With onsen bathing being a favorite pastime throughout history, and bathtubs being a fixture in many homes, Tokyoites have always embraced the appeal of thermal therapy. It is no surprise, then, that Tokyoites would also take the sauna - recent years have seen an uptick in these heated facilities. Taking things a step further, some of Tokyo's hottest, newest saunas come with innovative features such as solo cubicles, sauna facilities with craft beer on tap, and so on.
Japanese have long loved the sensation of relaxing in hot springs and having a long soak in the tub at home. But the newest bath time boom is a dry one: the sauna. Few Tokyoites know this better than Naoki Kawata, a certified Finland Sauna Ambassador.
In Japan, company employees are encouraged to strengthen camaraderie by engaging in activities outside of the office, and before COVID-19, this often meant going drinking together. "But these days, this is a healthy alternative," Kawata says. "Plus, in a sauna, you don't have the internet, or smartphones, so you tend to communicate differently. It's more open." Moreover, the popularity of saunas for beauty benefits, as much as for business connections, is skyrocketing.
Tokyo has a wide variety of unique and fun saunas where you can go to find a blissful state. Aside from those in luxury hotels, saunas often have cool locations, such as rooftops, or feature craft beer on tap with workspaces for post-sweat idea-swapping. Some have fabulous interior designs or are one-person solo units, allowing you to choose sauna music via Bluetooth, while others have private rooms for escapes from the crowds.
In particular, the concept of linking the sauna with the workspace is unique to Tokyo. Saunas increase blood circulation and aid detox, but they also seem to spark creativity. Everyone knows the great ideas you get in the shower or bath. People hates losing those flashes of inspiration, so has created a sauna with an office area right outside, where a team, all decked out in comfy sauna wear, can grab those ideas before they literally and figuratively evaporate.
SAUNA RESET Pint, which opened in 2022 in Asakusa, one of the most famous tourist destinations, is also recommended for travelers. Visitors can tour the Asakusa area on a Japanese traditional rickshaw after enjoying sauna.
And if there are adventurers who want to experience a local sauna that is familiar to locals, Ueno Hokuo is one option. The entire facility can be rented out for private.
With so much variety, whatever sauna you choose in Tokyo, you're sure of an unforgettable experience.