My new favorite place in Japan is Spa World. Spa World is a gigantic onsen in the middle of Osaka. I went with another Nara JET, Prof. X.
As we entered, we dropped off our shoes in a locker in the lobby. After much discussion, we decided our hunger must be sated. We zipped up to the 6th floor where there is a small cafe by the pool. Did I say pool? I meant LAZY RIVER surrounded by 4 big water slides!!! I ate some gyudon (beef, rice, onion) and Prof. X ate udon (noodles...basically).
The water slides actually cost money in addition to the ticket price of getting into Spa World. We went around the lazy river a few times before heading outside (on the roof) to our first spa. Hanging out in a spa surrounded by the Autumn cold is amazing. It feels fantastic. After the Pool floor, we went down to the 4th Floor, also known as the Asia Floor. The actual spa floors are exclusive to men or women (no coed). Because of this policy, they switch which floors are available every day. There is also a Greece-themed floor and others.
We stripped down and made our way to the cleaning room. The spa provides personal showers and toiletries for all customers. Everyone cleans themselves very thoroughly before entering the spas.
We visited EVERY spa on this floor before we finished. Every spa varies. Some vary by temperature, some by scent, some by vitamins in the water. Some highlights:
1. We visited a room with three spas that increased in heat. We hopped from the weakest to the strongest. Did someone order boiled Jew?
2. There is a spa called "Dr. Spa." It is a weird mix of vinnegar, water, and other stuffs. It felt just like water, until about 2 minutes of being inside. I looked down at my body and I was COVERED in bubbles. It was soooooo cool!
3. There is a spa made out of some kind of special wood (whose name escapes me). The room smells amazing. The sauna was built using the same wood. Hurray.
4. After the scalding hot spa, Prof. X recommended another spa that was really close. He said, "this one's a bit cooler." This new one was an effing ICE BATH. He promptly laughed in my face after the realization was made. Well played Prof. X, well played.
5. The last spa we went into was a mixture of water, milk, and honey. It felt great and after it, I smelt great too.
After all the spas (of which there were many), we donned the Spa World relax clothing and laid down the relax room. This is a giant room with comfy recliners. Again, effing awesome.
There is a lot more to do at Spa World, but it all costs extra. Next time I go, I'm going to get a massage for sure. I'll also pay a little bit to ride the water slides.
The best part of this trip? It's only 25 minutes from me by train and it only costs 1000 yen ($12) for a whole day's admission. WHOOOOOOOP!
Winter approaches and I found a great new place to escape its fury.