Tokyo isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when you’re dreaming of a quiet and rejuvenating retreat. The metropolis is brimming with historical landmarks, bustling shopping streets, nightlife hubs, Michelin-starred restaurants… But peaceful ryokan? You’re better off booking a shinkansen trip out of the city. Or at least, that was the case until the opening of Yuen Bettei Daita. A day spa, ryokan and tea house rolled into one, this accessible yet luxurious retreat caters to weary travellers and busy Tokyoites alike.
Yuen Bettei Daita is situated at the edge of the trendy Shimokitazawa neighbourhood, though you wouldn’t know it from inside the hotel. With indoor and outdoor onsen baths featuring alkaline water sourced from the natural springs of Ashinoko Onsen in Hakone, this traditional haven feels miles away from the city. Arguably the best thing about this place is you don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the facilities.
Attuned to the needs of city folk who just want the experience of an onsen getaway without actually leaving the city, the ryokan offers several packages for daytime guests who aren’t planning to spend the night.
The cheapest option is the package starting from ¥2,700, where you can have an onsen session followed by freshly brewed sencha and mochi at the Saryo Tsukikage tea bar. You could also make an occasion of it by booking a seat at the ryokan’s private Noh theatre show (¥4,200), or a kaiseki lunch (¥4,900) to treat yourself after the onsen soak. Feeling indulgent? Book a treatment at the Sojyu Spa, where you can get an aroma oil massage or lymphatic drainage massage from ¥9,200.
And even if you’re a local resident, the rooms here are so stunning you’ll want to move in. Rates currently range from ¥17,000 to ¥27,000 per night. One of them even comes with a private garden fitted with a hinoki bathtub.
Go on, book a visit as a gift to yourself.
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