Japan is famed for its onsen (hot springs, but there are few naturally occuring in the Osaka area. Luckily, visitors looking for a little relaxation of the soaking variety can find it at Spa World, one of the world’s largest hot springs complexes, where you’ll find kitschily decorated onsen and saunas from around the world.
The 7-floor complex is divided into themed areas. The onsen occupy two floors and two different areas. The European Zone has pools fashioned in styles of ancient Greece and Rome and Italy and Spain, as well as the log-built saunas of Finland. The Asian Zone features Japanese, Indonesian, Persian, and Middle Eastern-style baths.
Another floor houses eight themed saunas, while yet another floor contains an indoor water park complete with lazy river and three slides. Visitors can also work out in the gym or have a massage or beauty service in the spa.
Things to know before you go
- Spa World is an offbeat Osaka attraction offering a fun day out for all ages.
- The Food Zone serves dishes from around Japan.
- Bring a ¥100 coin for the lockers.
- Additional costs are paid for with a plastic wristband that records your purchases.
- Don’t forget to wash before entering the water, as is the Japanese custom.
How to get there
Spa World is located just south of Osaka’s Shinsekai neighborhood. From Osaka Station you can take the Osaka Metro’s Midosuji Line to Dobutsuen-Mae Station then walk around three minutes to Spa World. The total journey takes around 20 minutes.
When to get there
Spa World is open 24 hours a day. Guests are permitted to stay in the facility until 8:45am the morning after they first entered but there is an additional “overnight” charge for using the facilities between midnight and 5am. Reentry is not permitted after leaving the building: you would need to buy a new ticket.
For an additional fee you can make use of the Ganbanyoku area, which features saunas from various countries, including an Israeli salt sauna, an Icelandic cold wind sauna, a Russian banya, a Canadian forest bath, and an Austrian radon sauna. You can use them as much as you like for the whole day.
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