When in Japan the end of February a group of us visited the Ooedo-Onsen-Monogatari in the Daiba area. In plain English, this is a traditional Japanese bath house. This was not entirely what I expected, but it was a nice experience, and I would recommend it.
When you enter, you remove your shoes and put them into a shoe locker in the front area. You then proceed to the check in area. There you receive a wrist bracelet with a bar code and a locker key. This is literally your key to the visit, to be explained below.
Next you select a Kimono style robe or Yukata. There are about a half dozen styles each for men and women in a variety of sizes that are included with the fee for the visit. There are additional fee styles as well.
You then take the Yukata and proceed to the locker room. The key attached to the wrist bracelet mentioned above is the key to the locker. You locate the locker with the number on the key and undress and put on the Yukata.
After leaving the locker room you enter an area that can best be described as a cross between a mall food court and a carnival midway. There are various food court like booths were you can select various food items, such as sushi, tempura, and a wide variety of Japanese food items. You select your items and you are given a pager. You pay for your selections by the bar code on your wrist bracelet. There are also places to get beer and other beverages. Water and tea are complimentary.
We ate a variety of food and all of us were satisfied. It was really a late lunch, and we planned on a late sushi dinner later in the evening, so it was really perfect. The food area has both men, women, and families with fairly young children.
There is also an area with many various carnival like games such as darts, cotton candy machines, and small booths selling a variety of items an novelites.
From there we went to the mens bath area. Upon entering you receive a towel and another small towel/wash cloth. You then proceed to another locker room where you remove your Yukata and put it into the locker, along with the larger towel. You then proceed with nothing but the key to the locker on your wrist, and the small wash towel.
From there you enter the bath area. The first thing you encounter is a an area where you splash water on yourself to initially wash. You then proceed to individual stations equipped with a hand shower, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. You then wash completely and then proceed to the baths themselves.
There are baths of various temperatures and water inside and additional baths outside. We first went to the baths outside. The air was cold, about 35 to 40 degrees F, but the water is hot. We first went into the hottest bath about 40C I believe. We stayed in that for about 10 minutes or so, then proceeded to another outdoor bath a little cooler for another 15 minutes or so.
We then went inside and tried some of the inside baths. One of the baths is cold, about 20C – I didn’t use that but others in the group did. There were a variety of baths inside, some bubbling Jacuzzi like, another with a brownish salt brine water, and others. After about another half hour to 45 minutes of relaxing in the various baths we then washed again and left the bath area.
We went back to the locker room, retrieved the towels, and dried off. There are hair dryers, and other toiletry items to use. After finishing up here we put our Yukatas back on, put the towels in used towel area and re-entered the common area.
We had some cold water, played some of the games, and then proceeded to the common outdoor baths. These are clothed areas shared by all and are mostly foot baths. Some have rocks to walk on. There is also an area where for an additional fee you can have fish eat the dead skin from your feet. I didn’t do that, but some in the group did. The were in hysterics with laughter.
There are other options for massages, for additional fees, and other services.
At this point we went back to the locker room and got dressed. There are bins to deposit the Yukata for washing.
We then went back to the initial reception area and paid. There was a flat fee for the service, and then itemized fees for the additional items you purchased. For me this included the food and a beer. You can charge this to credit cards.
All told, after exchange rates the total came out to $40.87 USD. About $17 of that was food. So, by Japanese prices this is really cheap. Japan is really expensive, this by comparison was really inexpensive.
From there you proceed to the shoe locker area, retrieve your shoes, and leave. There are shuttles to area locations and train stations. We had some issues with the subway (need to refill Suica card with cash, no credit cards accepted, and ATMs didn’t take any US or Canadian ATM or credit cards – not well done) so we just used taxis (they do take credit cards).
It was definitely a good experience. It wasn’t what I expected, especially the carnival midway type area, but overall it was a relaxing experience for a relatively modest price. Even with the nudity it is not sexual at all.
If in the Tokyo area of Japan I definitely recommend it. From what we were told by someone we knew that lives in Japan, there are other similar onsens with even more baths, such as red wine, curry, and others. It sounds odd, but is probably also interesting.
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- Also Known As:
- Ooedo Onsen Monogatari Hotel Koto
- Ooedo Onsen Monogatari Tokyo, Japan