Tokyo Where to Go: Spa LaQua

spa_02Last year I was going on about Tokyo Dome City, and how I just had to one day try out the hot spring and spa nearby. Well my friends, it took a year but I made it out there with a couple of friends recently.

It’s just as fabulous and embarrassing as I expected! It’s not so expensive to get in there, about $30 US if you want to use the hot springs and the “healing baden” (and no I don’t know what a ‘baden’ is).

So here’s what went down. We went up to the sixth floor of the LaQua shopping centre. When you come out of the elevator there’s a pretty lobby area where you gotta take off your shoes. You throw them in a locker and then go to the reception. They give you these sparkly sticks, one for the hot springs and one for the healing baden. Then you walk maybe 20 feet and turn them in, and you get two sets of clothes and towels. This was the point where I got so confused my head exploded.

After my friends picked the pieces of brain out of their hair they figured out that at the next area, where there were more lockers, you’re supposed to get nekkid, throw all your stuff in there including the clothes they just gave you, take your little ‘privacy towel’ (that covers about as much as a landing strip wax job) and hit the hot springs.

I like hot springs because I never had a reason to be grateful for my poor eyesight before. It’s easier to be naked in public when I can’t really see any details, or can’t see the stares my lovely foreign body is inevitably getting.

spa_01

There are a lot of different hot springs that are supposed to have different magical powers. There are some saunas in there too. My favourite was the outdoor hot spring though. Ask me two years ago if I could even understand the idea of sticking just my naked pinky toe outside in  February. But the combination of warm water and cold air is really relaxing. It’s like the hot spring is a reward for dashing outside in the cold. No one can see anything from above either. It’s enclosed, with some potted and hanging plants, like a rooftop patio. I think there was some relaxing music playing too, or I could be imagining it. It may just have been the music of my soul at peace.

After hot spring time we went to the healing baden, and that’s when we were supposed to put on the second set of clothes. We still haven’t figured out what the first set of clothes was for. The healing baden is made up of levels of saunas and “relaxation spaces” where you can lounge and take in the view of Tokyo Dome City. We went at night so the Ferris wheel was all lit up like a circular rainbow and there were skyscrapers twinkling in the background. I would have taken a picture, but just because the place is full of naked people they don’t allow cameras or phones, if you can believe such draconian rules.

Never go to one of these places if you have something to do after. It’s just too relaxing. I was lucky I only had to drag my jelly legs to the train station and get home.

 

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