From Matcha-Infused Facials to Sento Baths, These are Some of the Best Spa Experiences in Japan
While Japan is often best known for its vibrant cities and bustling metropolises, there’s another way to explore this exquisite country that favors feelings of time slowing down and ancient wellness traditions coming alive. From...
by Dylan Essertier

While Japan is often best known for its vibrant cities and bustling metropolises, there’s another way to explore this exquisite country that favors feelings of time slowing down and ancient wellness traditions coming alive. From the world-class spa suites of Tokyo to the relaxing ryokans where soothing onsens await, there’s no shortage of restorative bliss available during a trip to Japan - as long as you know where to look. Japan is an ideal spot to go on a group trip, but you and your crew will definitely need a relaxing respite between hitting the many cobbled roads that wind their way through the busy cities. Read on as we unveil the crème de la crème of Japan's wellness and spa experiences…because honestly is there anything better than sushi with a side of serenity? 

No, no there is not. 


Pictured Above: Four Seasons Otemachi in Tokyo


Yakusugi Forest Renewal Treatment 

Picture this:  you’re lying on a massage table 39 floors above Tokyo getting a massage with essential oils derived from Japanese cedars that have lived for millennia. Ok, let’s back up. At the Four Seasons Otemachi in Tokyo, Japan, the Yakusugi Forest Renewal Treatment  is a blissful massage experience centered on the healing powers of the ancient Japanese Yakusugi. Originally found on Yakushima Island, these revered trees are legendary in Japanese culture for their resilience and longevity, with their oils said to help promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and immune system support, among other benefits. If you’re looking to honor the natural wonders of Japan while thoroughly relaxing in the process, this treatment is a must-try.


Pictured Above: Kyōto-shi, Japan, Photography by Redd F  / Four Seasons Kyoto 


Green Tea Therapy 

After spending a few days in Tokyo, many international travelers find themselves discovering the awe of Kyoto. A trip to this ancient city means visiting its numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, including stunning temples, shrines, traditional Japanese gardens, and of course, a stroll through the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha with its thousands of vibrant torii gates. It should also include treating yourself to a matcha-infused facial. Matcha, the powdered green tea that has been a key part of Japanese ceremonies for centuries and now can be found at your local Starbucks, turns out  is not only delicious to drink, but has antioxidant properties and skin-nourishing benefits that will leave you and your travel companions glowing. What’s extra special about this particular facial experience is the matcha is sourced from local Kyoto tea gardens, which is known to produce some of the finest matcha in all of the country. 


Pictured Above: Gora Kadan in Hakone


An Onsen Bath
Perhaps nowhere is better known for its exceptional onsen bath than Gora Kadan in Hakone. Located around two hours from Kyoto station, this scenic region is filled with natural hot springs that will allow you to both soak in an onsen bath while also soaking up views of the surrounding mountains. Oh, and did we mention Japanese onsen (aka lounging passively in a mineral-rich bath) has healing benefits too? Yup, expect muscle and joint pain relief from the sulfur, magnesium, and sodium found in the water as well as improved blood circulation courtesy of the  geothermal heat.


Pictured Above: Ryokan Kurashiki


A Sento Bath

What's better than soaking in a hot tub after a day of exploring? Nothing. And there's no better place to do so than while staying in a traditional ryokan, a type of Japanese inn that offers a unique and immersive cultural experience. One such experience you can’t miss is staying at Ryokan Kurashiki, located in the charming and historic city of Kurashiki. This picturesque town, with its scenic canals, provides the perfect setting for indulging in a nightly Sento bath experience. Unlike traditional public Sento baths, at Ryokan Kurashiki you have the luxury of reserving a private time slot, ensuring complete privacy and relaxation. In addition, you and your guests can enjoy the comfort of traditional (and stunning!) tatami-floored guest rooms and savor incredible multi-course kaiseki meals featuring locally sourced ingredients. Ryokan Kurashiki perfectly blends traditional Japanese hospitality with relaxation, creating an unforgettable retreat for travelers who crave both culture and tranquility. 


Read More about Group Experiences in Japan -> This Minimalist Hotel Floats out on the Open Sea in Japan

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Dylan Essertier

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