Photo: Ideka Spa
Japan is a volcanically active country that enjoys thousands of onsen around the island. Since the 12th century, Buddhists believed that immersing one’s body in the ‘divine’ waters allowed the individual to be cleansed of sins.
By the 17th century, people started recognizing the health benefits of this hydrotherapy, and since then, many have been attracted to onsens.
As you immerse your body in the hot water, your body has to do a lot to cope with the high temperature, your circulation goes up and your metabolism increases thus burning some calories along the way.
Now, you don’t have to fly to the land of the rising sun to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the onsen – we’ve rounded up the five onsens you should check out in Singapore.
Experience Singapore’s first hinoki onsen – an onsen made from Japan’s most prized cypress wood used for building palaces, temples and shrines – at Ikeda Spa.
This precious wood releases mineral oils with soothing scents and anti-bacterial properties to calm your senses and alleviate mild respiratory problems.
Soak in all that goodness in the comfort of your own private single bath (from $80+ for 30 minutes). You also get to choose from 5 different bath salts, imported from Japan, depending on what aromatherapy scents you like and the health benefits your body needs.
Yunomori Onsen & Spa
If you like variety and don’t blink an eye about getting naked in front of strangers, you’ll enjoy the 11 aquatic therapy pools at Yunomori Onsen & Spa.
Over a sprawling area of 16,000 sq ft. take your pick from the mineral-rich, communal onsen baths – five for ladies and six for men $38 for all-day access).
Experience the different pools: bubble bath, soda bath, jet bath, silk bath and cold bath to let your body enjoy all the various health benefits. An additional bonus? You can enjoy the steam and sauna rooms which help relieve joint and muscle pain!
Asian Wellness Spa
For an all-day indulgence, treat yourself (or get a group of girlfriends) to a facial or body therapies at the Asian Wellness Spa and end the day with a soak in the Japanese-style onsens.
Relax and re-energise your mind and body with the TCM treatments like acupressure facial, award-winning tuina massage (from $188), gua sha and cupping massage.
Take a meditative stroll through the reflexology water, enjoy the sunset and let your worries melt away while soaking in the outdoor onsen garden which has three versions – a mineral pool for smooth and soft skin, a cool pool (-14°C) and the traditional onsen at 38°C.
Photo: Elements Wellness
Getting a body massage, body scrub and an onsen therapy in the heart of Orchard Road – sounds like a dream, and one that can come true at Elements Wellness with the Signature Koyamaki Onsen Ritual ($148) .
In your own private room, you can experience a 60-minute Ocha body massage and seaweed body scrub before soaking in a handcrafted Koyamaki wood tub filled with energised ion water.
Koyamaki is the wood of the sacred Japanese Umbrella Pine which releases a lime fragrance and has antibacterial properties. The ionized water and micro bubbles are effective in relieving rheumatic, arthritic and back pains.
Get cosy with your other half as a couple spa option ($258 for 125 minutes) is available as well.
Photo: Le Meridien
The Japanese Onsen Suites at Le Méridien (from $600) take staycations to another level.
After a day out in the sun on Sentosa, you don’t have to leave your room to indulge in some hydrotherapy, you can enjoy the beauty of clear blue skies or a star filled sky on your private open air deck with the Japanese Onsen hot tub.
The suite even has a Japanese themed dining table with a tea set, so sip on some warm green tea and relax.
No shuffling to the spa in your bathrobe, no uncomfortable communal onsen experience, this exclusive experience is definitely a great idea for a romantic date for two on New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day – you heard it here first!