The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko in Tochigi, Japan, recently opened with a hot springs experience, drawing its source from the Oku-Nikko Yumoto Onsen. Onsen, the Japanese word for hot spring, is a revered wellness practice that encourages relaxation, strengthens the mind, promotes mindfulness and yields positive energy.
The Spa's onsen is a simple sulfur spring, with a temperature of 173.4°F and a high metasilicic acid content, which promotes skin metabolism and overall radiance. To help clients make the most of their bathing experience, therapists offer these eight tips for enjoying the onsen.
- Anticipate: Enter the hot springs and slip under the noren curtain, the portal to blissful bathing.
- Prepare: Leave shoes or slippers at the entrance. Bring only a hand towel into the onsen.
- Purify: Douse arms and legs with kakeyu hot water to acclimate, then cleanse the body at the washing area.
- Listen: Indulge the senses. Enjoy the trickling, dripping and swirling sounds of the healing waters.
- Breathe: The distinctive scent of a sulfur bath may take getting used to, but it's all part of the restorative magic.
- Unwind: Ease into tranquility as the sounds, scents and warmth of the water work their healing ways.
- Behold: Be alone with the elements, and observe how the garden moss and stones take on new beauty.
- Rest: After a soak, wrap up to ensure the body does not get chilled. Rest for 30 minutes.