Posted in Travel on November 4, 2016 by

Traditional and modern, calming and chaotic, humble and quirky…

Japan is a destination humbled by the past and inspired by the future. Known for its bamboo groves, bento boxes and blossom trees, Japan is a country where traditional values co-exist harmoniously with modern aesthetics.

However, with futuristic bathroom amenities, bright vending machines on every street corner, and plastic food enticing diners into restaurants, it’s no surprise visitors are looking for a respite amongst the hustle and bustle of modern Japanese life.

Inspired by its ancient traditions and cutting-edge modernity, we have rounded up four of Japan’s secret luxury day spas and bathing spots, where rituals are as sacred today as they were thousands of years ago.

The chaos of pounding the pavement with 13 million people will melt away as soon as you step inside the Tokyo Spa & Fitness Centre. Located high above the clouds on the 46th floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo – this indulgent day spa offers the ultimate luxury in rejuvenation and restorative pampering. With exclusive facilities, including nine treatment rooms, an indoor lap pool, dry sauna, steam sauna and a fitness studio, treatments start at $115 for an energising 30-minute full body salt and oil scrub.

Our favourite treatment?

The Thermal Infusing Facial, featuring the pure botanical skincare range, Sodashi for $423.

Perched In the heart of Kyoto, a sense of mystery and magic infuses together at Riraku Spa & Fitness in the Hyatt Regency, Kyoto. The opulent treatments, based on both Eastern and Western traditions, are equally results oriented and generously pampering.

Incorporating acupuncture, aromatherapy and Shiatsu, guests enjoy tailored treatments ensuring total mind and body relaxation. Indulgent treatments start at $115 for a 70-minute restoring Acupuncture Moxibustion session, which simulates the circulation of energy and blood simultaneously.

Our favourite treatment?

The utterly relaxing body Soin Detox with a contouring and herbal body wrap to reduce fatigue and swelling, and to aid the body’s ability to detoxify and purify itself, for $285.

A cosy boutique hotel set in the heart of Niseko’s Hirafu alpine village in the Hokkaido prefecture, Kimamaya is a charming luxury lodge and soulful mountain retreat. With only nine rooms, it is fondly described as “one of the most laidback definitions of luxury you’ll ever find.” And Kimamaya’s spa philosophy is simple. After a long day skiing in deep powder, wrestling trout fish from streams, and riding across mountains on horseback, guests deserve a pure moment of indulgence. Luxury massage treatments start with the choice of a “moku” wooden or “ishi” stone spa bath, before moving to the delights of the massage sanctuary. The massage therapiesare designed to settle guests in for the night or prepare them for another dayof adventuring.

Our favourite treatment? 

The two-hour full body tranquil aromatherapy oil massage for $175.

A traditional ryokan, Gora Kodan is a lavish innlocated on the summer grounds of a former member of the Imperial Family. Praised for it’s design, being in harmony with the nearby mountains and fusing Japanese tradition with modern design, Gora Kodan hosts well travelled jetsetters from around the world. The Kodan Spa is renowned for its two wells, which mineral rich, hot spring water flows and feeds the opulent open-air baths. 

Our favourite treatment?

Regarded as having many health and wellbeing qualities, we recommend having a luxurious soak in a hot onsen spa to leave the skin feeling soft and supple, before indulging in an 80 minute Shiatsu Massage for $115.

This story was originally featured in Gritty Pretty Magazine Summer 2016, Issue 5.
Read it here.