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“Buried alive in warm black sand”
Review of Takegawara Spa

Takegawara Spa
Ranked #3 of 51 Spas & Wellness in Beppu
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 June 2012

The architecture of this onset is an awesome reminder of the past.
As soon as you enter the doorway, there is a booth to pay on your right. You decide whether you are going to take a bath or to have a sand bath. You are issued a yukata to change in. You need your own towel and yen for the locker fee. They rake a spot for you to lie down in. Your head is resting on a wooden block for a pillow. They slowly pour warm sand onto your body starting from your feet first. The neat part is they will scoop sand under your neck and behind your shoulders to support you which felt nice. They carefully watch the clock to signal to you when to brush off the sand and get up. Your body immediately starts to heat up. Not a burning hot feeling, I only got that sensation on my heels, but your head starts to perspire. If you bring a small washcloth they wipe away your perspiration as your hands are covered in the mount. After that, you rinse off and you can soak in the little tub. You have the chance to cool off in the open lobby area where their are vending machines for drinks, ice cream. Later you can go to the regular bath if you want to. The sand burial place is co-ed as you are in a yukata, but the other bath areas are gender specific.

4  Thank watchthedog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"old building"
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"warm sand"
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"sand bath"
in 25 reviews
"the red light district"
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"bring your camera"
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"public onsen"
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"ladies"
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in 8 reviews
"wash"
in 5 reviews
"pillows"
in 3 reviews
"lady"
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in 6 reviews
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Reviewed 1 March 2012

It was fun visiting this place with my mum. Basically for a fee you disrobe, clean yourself and get buried alive in sand.

1  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2011

This is an old public spa that used to be on the beach but now is located a few blocks inwards. The nice thing to do is the famous hot sand bath. People get covered with warm sand and relax for about 10 Mins. It feels like going to a sauna. The bath does not seem to offer much other treatments (people only speak Japanese and no English). As others have pointed out here: bring your bath towel with you. Otherwise, you need to buy one.

There seem to be still some spa companies offering this treatment on the beach and not inside a house, so watch out for them...

1  Thank Bioko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

The building that houses Takegawara Spa is a pleasant surprise after walking past a string of sexy bars. It's quite picturesque, and I've even seen postcards of this building. The process is pretty simple: Take your shoes off and place them on the shelf. Tell the lady if you want the sand bath (hot water bath included) or just regular hot water bath. Pay your 1000 or 100 yen and if you chose sand bath, receive your yakuta. If you didn't bring a towel, I think you can rent or buy one here.

If you're going for a bath, go right. If you're going for a sand bath, go left. Find your room according to sex. Get naked and store your things in a locker (100 yen?). Put on your yakuta BEFORE you leave the changing/bathing room and enter the co-ed sand room. If you want pictures of yourself buried in sand, bring your camera. One of the ladies will direct you to your pit and bury you. You'll be buried in hot sand for about 15-20 minutes, where you'll be sweating a LOT. Your sand burier will let you know when it's time to shake the sand off. Go back into the bathing room and rinse off the sand. After all the sand's gone, wash yourself thoroughly before stepping into the bath. Lay back and enjoy!

Ice cream and drink vending machines in the lobby. Total time spent: about 1 hour.

7  Thank brainsoup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 August 2010

I really enjoyed my experience at the sand bath at Takegawara Spa. I even bought a souvenier onsen towel because it was super cute! I ended up visiting the onsen on a weekday during a typhoon so it was pretty empty. There are some basic English instructions which are easy to follow and it was certainly an experience I will remember! I've been to a number on onsens before, but never a sandbath and you sure do sweat in there (if you think about it, it's kind of gross how much of people's sweat must be in that sand!). The lady who covered me with sand was kind enough to take a few pictures (just make sure you bring it in a ziploc bag so it doesn't get all dirty).

There aren't a ton of amenities; it's a pretty basic onsen, but I definitely recommend it.

2  Thank cauliflower18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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