There are attractions in cities around the world that can truly be said to be memorable, for their uniqueness or impact and Spa World in Osaka struck us as one of these places. Our love of slow travel and affordable luxury often includes finding hotels with great sauna’s jacuzzis and steam rooms, a great way to relax while traveling. Our luxury hotel in Osaka was beautiful, but lacked all these things and that’s actually what allowed us to discover Spa World.
The Spa World complex is located in the Tennoji part of Osaka at the M22 stop on the Midosuji subway Line and the K19 stop on the Sakaisuji Subway Line. The stop is called Dobutsuen-mae. There are signs in the subway station (exit5) pointing towards which way to go. The Spa World complex takes up the 2nd-6th floors of a large city tower and it is well marked from the outside.
Spa world is a combination of family waterpark, experiential wet areas, massage, wellness services and just an all around buffet of relaxation. The entry fee in for adults is 2400 Yen for 3 hours and 2700 Yen for an all day pass. The facility is open 24 hours per day. There are some limitations on services between midnight and 5am. We happened to go during summer vacation time and found that the fee was only 1500 Yen for the day. Only cash is accepted for an entrance ticket. You purchase the entry ticket from automatic machines at the front door and then proceed to the entry gate.
Once inside you get an ID bracelet which enables you to make further purchases of food and massages, you pay for these at checkout when turning in your bracelet and these can be paid with credit card.
The attenuate who collects your ticket will give you a paper with all pertinent information in English and Japanese. One is expected to slip out of shoes upon entering the 2nd floor and find a locker for the shoes. There is also a safe deposit box counter for valuables. The 4th floor is a European Themed Spa floor while the 6th floor is an Asian Themed Spa. The floors rotate daily between males and females. Since it is an all nude spa, only members of the same gender are allowed on one floor on a given day. Regarding this practice, if you are unfamiliar with Japanese bath culture, it is very natural from an early age to be naked in a Spa. It is not rude to look at or be next to people in thermal waters, Western standards of privacy are not in effect here, do as the locals do and you will be fine.
Our experience consisted of a journey to the European Floor. Recreations of Rome, Venice, Greece and Spain are just the start of the attractions. There are various indoor and outdoor pools. Temperatures vary, saunas steam rooms and thermal waters may be flavored with herbs, salts or minerals. Lounge chairs fill some of the larger halls and washrooms provide places to scrub down with cleansing soaps. There is drinking water available, a cafe, massage rooms and places to dry off and do personal grooming before going to the clothing lockers.