Japan Adventures: Soaking at Oedo Onsen Monogatari

2:33 AM

Another unique experience I had in Japan is going to an onsen.

Due to lack of time, I only considered those that are very close to Tokyo, I also considered spending overnight in an onsen on my last night rather than booking an inn or a capsule hotel.  My two choices were Spa La Qua and Oedo Onsen Monogatari. I think these are the 2 most famous onsens that are near Tokyo.

While researching, I also read about these two: Toshimaen Niwa No Yu and Saya no Yu Dokoro but I didn’t consider it anymore since they don’t offer overnight stays and reviews are very few.

Spa La Qua seems premium while Oedo Onsen Monogatari sounded more fun!

I was sold on Oedo Onsen Monogatari when I read that it is a “hot spring theme park”.  Another factor I considered is the convenience of having a direct bus to Narita Airport. Add to that, the location is within Odaiba and few minutes away from shopping malls for last minute shopping.



FACILITIES
Oedo Onsen Monogatari was designed to look like old Tokyo and Edo period. With everyone inside wearing Japanese yukata on, it is an experience and sight to remember.


Everytime I travel, I try to buy or wear traditional clothing. But the few shops that rent Yukata near Sensoji Temple was very expensive. I’ve always wanted to wear costumes from different countries. I guess it started since I was young, during elementary days; I have always played Ms. Philippines during United Nations day programs.

I am a fan of Samurai X, and somehow it made me feel transported to that period.

Oedo Onsen has plenty of facilities to enjoy: 5 types of indoor baths, large outdoor bath, fish spa, individual outdoor bath, mist sauna, standard sauna.

They also have a shopping area, food court, arcade, fortune teller, resting room with reclining chairs and individual TV. It’s a pity that I don’t understand Japanese, I really wanted to find out my fortune.
They have non-bath spa facilities too, such as massage, body scrub, hot stone therapy, but not included in entry price.












OVERALL EXPERIENCE
I love warm baths, and with that atmosphere, I’m just thankful to be there, for an experience that I couldn’t get anywhere else but in Japan. While it didn’t completely remove my aches and muscle pains, there was a bit of relief. I love the huge bucket-shaped tub in the outdoor bath and hiding behind the large stones that line up the outdoor bath. It’s probably nice to visit next time during daytime.

I think that onsen though is not for the uberly conservative types. Although I am open-minded, liberal thinker and researched beforehand, I was still quite shocked that you couldn’t even bring a large towel inside the bath area.

With nothing else but a small face towel, I wondered whether to use it to cover my lady parts or my face instead haha. Me in my naked glory - breasts, uneven skin color, cellulites and all, I was worried they’d lose their appetite. I wasn’t kidding. It was what I had in mind initially.

Coming from the Philippines with traditional upbringing and mostly conservative group of friends, I am not that comfortable to expose my body to public. My insecurities probably got the best of me at first. 

I clearly saw the culture shock in this young European lady’s face as she entered the changing room.
Later though, I felt admiration as I realise, Japanese ladies of all shapes and sizes seem to be comfortable with their bodies and they don’t seem to mind at all!

I told myself to just enjoy the unique experience. This will be one of those things that push my limits and boundaries as a traveller. I told myself these ladies are in the onsen to have a relaxing bath just like me and not there to criticise and compare bodies. These people don’t know me at all and we all probably won’t cross paths again.

I noticed most of the ladies there come in groups. While I’m sure I will still visit an onsen when I go back to Japan. I don’t think I can go with my friends. I still don’t feel too confident to show off my lady parts to my friends haha and they’re probably not that open for such experience. My friends are conservative and I am more open minded lol.

It didn’t take too long before I got comfortable. As soon as I soaked in the warm waters, boy, everything paced slowly,  I completely got lost in the moment and I was just thankful for the entire Tokyo experience.


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