Tired? Stiff? Weary? Cheap? If any of these words apply to you, then do read on.
Tokyo has a plethora of Tokyo spas and onsen, ripe for the picking. Not all of them come cheap, though, and a nice relaxing afternoon can be ruined by footing the bill. Here are some local day spas for
budget worry-free relaxation, featuring foot baths, mineral water and massages.
But before we get to the Spa details, just a quick mention for help on the more metaphysical side of relaxation, we recommend reading our friends’ excellent site Relax Now.
Spa Royal Kawaguchi
The tropical oasis of Spa Royale in Saitama is a must in terms of affordable spas, despite it being slightly outside of Tokyo’s reach. From Oji Station it is just a twenty-minute ride on the Namboku line, and well worth the trip. The spa has heated wooden floors, a restaurant, a manga reading room, a massage area, a hair salon as well as several saunas in the general co-ed area.
Admission to the spa covers all general areas, though hair cuts and massages will obviously cost more. The cost on weekdays is ¥850 for adults and ¥420 for school children. On weekends and holidays, it’s slightly more: ¥950 for adults and ¥470 for school children. It is advised to bring your own towel, as renting a towel set can bring the cost up a few extra hundred yen. Into the divided bath areas and a wonderful array of different baths can be found. With a great outdoor area affixed with a cabana over the main mineral bath, giant plasma televisions, and a shallow water napping area, it is easy to spend hours upon hours here.
For the extreme bathers, there is a salt steam room with a pile of the stuff to de-buff dead skin. There is also an electric bath that sends shocks up and through your body, which is supposed to be good for it (you be the judge). Overall there are seven different baths in both areas, so it is well worth the admission cost.
Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is a great place for families and groups. The Edo-themed spa is a great tourist attraction, but draws plenty of locals as well. The best time to go is at night, when admission is cut down from ¥2,612 to ¥2,072. (Don’t forget to check out our full review on how to get even further discounts on entry). There are also free shuttle buses that run from several different stations to the spa.
The spa provides yukata and towels free of charge, so that is a plus when going on a whim. You don’t need to bring anything else except yourself and a couple of friends. The bathing area features six different types of baths, all with different health and wellness benefits—not to mention the stylish feeling of bathing Edo Japan style. And don’t forget to check out out for the Doctor Fish” foot baths and co-ed garden/foot baths. For a fun day with kids, or for a one-of-a-kind bathing experience, Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is the place to be.
Niwa no Yu
Another spa that pays to go in the evening is Niwa no Yu—with a ¥1,000 discount off of ¥2,310 after 6pm. Niwa no Yu is located near Toshimaen, a family-friendly amusement park. After a long day of play, it is the perfect place to go and take a load off.
This spa is perfect for the never-nudes and groups who don’t wish to separate, because there is a Finnish-style bath that allows swimsuits and both genders to enjoy. Otherwise, the spa features gender separate mineral-rich, onsen-style baths as well.
Tokyo and Japan have a reputation for the strange and unusual museums.
Enoshima Island Spa
To really get away from it all, Enosima is the place to go. Just 80 minutes from Tokyo, it is just far away enough to feel like you are going on vacation. The spa offers several onsen-style bathing pools, as well as outdoor pools overlooking Mt. Fuji and a full menu of body treatment options. It is truly an island paradise.
The spa can be found on the island of Enoshima. Adult full-day entrance rates are ¥3,120. As per the usual with other spas, after 7pm the rate is reduced to ¥1,932. Entry for children is ¥1,512 every day except Sundays. Note: During the spa’s busy season, the rates are slightly higher (¥3,660 per adult/¥1,782 per child) on weekends and public holidays from July to September and during the Obon holidays (August 14-16).
Upon paying the entrance fee, access to the onsen, heated pools and relaxation room are permitted. The spa also provides a complementary towel and robe set, so no need to bring your own. The whole vibe of the spa is very modern, with lots of white decor. For treatments, reservations must be made 48 hours in advance.
In our pilot episode, we're joined by Alvin Cheung of ABC Coffee, Hapnick, and Tokyo Keyboards