Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fall Trip Part 4: Spa World

After a nice afternoon walking around Minoo Park we went to Spa World, an onsen. We hadn't eaten dinner yet and planned on eating dinner near Spa World. However, when we got off the train at Shin-Imamiya Station, we didn't find anything to eat. There wasn't much there at all. It was a very boring area.

So then we went ahead to Spa World. I was amused by the sign at the entrance.

"Person who has gotten dead drunk." Haha.

We paid our admission fee at a vending machine. It was only 1,200 yen which was surprising, because it's higher on their website. Then went to a counter and got wristbands, put our shoes in lockers, and headed up to the third floor to get something to eat.

There wasn't a whole lot to choose from and the atmosphere was kind of bleh. I was really hungry and I was feeling pretty disappointed in the place. I ended up getting a couple yaki onigiri. As I ate them I started feeling better about the place and was looking forward to the baths.

So then I went to the fourth floor, which was the women's floor that month. The layout of the place was kind of odd so it was a bit confusing at first even though I've been to several onsen. You have to wash before getting in the baths and I had a little trouble finding the washing area. Luckily I saw a map and saw that I had to walk through some of the bathing area to get to the washing area.

The onsen area definitely had a better atmosphere than the rest of the place. Though I don't think the themes were done quite as well as they could have been, but they were still neat and the baths felt really good. In the Greece area there was an herbal bath that smelled so good. It had many scents in it, but I mostly smelled the rosemary and peppermint. It was soooo relaxing! I went in that one a couple times. I also went in a sauna in the Finland area a couple times. I also smelled peppermint in there. Usually I don't care too much for saunas (which is kind of surprising because I like heat) but I really liked that one. In the Finland area there were also four small baths that could only fit one or two people at once. Every time I walked by they were occupied, but finally towards the end one was free. It was one of my favorites! It was very bubbly, kind of fizzy really. Maybe it was carbonated? Also, it was about the same temperature that I would have when taking a bath at home, so it was one that I could have stayed in for a long time. But I had to meet with Jonathan soon so I wasn't able to stay in that one as long as I wanted.

After we met up, we went to the 8th floor to check out the pool.

The pool was a lot of fun! There was a long path that we swam around a few times and also some water slides. We did one of them and it was faster and a bit scarier than I expected. So fun! I would have liked to do it again, but it was 350 yen each time.

Also on the 8th floor there were a couple of onsens for both men and women to use together in their bathing suits. There were also a couple outside. Jonathan and I sat in a bubbly one outside for a while and had a view of Tsutenkaku, a tower. I think it's a bit tacky and ugly, but better than Kyoto's tower. Jonathan thought it was super ugly and that Kyoto's is better. No.

Despite my original disappointment in Spa World, I really enjoyed my time there. The baths were relaxing and the pool was a lot of fun. I think the place could use a bit of updating or something, but the baths were clean. The entrance fee was cheap so we definitely got our money's worth. If I lived near there I would go often. Also, I think being super hungry affected my thoughts at first because when we were leaving I didn't think the atmosphere (in the non-onsen areas) was so bad anymore. It's not anything special, but it's not bad.

Overall I think I still like Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba, Tokyo better. It has a better overall feel and has a less confusing layout. Though I liked some of the baths even better at Spa World. Plus, Spa World has a pool. So it's a bit hard to choose.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a konbini to get dinner. I just got some ham and egg sandwiches, orange juice and almond Kit Kats. There was a warning on the shelf at the konbini that the Kit Kats had a very small amount of alcohol in them. They were good, but nothing too special. I've had so many Kit Kats that it has to be amazing to impress me now, haha.


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