Top spas in Tokyo to help you relax

The famous get-back-to-nature onsen experience in Tokyo, Japan, is not for everyone. Here we list the best four spas where you don't have to go naked.

Woman back floats in the pool.
  • Megan Osborne
  • October 2018

Japan’s famed communal bathing facilities are built on and around its natural hot springs, but the get-back-to-nature onsen experience isn’t for everyone. For starters, there are strict rules around tattoos. While that Southern Cross on your shoulder might not make you look anything like a Yakuza gang member, it will still get you barred at the door. And those without ink may not be comfortable getting their kit off in front of strangers. These four modesty-conscious Tokyo stops are worth a dip.

The first thing you should do in Tokyo

Totally Tokyo

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, Nihonbashi
This package is based on five symbolic elements that make up the Japanese capital – pine, plum, bamboo, green tea and rice – combined in a decadent spa experience. Promising to bring calm and clarity to body and mind, the Totally Tokyo experience offers an indulgent getaway from the hectic city streets. Your first stop, on the hotel’s 37th floor, is a soak in the ‘Heat and Water’ area, with a spa-temperature pool boasting partially submerged loungers and a breathtaking view over the skyscrapers. Following a foot and lower-leg scrub is a dry massage that’s sure to stretch you out in all the right places.

Royal Treatment

Palace Hotel Tokyo, Marunouchi
Make like Disney royalty and book a treatment at this hotel’s awe-inspiring top-floor evian Spa. Take a dip in the indoor heated pool, decorated in light tones and pearlescent trim, before giving way to utter relaxation. Pick between a fragrant vanilla, almond or jasmine and green tea scented oil to invigorate your senses as your masseuse rejuvenates your muscles. The Palace Hotel is located close to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, so time your visit after a busy morning seeing the sights.

Woman in steam room.
A steam sauna is just one of the delights in the treatment at The Peninsula Tokyo, Chiyoda.

Coastal Cure

The Peninsula Tokyo, Chiyoda
The Peninsula Spa has a well-founded reputation as one of the most iconic in Tokyo. A memorable heat-and-water experience precedes your treatment, with a dry or steam sauna and open-air showers. One shower has warm, lavender-scented jets that massage you from the sides, the other has cold water that sprays in a minty mist or falls in waves from a waterfall spout. Top it off with a decadent facial – having algae on your face is not as weird as it sounds.

Woman having neck massage in the spa treatment.
Goku no Kimochi specialises in head and neck massages that put you to sleep within 10 minutes.

Heads Up

Goku no Kimochi, Shibuya
This salon chain originated in Kyoto and specialises in head and neck massages. Its therapists boast that they can put you in a state of near – or complete – sleep within 10 minutes. Their massages, which focus on pressure points and use techniques to stimulate the production of dopamine, have become so popular that bookings are required three months in advance. You know your experience is going to be phenomenal, even if you do spend most of it asleep.