Aug 28, 2010

First Onsen-n-Sauna Experience in Japan

Finally went to an onsen in the hot summer. That was one of the top things to do once I reach Japan. :P I was pleasantly surprised to find that the onsen was quite packed, despite the hot and humid weather.

I took the onsen set (coupled with sauna) at 風と月. That will be my first sauna experience in Japan.

At Counter
I collected my robes and bath towel at the counter. In exchange, the counter staff kept my shoe locker key, and gave me a key to my clothes locker.

First of all, we should have our sauna (known as 薬石汗蒸房) before our onsen soak.

There are altogether 5 rooms, each with different functions. Temperatures range from 40 degree Celsius to 60 degree Celsius.

As the floor will be really hot, remember to lay your bath towel first, before lying on it.

I've asked the obaasan who worked at the onsen on how to use the sauna services, and here's a tip.

Before you change to the next sauna room, remember to take a rest at the cooling room. For every minute you spent at the sauna room, spend the same amount of time at the cooling room, too.

I love the medicated room best. It is filled with the fragrance of Chinese herbs, and it's 60 degree Celsius!

There are manga, books, magazines and newspapers which you can borrow and bring into the sauna room/ cooling room with you. I managed to finish a manga for my entire sauna session. Do remember to borrow one, it will help you pass time in the rooms (other than sleeping, if you can fall asleep that is. :P)

Common Area at the Sauna Section
Besides reading material which you can borrow and read, there's also a TV, vending machines and a face spa machine! Yup, I tried it. Relaxing! :D

For drinks that you can't finish at one go, you can write your name using the marker provided and place them in the transparent fridges, and continue drinking later.

I heard from my predecessor that the shopping mall was actually built around this natural onsen! There are quite a number of pools you can choose from, both indoor and outdoor pools.

Indoor Onsen
There are 2 pools. One of them is of a special mix, the carbonic acidic pool, which helps in blood circulation and complexion. Bubbles start to form once I went in. It's kinda of an interesting experience.

Outdoor Onsen
There are about 6 pools outdoor, including a jacuzzi. There is also a steam sauna igloo. Once in the igloo, you can use the salt provided to apply on your body. Mmm.. not sure what it does, but I saw quite a few who did that, and I just followed suit. :P

Other Facilities
Once out of the onsen and sauna, still within the premises, you can also enjoy the following services, for an additional charge:
  • Food and drinks at restaurant
  • Vending machine
  • Hairdresser
  • Massage

How much does it cost?
For adults:
  • Onsen only = 700yen
  • Onsen set (with sauna) = 1200yen

For a detailed list, pls click here.

I'm definitely visiting it again! Missed the sauna... it's really very relaxing!