Osaka Spa World
A Vegas-style spa complex offering seemingly endless options for restoration.
Interested in a bathhouse experience completely different from a traditional onsen? Spa World may be for you. Just south of Shinsekai – Osaka’s dystopian neighbourhood that’s straight from an 80s sci-fi movie – the huge 7-story establishment filled with baths from around the globe is open for a full day of pampering in a fantastically kitsch atmosphere.
Spa World is divided into an Asian Zone and a European Zone, both featuring model baths from countries where bathing culture is prevalent. But far from authentic, the baths are delightfully cheesy in a Las Vegas-meets-Japan kind of way.
The European Zone keeps things classy with an Ancient Rome pool featuring Roman sculptures, and a Greek medicinal bath that leaves you smelling of herbs. The Blue Grotto, inspired by the natural pool of the same name in Capri, is filled with milk and honey water for baby-soft skin. Outside, you’ll find the Spanish open-air bath complete with foot spa and cascading mediterranean waterfall. Their Finland area features two different saunas housed in faux log cabins, evoking the sauna culture of northern Europe.
The Asian Zone features two Japanese-style baths: one a cypress bath, the other outside evoking the feeling of an isolated country stream. Their Islamic stone bath is decorated with colorful tiles, and the “Dr. Spa” is comprised of three different modern baths designed to heal inside and out: an oxygen bath, a hydrogen bath, and a carbonated bath.
Pay an extra 800 yen for use of the Ganban’yoku, which features saunas from various countries, including an Israeli salt sauna, an Icelandic cold wind sauna, and an Austrian radon sauna.
Not up for a relaxing time? Splash around the pool with a lazy river and three super slides, exercise your muscles in the gym or your stomach at the various eateries, visit massage parlors, bet in the arcades, or shop for omiyage (Japanese souvenirs). You can even spend the night on one of the futons they provide in a communal sleeping room. All of these things cost extra, paid for conveniently with a plastic wristband that records your purchases.
There are also many kid-friendly options, including a separate kids’ play room and pool. Kids are also welcome in the communal baths.