Situated in a volcano-active region, Japan has over 3000 hot springs scattered throughout all the country, every region has its share of of springs and resort towns. Known as onsen in Japanese, there are many types of hot springs in Japan: indoors and outdoors, gender separated and mixed. Onsens are either run publicly by municipals (town or district that has local government) or privately as part of a hotel, ryokan or bed-and-breakfast (known as “minshuku” in Japanese).
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari is a hot spring theme park in Odaiba area near Tokyo Bay that promises 13 varieties of baths using natural hot spring water from 1400m underground.
Let me show you my visit to Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari.
Odaiba Tokyo Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari can be reached by a 2-minute walk from Telecom Centre Station on the Yurikamone Line or by taking a free shuttle bus from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line that will take approximately 7 minutes.
First thing to do after you enter Tokyo Odaiba Oedo-Onsen Monogatari is to take off your shoes and store them in the shoe lockers located at the entrance. Keep your shoe locker keys with you at all times, there is a replacement fee of 2500 Yen for lost shoe locker keys.
The interior of Oedo Onsen Monogatari is beautifully decorated with wooden furnishings to recreate the Edo-era feel.
The price for entry between 2am – 9am is 2076 + 2160 (night charge) Yen for adults and 1058 + 2160 (night charge) Yen for children (4-11 years old) . Entrance fees are 2612 Yen for adults and 1058 Yen for children (4-11 years old) from 9am – 6pm. The entrance fees are the cheapest after 6pm, at 2072 Yen for adults and 1058 Yen for children (4-11 years old).
Singaporeans can get special discount ticket from Changi Recommends that only costs S$24 (which is approximately 1944 Yen).
When you check-in, you select the plan that you want and you will be given a wristband with a key and a barcode.
It’s time to choose your yukata (light kimono) and collect obi (belt). There are 4 styles for guys on the left side of the counter and 5 style for women on the right side of the counter, with size charts to help you decide on the size. For the obi belts, there are 4 colours to choose from: black, blue, yellow and orange.
Let’s get changed into our yukata in the changing rooms marked with huge red door curtain for female changing room and blue door curtain for male changing room, with the words “female” and “male” written in Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese. Your locker number is the number shown on the barcode key. You don’t have to bring any money with you, all purchases are recorded in the barcode key and everything will be settled together at check-out.
We started with the outdoor Ashi-Yu (Foot Bath). The cold spring water rejuvenates the senses and pebbled riverbed helps to improve circulation.
It’s time to experience the indoor hot springs. You will enter another changing room where you will be given two towels and you pick a locker to store your things. Handphones and wallets must be kept in the storage lockers and I didn’t want to risk “steaming” my handphone, so I did not manage to take any pictures of the indoor baths. Take a quick rinse at the entrance and scrub yourself clean with the complimentary shampoo, conditioner, body wash and facial wash before heading into the baths. There are Big Common Bath, Mist Sauna, Open-Air Barrel Bath and Kinu No Yu, just to name a few.
Besides the indoor and outdoor baths, Oedo Onsen Monogatari also have a series of relaxation massages from Body Scrub, Body Care, Foot Reflexology to Thai Massage, Aroma Lymph Full Body Treatment and Facial Treatment should you want to pamper yourself.
After soaking in the hot baths, nothing beats a bottle of refreshingly-cold fresh milk. Ay 150 Yen a bottle, it is an enjoyment everyone can afford.
You can buy quality Japanese cosmetic and facial products here. Prices ranges from 1200 Yen for foot scrub to 5500 Yen for horse oil shampoo.
Hirokoji and Happakuyacho shopping arcades are decorated with colourful lanterns and old architecture to recreate the festive mall of Edo period in Japan. There are games stands, carnival games, food stalls that sells everything from ramen and sushi to yakitori and udon noodles. You can enjoy your food in the huge tatami room Nakamura-Za or have a nap in the reclining chairs in Yasumi-Dokoro.
You can even get your fortunes read at this stall here.
We had dinner at an izakaya restaurant called Katakuchiya in Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari where we had many delicious foods such as Sweet and Spicy Gyoza Dumplings [580 Yen], Caesar Salad Topped with A Boiled Egg [580 Yen], Chopped Kabayaki Eel [1480 Yen], Red Sea Bream [1380 Yen], Thick Block of Fried Tofu in Daishi [580 Yen] and I tried Black Nikka Freezing Highball.
You will be given this check out pass after you have made payment at the counter.
Do take note of the last train timings for the various lines to make sure you can catch the last train. You can always opt to stay overnight at Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari but you will have to pay an additional 2200 Yen.”