Looking for a legit Finnish sauna experience? Kanda Port, opened in Kanda Nishikicho in late-April, features traditional Finnish steam baths and a Nordic-inspired aesthetic. And in case you’re wondering, Kanda Port is not on Tokyo Bay – the name is meant to evoke a place where people from anywhere in the world can rest and relax.
You'll find SaunaLab in the basement of the multi-storey building. Designed by sauna expert Yukitaka Yoneda – who also worked on SaunaLab facilities in Nagoya and Fukuoka – it’s based on traditional Finnish sauna culture.
There are separate areas for men and women, each featuring lockers, showers, a mildly heated room for whisking (a Finnish sauna massage with dried birch leaves), and a steam room. Then there are the saunas themselves. Each area has a different sauna – don’t worry, you’ll be able to try both, since the men’s and women’s areas are swapped around every Wednesday.
The Oke Sauna is a standard sauna room where you pour birch-scented water on stones to make steam. From the outside, the pinewood cabin looks just like a wooden bucket, but on the inside, the walls and the thatched roof will make you feel like you’re sitting in a hut.
The Ike Sauna consists of a large, dimly lit chamber that resembles a mountain lodge. It has three stoves, a large basin and even tatami mats to sit on. To really cool down after a steamy sauna session, both areas also feature a one-person ice sauna with a temperature of roughly -25 degrees Celsius.
After braving these extreme temps, you may unwind at the vihta, a gender-mixed rest area with sloping wooden ramps ideal for lounging on.
You can make a reservation at SaunaLab one week in advance. A 90-minute sauna session costs ¥2,700 per person. The venue is open every day from 12noon to 9pm.
The basement floor also features SaunaLab’s shop selling handmade sauna hats, buckets, ladles, loungewear, and a selection of birch whisks. For refreshments, head up to Kitchen Sauna café on the first floor. It serves up a special sauna-blend coffee and you can have it either hot (¥370) or cold (¥420).The café is open from 11.30am to 8pm (last order 7.30pm).
Keep an eye out for ten commissioned artworks displayed throughout the building, including this fabric lamp shaped like a sauna hat made by Yuri Himuro.
The serene wooden rooftop patio is ornamented with plants and a mountain-inspired artwork by artist Ogiso Mizue. Up here, the fresh air will feel especially good after a sauna session as you gaze out over the sprawling cityscape.
For more information or to book a sauna session, head to Kanda Port's official website.
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