The Truly Authentically Japanese Onsen in Singapore!
My family loves Japan and we have travelled there three times. In fact, we still vivdly remember our virgin onsen experience in Hakone, Japan
When I heard about Yunomori Onsen, touted to be No.1 Onsen in South East Asia combining traditional Japanese Onsen therapies and Thai spa treatments, I knew I had to bring my my hubby – the ‘onsen convert’ to try it. Here’s our review of the place.
We were greeted by a bright and luxurious-looking lobby. Stylish, zen-like and not too obnoxious. The receptionists were welcoming and efficient in explaining how the onsen experience would proceed.
After leaving our shoes at a locked shoe locker, we were whisked to our gender-specific changing room via a short but tastefully decorated corridor.
The Changing Room:
This was where the ‘Japanese’ness start to remind us of the onsens we experienced in Japan. The entrance to the changing room had the traditional Japanese ‘curtains’ marked ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ in Chinese Kanji characters. We were intrigued by the Japanese fans and wooden clogs were told that it’s for photo-taking to complement our Yukatas (Japanese robes).
Upon entering the changing room, we were given a tag that links wirelessly to a pre-assigned locked (no dangling keys.) We were then offered a variety of Yukata designs to pick from and given a white face towel. Ladies who are a bit more shy or new to the onsen etiquette may choose to wear the complimentary black disposable undergarments (like those given out at massages). How very thoughtful for us modest Singaporeans!
The changing room is brightly lit, clean and links directly into the onsen area via a series of sliding doors. The interior comes complete with dressing tables and some basic amenities (e.g. hairdryer, combs, moisturizing lotions etc), much like those we have seen in Japan.
I met the hubby outside the changing room and we took a fun and spontaneous shot as a couple, complete in our Yukatas. So ‘KAWAII!’
Since we went on a week night after work, we had a quick dinner before soaking in the onsen. The cafe, though small, served some really delicious Japanese fare. The food and service did not disappoint. In fact, the dishes were nicely presented and reasonably priced. The size of the eatery is reminiscent of a typical Japanese eatery – small, cosy and comfortable. There were several other customers like us, dressed in Yukatas, enjoying meals and hushed conversations, unhurried and relaxed.
In fact, we lost track of time, until the staff reminded us that the onsen awaits.
So here’s the ‘one thing’ we have come to experience. As with any onsen, males and females are separated.
Prior to going into the baths, there is a showering section where we would shower seated down. Shampoo, conditioner and a small showering scoop are provided. This was so much like Japan!
Once inside the bath area, we noticed that there were several different onsen pools, such as Jet Bath, Silk Bath, Soda Bath among others. Most pools fit about 6 people comfortably although the slightly larger ones can fit up to 12 or 15 pax. For us, we were keen to try the Hot Bath – the true blue Onsen bath. The mineral-rich, warm waters of the baths are said to detoxify and relax our bodies.
The temperature of the Hot Bath is the warmest at 40c to 42c while the other baths were ‘cooler’ with temperature around 36c to 38c. I usually start with the not-so-hot onsen pool to acclimatize myself. My hubby, on the other hand, went straight for the Hot Bath. Photographs are not permitted inside the Onsen Baths but you can visit the website for a peek.
We spent about 30 minutes inside the onsen and decided to add on a couple massage to pamper ourselves on this rare couple night out.
There are a few massage rooms, big and small. Our couple massage room was clean and comfortable. The air-conditioning and lighting were appropriately set. The ambience was peaceful and soothing.
For the next 90 minutes, we enjoyed our full body massages (I chose aromatherapy while Hubby chose Thai), which were done with finesse. By the time our massages ended, it was almost 10.30pm but the staff did not hurry us. They are committed to delivering the most authentic Japanese hospitality to customers.
Yunomori Onsen and Spa truly exceeded our expectations. Not only was the set-up and onsen pools authentic to the established onsens in Japan, we love the fact that there is a cafe and spa services integrated within the premise to offer a holistic experience for busy parents like us to refresh and rejuvenate.
SPECIAL VALENTINE’S GIVEAWAY
Thanks to our kind sponsor, we have 5 Yunomori Onsen Full Day Passes (each worth SGD41) for 5 loyal readers! With the Day Pass, winners can enjoy all the onsen baths, steam room, sauna and resting lounge. Complete the steps below to qualify:
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The giveaway ends 24 Feb 2019 and is open to readers in Singapore. The winners will be contacted via the email address provided in the widget and will have 12 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All steps must be completed and incomplete entries will be disqualified. Please note that all Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no authentic posts or very few real friends) will be disqualified. All the best!