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Tokyo Tourism: Best of Tokyo
A nonstop city of thrilling contrasts
With its futuristic skyscrapers, unrivalled food scene, and wild nightlife, Tokyo is a rush of pure adrenaline. This vast and multifaceted city is famously cutting edge, yet its ancient Buddhist temples, vintage teahouses, and peaceful gardens offer a serene escape — and a poignant reminder of the city’s long history. And for those who know where to look, Tokyo’s smaller pleasures (secret ramen spots, shopping alleys, chill record bars) are often hiding in plain sight.
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Take a Dip: Tokyo's Hot Springs and Bathhouses
Japanese onsen (natural hot springs) and sento (public bathhouses) have a very special place on my things-I-love-about-Japan list. Soaking in steaming hot water is my perfect end to a big day of walking, sightseeing, and souffle-pancake-eating—and a wonderful way to experience a part of everyday life in Japan.
anneolivia, New York City, NY
- Tokyo Odaiba Ooedo Onsen Monogatari214Part spa, part amusement park, this traditional onsen complex has it all: outdoor hot springs, rock salt saunas, even "silk" and "micro nano bubble" baths! Just note that this one can get quite crowded.
- Spa LaQua46Located in Tokyo Dome City, Spa LaQua is like the Disney World of Tokyo bathing destinations. It's super modern, and offers just about every water "attraction" you can think of: mineral baths, several saunas (one designed to look like ancient ruins), foot baths, steam rooms, and so on. Plus there are great views of the city!
- Thermae Yu125My perfect night in Tokyo? Ramen and karaoke in Shinjuku, topped off with a hot soak at this big, pristine, 24-hour spa complex.
- Akebono-yu8This pretty temple-like bathhouse has been popular with Asakusa residents for decades. It's actually Tokyo's oldest bathhouse—make a day of it by visiting Asakusa's Sensoji (Tokyo's oldest temple) and taking a steamy soak in Akebono-yo.
- Shimizuyu81If you're well-versed in Japanese bathing etiquette (and really you should be before going to *any* bathhouse) and comfortable with a lack of English signage, this bathhouse is well worth the visit. Locals love the mineral-rich black mud bath (common in this part of Tokyo).
- Heiwajima Onsen147Travelers with super-early flights should know about this 24-hour natural hot springs facility. The bathhouse even offers free late-night/early-morning shuttle service to and from Haneda Airport (smart!).
- Utsukushi no Yu59Near Inokashira Park and the Ghibli Museum, this neighborhood wellness center has indoor tubs, saunas, and a relaxation room, plus outdoor rotenburo baths, for a low entry price. Its restaurant serves treats like noodles, dumplings, ice cream, and beer.