Hold on… you’re still bathing in water?
Trust the Japanese to be constantly changing and upping the game of life. If there’s a way to declare your undying love for your favourite beverage, it would be to bathe in it. Coffee or tea? Both. While you’re at it, throw sake and wine baths into the picture too.
But those are safe options. If you want something with a little more pizzazz, something that’ll make your friends go “WHAT?!”, we know just where you can get it.
We know maple syrup isn’t exactly a beverage, but since Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, which is a one-hour drive away from Tokyo, is offering a “hot cake bath”, it’s hard to say no. Imagine frolicking in vanilla and maple syrup-scented water while a staff member pours maple syrup on you and in the bath. All ready for the queen ant to hit you up, I’d say.
This is one of Yunessun’s seasonal baths, and will be around till 25 April. Each seasonal bath stays any time from one to three months, and are the baths to catch. They can range from Dr.Ci:Labo Collagen Gel to champagne and Yakult baths.
An example is their dark chocolate bath that was around to celebrate Valentine’s Day before it switched to a white chocolate one for the whole of February. While we aren’t sure if licking chocolate off ourselves would make us happier, it pretty much fulfills our childhood dream of playing with food.
Or bathing in melted Gari Gari Kun Soda Popsicle, which is the Paddle Pop equivalent here. Perhaps a spa here should start one so we can bathe in unicorn waters.
If you prefer a savoury bath, they had a ramen broth one complete with noodles. We wouldn’t recommend slurping the noodles no matter how tempting that may seem – they aren’t real.
For something a little more conventional, try to plan your visit close to the sakura season. While the bath might not be very tasty, you’ll still get to admire the blooms and smell pretty.
But whatever the seasonal bath may be, you can always hit up the permanent ones that include sake, wine, green tea and coffee. Of course, they do have the usual onsen baths so you’ll get to try both the traditional and the quirky.
Check out other unique spas in Asia you can add to your next spa-venture.
Or if you’re both a roller coaster buff and a bathtub hibernator, keep your eyes peeled for this theme park.
Address: 1297 Ninotaira, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Kanagawa-ken 250-0407
How to get there
Take the express train bound for Hakone Yumoto on the Romancecar to Hakone Yumoto Station, then hop on the Hakone Tozan bus or Izu Hakone bus to Kowakien bus stop.
Take the train bound for Nagoya on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen and alight at Odawara Station, then hop on the Hakone Tozan bus or Izu Hakone bus to Kowakien bus stop.