The majority of onsen (Japanese hot springs) have a strict no bathing suit policy but located in North-West Tokyo is Toshimaen Garden Spa, the perfect place to escape from the madness of central Tokyo and enjoy ultimate relaxation whilst keeping your kit on.
The facilities are extensive with a large mixed bathing area where bathing suits must be worn. The bathing suit area includes indoor and outdoor baths as well as a sauna and steam room. Towels and Japanese style clothing are provided upon entry where you will also be given a locker key which allows you to pay for extras such as massages and food in the restaurant.
The indoor area features a large pool with various jets and jacuzzis as well as a smaller cave pool ideal for couples to relax in. Outside there are two large hot tubs with different natural waters to aid relaxation in addition to a large sauna and a huge Japanese garden where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll around rock pools and plants.
For those seeking a more authentic Japanese bathing experience, there is a naked area which is separated by sex. Here, there is a large showering area where shampoo, conditioner and body soap are provided. The indoor area features more saunas and steam rooms as well as some large baths and jacuzzis. Outside, you can enjoy an open air bath as well as individual tubs.
After soaking in the various waters you should be well and truly refreshed but if that’s not enough you can treat yourself to a massage in the upstairs area with full body, head or feet options on offer. A cheaper alternative is to use the massage chairs which cost 315yen for 15minutes. As well as the massage area, there are a large number of free to use reclining chairs which come fitted with personal televisions complete with speakers in the headrests. There is also a relaxation room with more reclining chairs which also feature speakers in the headrests which play relaxing music to send you into a deep slumber.
Also in the upstairs area there is a large restaurant which serves up traditional Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, rice and noodles as well as western foods such as fried chicken, pizza and hamburgers which can be washed down with a range of drinks from Japanese sake to beer and soft drinks; water and tea are provided free of charge whilst the bill can be added to your wristband which you pay for upon exit.
Use of the extensive facilities will set you back 2,310yen but this fee drops down to 1,295yen after 6pm. The complex closes at 11pm with last entry at 10pm so the later entry will still give you plenty of time to enjoy all Niwa No Yu has to offer.
The spa is located just a few minutes walk from Toshimaen station on the Oedo subway line (20mins from Shinjuku) and Seibu Toshima line (13mins from Ikebukuro).
Niwa No Yu *Automatic Translation