CFMichaels

5 SPAs 5 Days: Onsen

Fri December 19, 2014

Four down one to go, and we’re approaching a definite zone here at CFMichaels headquarters. Stop number 4 in our 5 SPAs 5 Days journey pushed the zen meter even higher – the Yunomori Onsen (natural hot springs) and Spa. It makes the list, primarily, because I’d never been to an authentic, or inauthentic, Japanese Bath House.  First rule of spa-going?  Know what you are signing on for and all the good-for-you things that are about to happen. The Yunomori’s description of Japanese bathing culture:

In Japan, Bathing is not a regular part of life, but an essential respite from it. In Japanese philosophy, Bathing should be the diametric opposite of everything in normal, hectic daily life. Bathing blends the mysticism and spirituality of the East into traditional sweat bath practice, lending it a Zen meditative quality… It is also considered to revitalize the kokoro, a person’s spirit or heart. Thus, this bathing practice is beneficial for one’s physical well-being and psychological, spiritual well-being.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Design Note: The minimalist design and neutral palette throughout is fresh and clean, a completely organic space. Here in the shoe check, the first stop after check-in, the natural, golden bamboo wall is a fantastic dose of texture and complements the grey tufted bench beautifully.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Down the hall to the bath area, and I’m going in!

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4    CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

There are a lot of hygiene and behavioral rules of etiquette in bath culture, as well as a proper order for experiencing the baths.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Here’s what went on behind not-so closed doors:

A Soda Shower is required before entering the baths.

Recommended time for each bath, 10-15 minutes.

1 Soda Spa absorption of carbon dioxide improves blood circulation and releases hormones, which promotes relaxation and inhibits the ageing process. Overstayed my time limit here.

2 Jet Bath soothes sore and tired muscles, and bubbles stimulate blood circulation and boost metabolism.

3 Steam Room opens pores, aids in detoxification.

4 Cold Bath  18-20 C  stimulates nerve endings and improves blood flow.  I’ll say. Broke the no-noise rule on this one. Then I skipped it.

5 A traditional Japanese soaking tub made from healing teak.  Or a relaxing bath in the natural garden.  Of course I chose the healing teak tub – so fun!

6 Onsen a mineral water bath to stimulate the immune system.  Natural hot spring water trucked in from local sources within the country.

Below, Step 5 in the garden.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Design Note: Loving and keeping this color and stone mix in mind for an exterior landscape.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Bathed to the n’th degree, I’m out of the Onsen and escorted to an upstairs treatment room for a follow-up Swedish massage.  And that’s a wrap for Day 4!  Ommmm.

CFMichaels SPA Week Day 4

Yunomori Onsen and Spa

 Tomorrow, the final Day 5 design pièce de résistance not to miss!

(If you missed Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3)

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