Miyamaedaira Gensen Yukemurinosato

Located in Kawasaki just 5 minutes walk from Miyamaedaira station, this is one of my favourite local onsen day resorts and the first onsen I chose for 2017 as it is only 30 minutes from home. This onsen facility has it all – a number of indoor baths, rotenburo (outdoor baths), spa pools, saunas, ganban-yoku (Japanese rock beds), massage and spa treatments, a relaxation room with lounge chairs and individual TV screens, and quite a large Japanese restaurant!

There are many types of onsen water, depending on the region. The onsen water at Yukemurinosato is actually black and also a little salty as it is near the sea, but it will leave your skin feeling smooth and silky.

The experience

I arrived nice and early at 9am on Sunday  8th of January (before my blog was set up) and checked in at reception for both the onsen and the ganban-yoku and a full body scrub! Well it was my first onsen for the year so I figured why not treat myself! Upon checking in you receive a bar coded wrist band which is used to add any of your expenses and you pay at the end of the day. I also received 2 sets of onsen wear to use – one for the the ganban-yoku and the other for  walking around within the common areas of the facility.

My body scrub was booked in for 10am so it was perfect timing to go and have a wash down followed by a lovely soak in the indoor and outdoor onsen. I then headed to a smaller room for my body scrub but I was asked to arrive naked with just my little towel! The room had 4 massage tables with 4 ladies in charge of the scrub treatments. I am pretty used to the communal bathing but this was the first communal room scrub room! The scrub was totally amazing and left me tingling from head to toe and feeling like I had shed my skin to start a new year. I was reassured that my skin was now “tsuru-tsuru” (shiny and smooth) and to make sure I had plenty of water as I was likely to perspire much more freely now that all of the pores were open.

Ganban yoku was next! There are a total of 7 rooms located downstairs all with varying      types of “bed rock” baths. Unlike the onsen, the rooms are used by males and females together and you are provided with a towel and special wear. The themes included ice, rocks, salt and even a room called “heaven” which is actually an attraction with beautiful soft music and pretty lights as you lie and relax on the warm surfaces. Ganban yoku is excellent for detoxing and is known to have many health benefits.

Lunch time came around surprisingly quickly and I was starved! I actually read somewhere that 20 minutes in a 42 degrees Celsius onsen burns off around 220 calories which is the equivalent to light jogging! I ordered a beautiful sizzling steak set and matcha ice cream and sat in bliss as I enjoyed my meal.

I managed to fit in one more soak in the bath after lounging in the relaxation room in for a while to digest the big lunch! I was really surprised to see how many people were waiting in line to enter the onsen in the afternoon. There was a 60 minute wait for women and a 40 minute wait for men…so I was certainly glad I had come nice and early.

The last step for the day was to return all of the towels and onsen wear and to check out. I had racked up a nice little bill on my barcoded wrist band due to the extras I ordered as well as my lunch. (Normal fees for bath only is 1500 yen on the weekend or 1240 yen weekdays including towel and onsen wear so it is pretty reasonable). Overall I felt heavenly and relaxed and ready to head home until my next onsen experience!

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