Love soaking in onsens but can’t wait for your next trip to Japan?
Fear not, Yunomori Onsen & Spa has you covered.
Touted as the number one onsen in South East Asia and the first authentic sento-style (銭湯, public baths) Japanese Onsen in Singapore, Yunomori Onsen & Spa opened at Kallang Wave Mall in May this year.
For those of you who have yet to visit this relaxing haven (for fear of it not living up to the high standards set by Japan), here is why you definitely should!
#10 – Clean & comfortable
Once you step through the glass doors, you will be met with rows of lockers on your left and a wide reception area ahead. The first thing you should do is to remove and place your footwear into your chosen locker, lock it up and bring the key to the reception. After selecting your treatment, the receptionist then exchanges your shoe locker key for a smart-key on a rubber wristband, which you can conveniently wear into the baths too.
As the place has only been open for 4 months, the interior was still notably spotless and smelled pine-fresh.
Aside from the shoe locker area, the changing areas, bathing area and baths themselves were kept in tip-top condition, so there was never a point in time where I felt uncomfortable or grossed out walking around barefooted.
#9 – Secure & high-tech lockers
Passing the reception area, head to either the male or female bath. Here, you get a set of towels, a set of disposable underwear (optional), and a yukata (浴衣, Japanese bathrobe) of your choice.
Tap your smart-key on the corresponding locker knob and voila! You can now change out of your clothes and proceed to the bath area knowing that your belongings are safely stored away.
#8 – Variety of baths to enjoy
Although Yunomori Onsen isn’t able to bring in actual spring waters from Japan, they have more than compensated for this with their comprehensive types of baths available.
*Do remember to observe good bathing etiquette by scrubbing yourself down at the shower area before proceeding to soak in the baths.
The Bubble Bath is filled with water infused with carefully balanced minerals and has the most comfortable temperature, so even those who aren’t used to hot baths will be able to stay in the water for an extended period of time. The Soda Bath is enhanced with a high concentration of carbon dioxide, which helps to reduce high blood pressure.
My personal favourite, the Silk Bath is filled with tiny bubbles that relaxes the muscles and makes skin feel silky smooth. Lay back in the Jet Bath and let the water pressure take away your aches and pains.
Aside from these, there is also a Hot Bath (40-43°C) and a Cold Bath (17-19°C). The former soothes the body while the latter stimulates nerve endings and tightens pores. A steam room and sauna are also available.
#7 – Special weekday treats for ALL
Free ice-cream. Need I say more? On the less hectic weekdays, Yunomori offers all customers different sweet treats as a bonus.
On Tuesdays, you can choose between a scoop of good ol’ vanilla or rich chocolate ice-cream. Wednesdays are free smoothies for the ladies, while on Thursdays, men get to choose between coffee or tea.
#6 – Cozy resting room
Similar to bathhouses in Japan, there is also a comfy resting room where you can take breaks and even catch a wink. Beds with pillows are provided so you can make yourself comfortable and doze for a bit before heading back to the baths.
#5 – Gorgeous vanity tables
After a satisfying soak in the multiple baths, ladies will be happy to note that there is a line of dressing tables to dry your hair and do your make-up before leaving.
There are lighted vanity mirrors, cotton buds, hair-ties, tissue, moisturizing lotion and YES, even BaByliss Pro hair dryers (THE hairdryer of hairdryers)!
#4 – Fantastic food
Yunomori Onsen & Spa doesn’t simply offer massage and spa services, they also serve up delicious homemade Japanese snacks and dishes that are healthy and nutritious.
#3 – Experienced massage therapists
An extensive array of massage services are available, including full-body Thai massage, foot reflexology and aromatherapy massages.
Before the session began, the massage therapist handed me a small survey sheet to ask about my preferences on usage of strength and if there were any areas I wanted her to avoid. After my 90 minute session, my normally tensed body had been reduced to a bag of mush; such was the level of skill and professionalism my therapist had.
#2 – Omotenashi
If it’s one thing that Japan is famous for, it is the level of service and attention to detail that adds to the entire hospitality experience. At Yunomori, all the staff I interacted with were polite, attentive and went out of their way to make sure all customers had a good time.
#1 – Authentic bathhouse experience
During my visit, I noticed that there were many Japanese customers, which definitely attests to its authenticity. Having visited various ryokans with onsens and traditional bathhouses in Japan, I can confidently say that Yunomori Onsen & Spa is comparable to some and is definitely worth a visit, especially for those who miss the bona fide bathhouse experience.