Dirt, oil, sweat – built up and lingering in your pores from the intense summer in Tokyo. With the cooler fall weather settling in, it’s time to head back to the Onsen for a good scrub and soak. If you are in Tokyo, I recommend the Yukemurino Sato Onsen in Miyamaedaira.
As you enter this luxurious spa, with polished floors, ikebana decor, and staff bowing as you pass, the tranquility immediately takes you in and you feel as if you can stay the whole day, and you will.
As you check in, it will be useful to know some Japanese (you have to give some info such as your name and telephone number). After listening to the staff explain to you about the facilities, you will be given towels, an indoor outfit, and wristband scanner which you are to keep on you at all times (this can go in the water). The scanner allows you to add up purchases within the facilities, and you just pay all together when you exit. This convenience is beautiful!
Now it’s time for your soak. Strip down (it’s only uncomfortable if you make it uncomfortable), scrub off in the shower area, then head off to the baths. You’ll notice that the water in the tubs are dark, unfiltered, and salty. This is because the water comes straight from the underground source. The nutrients are still intact, and your skin will feel remarkably smooth and silky.
While there is a comfortable indoor bath and whirlpool, I prefer going outdoors and curling up in an individual-sized bucket. Outside, there are also larger community baths, saunas, and even a shallow pool so you can lay down and take a nap amidst the bamboo decor.
I’m always the hungriest when I visit an onsen, and the restaurant in here offers some of the best Japanese food I have had. The tempura is fresh, light, and just the right amount of crispy. The curry is delicious and too easy to eat. The cold soba noodles are wonderful and refreshing after a steaming soak. And you can’t forget to order green tea desserts! When finished, let the server swipe your wristband, and now it’s time to take care of your food coma.
It isn’t recommended to head back to the waters right after eating, so head to the lounge area where you can rest on a reclining chair with a personal TV. I will warn you, though – you may hear some loud snoring from other guests, but that just shows you how relaxed people feel in here. Sometimes I read a book, but many times I end up snoozing away, too.
Your day will be a haze of soaking in nutrient-rich water, purging your pores in the sauna, sampling complimentary toiletries and cosmetics, and lounging indoors in your comfortable indoor outfit. These are the days I dream of.
When it’s time to go, you will head to the check out counter to close your bill. The most amazing thing about this onsen is the admission price, which is only 1240 yen! Such an affordable price for all of this luxury. You can surely make this visit a healthy habit.
Address: 2-13-3, Miyamaedaira, Miyamae-ward, Kawasaki city, Kanagawa,
Japan (Miyamaedaira is a local stop off of the Denentoshi Line)
Admission: Weekdays (10am-midnight) 1240 yen / 980 yen after 9:30pm.
Weekends (9am – midnight) 1500 yen. Crowded on weekends.
Website: http://yukemurinosato.com/miyamaedaira/onsen [Japanese]
Staff speaks Japanese only, but not much speaking is needed after being admitted.
Rules: No tattoos, no loud or obnoxious behavior, no clothing or swimsuits in the onsen water