What could be better than a hot bath after a long day of walking and exploring Tokyo? Imagine that you are bathing while looking at Mount Fuji during sunset with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Or would you prefer a hot jacuzzi and footbath in a traditional Japanese garden? Or maybe both, and an opportunity to take lots of photos in traditional Japanese clothes amid oriental lanterns and pavilions?
Traditionally, Japanese hot springs are gender-segregated. There are separate areas with baths for women and for men, meaning you would have to enjoy the hot water by yourself. However, there are several hot springs and spas in the Tokyo area where you can share the experience with your partner. Let’s check out some spas so you can choose the perfect relaxing destination with the love of your life!
Toshimaen Niwa no Yu
Located just 15 minutes from Ikebukuro station, this is a great hot spring and spa complex to go with your partner after a day of exploring Tokyo.
First, there is a rare large indoor and outdoor area, which both men and women can enjoy in a swimsuit. There is a large swimming pool with an aqua massage and a large quartz crystal in the center, which is a famous power stone. After swimming and enjoying the pool, proceed to the steam sauna and indoor hot tub to prepare for the best: the outdoor area. This is my favorite area because it has two jacuzzis that are surrounded by gorgeous green scenery. As each jacuzzi has natural hot spring water and soft water respectively, it is recommended to alternate between them to get the best results for your skin and health! If you come during colder seasons and are looking for a way to warm up quickly, head to the Finnish sauna in a small wooden house nearby. Be sure not to miss the “Aroma Service” at 2 PM, 4 PM and 7 PM every day and see which of you can handle the hot air and steam better! Feeling tired of hot air? Take a quick shower, put on your comfy clothes provided by Niwa no Yu and take a stroll in the green city oasis designed by a famous landscape architect of the 20th century, Kenzo Okada. Together with your special one, enjoy the carp swimming ponds, waterfalls, scenic spots, and seasonal flowers. An authentic Japanese experience is guaranteed.
All of the above can be followed with a dip into a traditional indoor and outdoor hot spring (gender-segregated and pumped from 1,445 meters underground), massage and spa procedures, a delicious meal in the restaurant on the second floor and a visit to a bedrock spa for a separate fee. The bedrock features 3 rooms (mild hot, cool and Korean style Hanjumaku – very hot). It is recommended for those who would like to sweat a little, but don’t enjoy a traditional sauna because it is too hot.
Odaiba Ooedo-onsen Monogatari
Located on a man-made island, this hot spring theme park is a perfect way to conclude a day of shopping and entertainment in Odaiba. My advice would be to take the driverless Yurikamome line, as it offers great views of the bay area from the first car! Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari, which can be translated as “Edo Hot Spring Tale”, will take you on a journey to the past – historic Edo. First, you will receive a yukata – traditional Japanese summer festival clothes. You and your partner can choose from a variety of designs and sizes to match perfectly!
Usually, it is forbidden to take any photos at hot springs, but Ooedo-onsen Monogatari is one of a few facilities where you are allowed to take pictures in the main area. Change into the yukata, leave your belongings in the locker room, and take your phone or camera to take plenty of pictures in the main hall – EdoTown, that has decorations and amusement facilities just like a real Edo summer festival did – lanterns, pavilions and traditional Japanese festival games. Before heading to the actual hot springs, proceed outside to a magnificent Japanese garden that has a large foot bath. During the day you can contemplate the garden, and during the night the foot bath is lit with mesmerizing blue light, so it is hard to tell whether it is more beautiful during the day or night!
After you take the pictures, leave the camera in your locker and have a relaxing dip in the typical hot springs. If you feel hungry or tired after bathing, restaurants with any kind of Japanese food, spas, and even sleeping facilities are at your service!
If you feel like exploring areas near Tokyo, Enoshima is a great destination. And a great destination must have a nice hot spring offering a scenic view. In this case, it is Enoshima Island Spa or Enospa! First of all, Enospa has uncommonly large outdoor and indoor pool areas. Both males and females can enjoy these areas while wearing a swimsuit. The first pool I always head to is the outdoor pool (closed Dec-Feb) to enjoy the view of Mount Fuji and the splendid Shonan area. Next, head to mysterious cave area together. Inside the cave, take in the waterfall with all of your senses, relaxing in the cave bath with pleasant sounds surrounding you. Near the cave area, there is a dry sauna with an aroma oil service at certain times. Pay a visit there to warm up your body from inside with the hot air from the stones! Last but not least, spend some time with your special someone in the indoor pool area. A little secret: one of the pools has a light and water show, and it is indeed fascinating!
Your visit can be completed with a body treatment program and a delicious meal with a view of the gorgeous bay area. An important thing to note though is that Enospa has an enforced no-tattoo policy.
All of the above hot springs offer reduced rates after 6 PM, so it’s perfect to enjoy the sunset while soaking in a warm bath with your sweetheart! Also, if you forgot your swimsuit, don’t worry, the abovementioned hot springs will offer rental swimsuits!
The atmosphere at Japanese hot springs is so relaxing that I have never seen couples arguing there. Hot water, pleasant smells, and amazing views relax sore muscles, calm nerves and soothe your soul. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
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