Japan's hot spring resorts have served as prized relaxation spots for centuries, but these days they're under pressure as competition heats up and stricter government regulations kick in. Many "Onsen" resorts are now dispensing with pretenses and simply calling themselves "spas". Hakone Yunessun near beautiful Mount Fuji is one resort that has taken the spa route, evidently having decided that a bigger piece of the tourist pie can be garnered by offering guests much more than the traditional sit & soak.
Chicken soup for the soles
Soup-er size it!
For those who've felt so hungry they wanted to dive right in to their bowl of soup, the Ramen Soup Bath is the answer to your dreams! Check ou the soupy soaking going on in this video:
Guests soak in a giant soup bowl and are doused with noodles and curry sauce as faux noodles dangle overhead - sounds like a bath requiring another bath afterwards!
Real cuppa Joe
Good to the last gallon!
Coffee drinkers will be in their element - literally - in this scenic outdoor Coffee Bath. One wonders if it's hard to relax surrounded by all that caffeine, unless they're using decaf. Starbucks, are you listening?
Tea for 2... or 22
Japan, of course, loves green tea and what self-respecting theme spa would neglect the nation's loyal tea-drinkers? Not this one - the Green Tea Bath features a giant teapot that continually pours vivid green Japanese tea into the bath. Don't soak too long; you'll end up looking as wrinkled as a used teabag!
Wining & Diving
Godzilla's favorite cocktail
The Hakone Yunessun spa has done something really magical by turning water into wine! Well, not really... except that wine now flows where water once did. The Wine Bath features a huge wine bottle from which flows a true Nectar of the Gods, tinted rich red and heated to a soothing warmth. Thrice daily, staff come by to pour actual wine into the bath and onto the bathers.
Drowning in your beer
Any guy who comes home smelling like he fell into a beer vat now has an excuse: "Gee honey I just stopped off at the Beer Bath with the guys after work." The Beer Bath at the Hakone Yunessun spa is shaped lie a frosty mug and is filled with warm, amber-colored water topped with hop-scented foam. Inspired by championship celebrations in Japan which feature beer instead of champagne, the beer bath allows guests to share the thrill of victory - while soaking the agony out of their feet.
Japan has a reputation of being a land where the people are exceptionally clean due to daily bathing. With spa baths offering this much fun, it's a wonder they bathe only once a day! (via Yahoo! News, images via Amman-DJ)
Japanese Innovations Writer