Why A Mid-Day Onsen Dip Is A Good Idea
A two-hour lunch break during a busy week is undoubtedly a luxury. What’s even more luxurious? Grabbing my partner in the middle of this festive flurry and ducking into Ikeda Prestige for a spa escape for those two hours.
Thanks to aforementioned partner, I can fully appreciate puns. So the Japanese spa’s green tea-themed treatment for two, called Couple Match-a-Made in Heaven was a clear winner for us. The session included a scrub and massage (definitely much-needed), but what I didn’t expect to really savour was the 30-minute soak in the private onsen.
After a skin-soothing anti-ageing body scrub (with matcha incorporated in the ingredients) to slough off all dead skin cells, we were told to take a cool shower before entering the onsen. The couple suite is well-kitted out: ceiling-to-floor windows surround the onsen tub for two, with the massage beds in a connecting room.
A good soak in the Hinoki onsen spiked with antioxidant-rich matcha and healing minerals from Japan’s hot springs was exactly I needed to destress on a Wednesday afternoon. It completely calmed me down to the core. After I got used to the warmness of the 42 degree celsius temperature bath, my muscles loosened. Five minutes in, and I’m blissed out.
It’s lovely too, to spend time in the onsen with my other half. Most couple spa treatments don't allow for much interaction, with individual treatments being doled out as you lie next to each other, but this half-an-hour in privacy that gives a couple time out to connect feels decadent in our busy lives.
Onsens are considered healthy and highly popular in Japan for its benefits which include improved blood circulation and increased metabolism, but I simply loved it as a stress-busting prequel to a massage; to truly disconnect from the realities of life. Post-onsen, there is a lounging space in the form of a traditional chabudai (short-legged) table and zabutons.
Then the finale: an hour’s detox massage featuring the Japanese tea-ceremony staple, a powerful antioxidant that soothes skin, reduces pore size and improves the immune system. As knots and aches further melted away, I was lulled into a semi-daze during the rubdown. Heaven.
The Match-a-Made in Heaven is available at Ikeda Spa Prestige till end of 2018.