Across Tokyo and Saitama, there are a plethora of super sentos offering a range of different baths, jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms and other ways to relax away from the madness of the metropolis. One popular super sento favourite is ganbanyoku (stone sauna) and in Kita-Urawa, Saitama one bath house has taken the stone sauna into the next dimension, offering a 4D experience. Strictly speaking, the dimensions are not exactly dimensions as they include aroma, music, wind and heat. Nevertheless, the ‘4D’ experience is one worth having.
Upon entering, choose the 1,000 yen combination option of the baths and stone sauna and then around the corner from the restaurant you can collect shorts and t-shirt to be worn in the sauna. A 25-minute automated ‘4D’ programme runs roughly every hour and cycles between dim lighting, various fragrant aromas, relaxing music and birdsong as well as changes in temperature from quite hot to extremely hot. After the show’s over you can enter the bathing area which is in traditional Japanese style – naked and separated between a women’s and men’s area.
The bathing area includes showers with shampoo, conditioner and body soap (much needed after the sweat which will pour out during the stone sauna session). Additionally, there is a more traditional style sauna, indoor baths, jacuzzis and a foot bath. Outside there is a large stone bath as well as three individual stone tubs. At the back of the large bath, there is another bath in a small room with individual seating spots to lie back and relax. The water in this area is a little cooler and many take the opportunity to have a nap.
If that’s not enough relaxation for you, then various massages and beauty treatments are also on offer and can be booked at the front desk. There is also a large restaurant area which serves up western and Japanese food to suit all tastes. Yuyashiki Koraku is a 5-minute walk from Kita-Urawa station which is on the Keihin Tohoku line, 15 minutes from Akabane. For only 1,000 yen the facilities here are of a great standard and much more encompassing than most super sentos and the new 4D experience makes the trip up to Saitama well worth it.
Yuyashiki Koraku Website (Japanese only)