaning “heaven” and, literally meaning “ground”. The floors below ground are not given names in the film. It is shown in the film that the Bathhouse does have working, one-way elevators that travel to some of the floors if not all the floors by the pull of a lever.

The workers are also assigned to quarters in the bathhouse (most likely separated by male and female divisions), though it is unknown which floor of The Bathhouse they sleep in. It is accentuated that their living space is extremely cramped and limited compared to Yubaba’s office and Boh’s room. It is unknown if workers higher on the job ladder have private quarters.

Located below ground and can be accessed by side stairs jutting outside the exterior of The Bathhouse, the Boiler Room is home to Kamajī and countless Susuwatari (soot sprites) Most of the room is taken up by an imposing furnace.

Its walls are lined with drawers containing herbs that Kamajī memorizes in order to send herbal water up to the baths. The rest of the space is largely empty, save for a large wooden structure that acts as Kamajī’s bed and workplace as well as the multiple holes in the wall that act as living space for the Susuwatari. Haku stays here as he recuperates from his magical injuries due to Kamajī’s medicinal knowledge.

The ground floor is seemingly dedicated to kitchens and customer-use baths. Due to their popular and constant use, some of the baths are notorious for being extremely dirty. During Chihiro’s stay as a worker, she is assigned (with Lin) to clean the biggest and dirtiest tub on the ground floor, which, according to Lin, was one that hadn’t been cleaned in months.

The second floor is dedicated to traditional Japanese tatami-matted dining rooms for customers. It is first shown during Chihiro’s elevator ride through the building complex with the Radish Spirit. A long hallway with rooms separated by rice paper wooden doors line the second floor. They also seem quite popular with customers, as seen when all rooms are occupied Chihiro arrives on the level.

The top floor has two doors, with the right one having a talking door knocker. The left door is never opened, but the right door is home to Yubaba’s office and Boh’s room. It is an opulently-built, largely unoccupied space lined with expensive vases accentuated by intricate architecture.

Yubaba’s office lies on this floor, conjoined with Boh’s bedroom. Multiple large wooden doors, which close off at least four other rooms, block the path to Yubaba’s office, followed by many, twisting hallways. As shown by Haku, the top floor can also be accessed by a long, spiraling set of stone stairs.

 Bathhouse in Dogo (Shikoku)

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 Nikko Toshogu

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 Juifen and Omoneimoto Tea Museum in Taiwan

Hayao Miyazaki’s enchanting classic Spirited Away is one of the most successful Japanese movies ever, and holds a special place in our hearts. Watching it transports you to a magical world but what if you could visit the Spirited Away bathhouse for real?

Well, the iconic onsen of the story, Aburaya, happens to be based on some very real and very gorgeous locations. Why not work one into your next adventure?

Read on, and learn how you can immerse yourself in the spirit of these hot spring resorts — and a bonus open-air museum in Tokyo itself.

Spirited Away Bathhouse 1: Dogo Onsen Honkan, Matsuyama

Dogo Onsen Honkan, the main inspiration for the Spirited Away bathhouse, seen from the front.

Photo by Dogo Onsen

Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, was confirmed as the basis for Aburaya in The Art of Spirited Away.

A short tram ride from the center of Matsuyama, this is the most urban onsen on our list, and an easy addition to your visit there. This onsen’s main claim to fame is being the oldest in Japan, dating back some 3,000 years. Who knows how many people have taken a dip here since, but it must be one heck of a lot.

Dogo Onsen has also been an imperial retreat since 1899, thanks to its legendary healing powers. As the story goes, an injured heron was the first to discover the restorative waters. The locals noticed it visiting daily, and eventually it made a miraculous recovery. They followed suit, and have been doing so ever since. We can’t promise any miracles after one bath here, but the locals swear by it!

The honkan is a National Important Cultural Property, featured in the Michelin Green Guide for its beauty and significance, and was renovated in 1894. Visiting today will send you back in time, and set you back just ¥410.

The elegant wooden structure is clearly an influence on the design of the Spirited Away bathhouse. In particular, its tight, mazelike interior and narrow winding passages, that allow staff to appear and disappear like magic.

For 2020, Dogo Onsen is under renovation. Normally though, you can enjoy the Tama-no-Yu and Kami-no-Yu bathing areas, private rest areas, and two public lounge areas. They also offer a short tour of the onsen’s most famous areas.

In the Yushinden room though, the rule is “look don’t touch” — this space is reserved exclusively for the Imperial Family, although they haven’t made an official visit since the ‘50s.

The newer additions to Dogo Onsen offer more variety, so if you want to go all-out on your hot spring experience, we highly recommend a visit to Asuka-no-Yu as well.

The Asuka-no-Yu bathhouse was built in 2017, in the style of the Asuka period (552–645 CE). While unrelated to Miyazaki’s movie, it’s a beautiful building with open-air baths, private baths, and an iconic central tower. Bridging the gap between old and new, one of their proudest features is the projection mapping that illuminates the walls of the baths.

You can also combine your Asuka-no-Yu visit with some great activity packages, like beer-and-sake-tasting, a performance of Noh theater, or crafting with bamboo.

Matsuyama is also a picturesque and historic city in its own right, and home to one of Japan’s best-preserved castles. You can happily fill a few days here, with plenty to experience like rickshaw rides in kimono, dinner with a geisha, or even a short pilgrimage following in the footsteps of a legendary monk.

Dogo Onsen doesn’t offer accommodation, but they do accept day visitors. Since there are plenty of good hotels in Matsuyama, that makes it probably the most accessible Spirited Away bathhouse inspiration.

Looking for more to do in the area? Ehime Prefecture is full of gorgeous sights, traditional crafts, and delicious food. Check it out!

Bathing fee: Honkan: adults from ¥420, children from ¥160

Asuka-no-Yu: adults ¥610–¥1,690, children ¥300–¥830

Tsubaki-no-Yu: adults ¥400, children ¥150

Overnight stay N/A

Getting there 30 minutes by tram from central Matsuyama

Spirited Away Bathhouse 2: Sekizenkan, Shima Onsen

Shima Onsen is a charming hot spring town in the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, and home to the prestigious Sekizenkan ryokan. With its striking red bridge, the Spirited Away connection here is unmistakable — but no, you don’t need to hold your breath to safely cross over.

Sekizenkan is another historic hot spring spa. Its wooden honkan was constructed in 1691, making it the oldest onsen building in Japan. Tucked away deep in the forest, the hidden atmosphere makes it easy to imagine you’ve transitioned to the spirit world. We challenge you to visit without your Ghibli Radar sending chills down your spine!

The name Shima Onsen means “40,000 Hot Springs,” but the hot springs are also called “the cure for 40,000 ailments.” They say that bathing in the mineralized waters can help with rheumatism, movement disorders, and scars, while drinking the hot spring water helps ailments of the skin, the digestive tract, and even weight loss.

As well as the ancient honkan, you can enjoy more modern amenities here at the two other buildings, Sanso and Kashotei, both of which are also Designated Cultural Assets.

The Sanso Building was constructed in 1936 in the Momoyama-period style, by master builders of the time, and the fixtures of each room showcase their delicate workmanship. The building is now a registered tangible cultural property, and a popular haunt of politicians and celebrities.

Built on a hill directly behind the honkan, Sanso connects directly via a mysterious underground passage another Spirited Away connection.

The newest building, Kashotei, is even deeper in the forest at the highest point on the grounds, far removed from any noises of the town. The views of ancient pine trees, wide-open skies, and drifting clouds are reminiscent of classical Japanese paintings.

This spot provides visitors with a slow, quiet, and special time surrounded by silent woodlands. Shima Onsen is rather more remote than Dogo Onsen, and better suited to visitors with cars. If you feel like being spirited away here by train though, you can book your overnight stay with a transportation package.