Located in Central Tokyo, just fifteen minutes from Shinjuku, Shimizuyu offers an onsen experience at a fraction of the usual price. Here, baths use kuroyu (black water) tapped from natural sources below the city. This inky coloured water is common across Tokyo’s bath houses but at Shimizuyu bathers also have the chance to dip into iron-rich gold water which was made available after the facilities were refurbished in 2007.
This overhaul has also given the complex a fresh feel and at just 460 yen is a real bargain when compared to the aged sentos which usually charge this rate. Indoors there are jacuzzis, a cold bath and a large black water bath as well as showers and a sauna which can be used for an additional charge.
The outdoor area is the real selling point with two large rotenburo (outdoor baths), the larger of which uses the gold water, set in a large garden. The wooden structure gives an authentic Japanese feel in a fresh and clean environment. The only downside is that soap, shampoo and conditioner are not provided so it’s best to come prepared.
A vending machine at the entrance dispenses tickets where you pay the bathing fee of 460 yen whilst towels can also be rented from here at 100 yen for a large bath towel and 50 yen for a small face towel. Small bottles of body soap and shampoo can also be bought (for example, an Ofuro set of shampoo, body soap and a towel costs 120 yen), and use of the sauna is charged at 400 yen.
For regulars, tickets can be bought in bulk with 30 onsen entrances at 12,900 yen or 15 entrances to both the sauna and onsen at 12,300 yen. Ladies can also enjoy Korean style hot stones which are said to have numerous health benefits. It costs 1,350 yen for 30minutes on the stones and entry to the onsen.
Shimizuyu Onsen*Japanese Only
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