Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spa EAS in Yokohama

I mentioned the other day that John and I were going to the spa in Yokohama. I was sure that I'd written about it before, but I can't find anything about it on my blog, so let me correct that! Sadly I couldn't take any pictures there (get ready for a text heavy post). But their floor guide has lots of great pictures. 

Spa EAS is a really fantastic spa in Yokohama that I've been to three times now. They have a number of saunas and steam rooms including one really amazing room where a person pours a bunch of herbs and water over the hot rocks and then beats the air with a towel to raise the temperature and humidity. You're only allowed to be in for 8 minutes because they raise the temperature to 70 c (that's 158 f!) I never knew I could sweat so much, but it feels amazing! Once you've enjoyed all the saunas on the top two floors there are a bunch of different baths including salty mineral water, sparkling water, several temperatures of hot water, and ice water accessible through the locker rooms. There are a couple of steam rooms inside the bathing area, but the other saunas are co-ed, except for a small ladies area on the 7th floor. I've been twice with a group of female friends and once with John, and I really enjoyed both experiences.

Reading katakana is helpful, and kanji would be even more helpful, but even if you can't read or speak that doesn't mean a visit would be out of the question, it will just take a little preparation beforehand. I've never heard anyone speak English there, and there are only a few English signs (and I've actually never seen another foreigner there) but this place is too great to miss!  The spa is a quick walk from the West Exit of JR Yokohama Station or Exit 9 of the Metro, on the 4th floor of a big complex that also has a bowling alley and a Pasela karaoke.  You'll need to take off your shoes at the entrance and put them in a locker before going to the front desk. At the front desk they will give you a wrist band that opens your locker and can charge any purchases for the rest of the day, including the drink machines. After getting your wrist band walk up the stairs to the 5th floor. At the desk you can pick your spa clothes (there are two choices for ladies and one for men) and a get floor guide brochure. Just point to the color and tell them what size (I was comfortable in an M). They'll give you a bag with your outfit, a big towel, and a small towel. Once you've got your bag you can go in the locker rooms to get changed. The wrist band you got on the 4th floor has a number on it - that's your assigned locker, and it's magnetic - just push it against the little gray button and your locker should pop right open. (That took me waaaaay too long to figure out). Once you've changed you're ready to go enjoy yourself on the sixth and seventh floors. The floor guide will show pictures of the different steam rooms, relaxation rooms, and other services so you should be able to find your way around even if you can't read. I like to bring a kindle or my phone inside my bag to read in the relaxation rooms. A lot of people bring their towels to lie on in the saunas too.

The really hot sauna on the 6th floor happens on the hour, usually at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 4:00. It's important to get in line about 20 minutes beforehand because it's really popular and it fills up super fast. People will just sit on the floor waiting until they let you in. If you can read Japanese you can check out the schedule to pick which hour sounds best (they have different essential oils like herbs, orange, bergamot etc.) but if you can't, don't worry. Just pick a time and be sure to get in line early.

There are a number of restaurants that serve noodles and curries as well as a juice and smoothie bar, and also places that do massages, facials, acupuncture, and aromatherapy. Obviously you have to pay for all of that, but you can just charge it to your wristband. There are also lots of drink machines and an ice cream vending machine. I've never tried any of the extra services, but John got a massage and he was really happy with it. All the signs are in Japanese, but if you look at their website with google translate ahead of time you should be able to figure out what you want.

Once you're done with the saunas you can enjoy all the different baths. The first time I went I was really nervous about the whole naked thing, but everyone else acts like it's completely normal, and I promise that after a minute or two you'll adjust. If you've never been to an onsen before you leave your big towel in the cubbies just before the baths and bring your little towel with you. You can hold it in front of you to cover up the most important bits if you want. It's important to shower (thoroughly) at the little booths before getting in the water. If your hair is long you can get a hair tie at the same place you get your spa clothes. Most people keep their little towels folded up on the top of their heads while they're soaking in the water.  They have lots of hairdryers and fun face products you can try, so you leave looking at least as nice as you did when you arrived. At the end turn your clothes and towels back in where you got them, and then take your wristband down to the 4th floor to pay.

The normal price is 2600 yen (200 yen upcharge on holidays) but every Tuesday is Ladies Day, and then it's only 1600 yen as long as you're in a group. If you go by yourself they only give you 500 yen off. Friday is men's day, but as far as I can tell it's just a free drink, not reduced admission. 

Whew!  If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. I realize I wrote a ton and went really in depth with the details. It's the sort of place that might be intimidating without knowing what to expect ahead of time or being able to communicate very well, but I've just had such a great experience here, and I hope other people can too.

Hours:10:30 am - 9:00 am
Phone: 04-5290-2080
Address: 2-2-1 Kitasaiwai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa

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  1. Yay! Great post! Spa EAS is the best.

  2. I miss it so much!! I ran a super hot bath today and thought of Spa EAS before I even saw your post! xoxo

  3. It’s great that you’ve accompanied this post with a lot of pictures. But that’s good, since it gave us a better glimpse of the kinds of amenities available at that particular Jjimjilbang. Indeed, Korean saunas are not like your average kind of sauna. There’s a variety of rooms and activities that may leave a tourist culture-shocked. But I am glad to know you had a fun experience. Nice post!

    Ronni Casilas @ JNH Lige Styles