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“Take a break from fast-paced Tokyo, travel back in time.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari

Oedo-Onsen-Monogatari
2-57 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo Prefecture 135-0064, Japan
+81 3-5500-1126
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Ranked #1 of 6 activities in Koto
Type: Amusement/ Theme Parks, Spas
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Attraction Details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Toyko's largest artificial hot spring complex is filled with a seemingly never-ending series bathtubs with different temperatures, textures, and foci, such as the special foot baths.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Take a break from fast-paced Tokyo, travel back in time.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

After walking hours and hours in Tokyo, it's always a good idea to make your way to a Sento, or communal bath house. Give yourself over to bubbling waters piping in from the hot springs nearby and just chill.

But it gets even better than that at Oedo Onsen Monogatari.

Rock pools, wooden bathtubs, pure-white effervescent hot springs, a raised pool fed by amber-coloured mineralised groundwater. You can experience every kind of traditional Japanese hot bath in this spacious Sento.

The bath house also offers a suite of massage therapy services but they're pretty pricey. I tried a cheaper service, the sand bath. For ¥1,500 or thereabouts, they put you in a hot house and you lay down on hot sand. They shovel sand on you and you stay buried for like 15 minutes.

It's feels like being in a sauna except that the sand weighs down on you and it can get hard to breathe. You can't really move and it's quite impossible to reach that itch in between your toes. But I don't regret the experience.

Outside the gender-segregated bath area is the main hall. It's styled like a street market on a night in Edo Japan. There's a wooden watchtower in the center where performances (in Japanese) are sometimes acted out.

Stalls along the perimeter of the hall mostly serve Japanese food. They're not the best or the freshest, but they compliment the Edo experience. There's also an awesome bar that serves quite a big selection of sake. I had a cold glass of 〆張鶴... I don't know what it reads as but I know it tastes mildly sweet and totally awesome.

I had meant to check out Oedo Onsen Monogatari for just a couple of hours but ended up staying for over eight. I believe I'll go back the next time I visit Tokyo.

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New Zealand
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Like a Japanese-culture theme park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

If you don't mind bathing naked publicy (same-gender only), this is a very relaxing way to spend an evening. Towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hairdriers, hairbrushes and various lotions are included in the entrance fee.
Don your yukata (casual summer kimono) and head out to the garden, where for a bit extra you can have "Doctor fish" nibble the dead skin from your feet - a unique experience! Various other spa and massage treatments were available but I didn't try them.
At the spa area, shower first at a cubicle, then head for the indoor and outdoor mineral pools. After you're done bathing, there is a variety of food available in the restaurant area. And of course there's a souvineer shop.
I went in the evening and found it very relaxing. Although parts of it were a bit gimmicky, it was a nice introduction to Japanese Onsen culture.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Covered my tattoo and had a relaxing time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2009

This is part amusement park and part traditional Onsen (Japanese Hot Springs), but if you're not a stickler for an "authentic" experience, it is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

I had read in another review that someone was asked to leave (nicely) because of a tattoo, so I covered mine with fresh bandaids and nobody bothered me. It is under my arm just below my armpit, so it is very un-obvious. When I got there I saw a sign saying that people with tattoos may be asked to leave, so I'm glad I did this.

One tip: if you go late, make sure to hit the outdoor foot baths first, as they close earlier (at 10:00pm). I went to the male-only bath first, and then when I got done there at 10:30pm, the foot baths were closed already. Some people there who went into the foot baths said they were great fun.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Nice place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2009

We were in Tokyo for 7 days in mid June and were planning to spend a day in Hakone to check out the onsens. Our first time in Japan, heard all about the famous onsen ritual and had to check one out. By day 3, we were behind our trip "plan", so we had to cancel our Hakone plan; but we still wanted to onsen. So we reluctantly went to Oedo Onsen Monogatari, having read that it's a theme park feeling....not really what we were looking for, but oh well...
We were very nicely surprised. We went there at about 7pm, not many people, they were efficient and had English speaking staff to explain to us what we need to do. We were sent to change into yukatas and to emerge into a "village" where we can eat, drink, take pics, etc. Then we went thru another set of changerooms, this time to go buck naked and to enter into the onsen and scrub ourselves. I had my 4 yr old boy (kids ages under Grade 1 can follow either parent) and my hubby took our 6 yr old. The kids loved it, and enjoyed going from pool to pool. Seemed like the womens side had a lot more pools (8 hot pools plus a cold pool indoors AND 2 natural rock pools plus 3 cypress tubs outside). The outdoor onsen (rotenburo) has natural rock surrounds and is very nice in the evening cool breeze when it is too hot. The water is at ranges of 38-42 degrees. Fabulous, a must go, if you're strapped for time in Tokyo. The village area is a bit theme park-like, but it is fun too. They also had an outdoor mix gender footbath area and another pool where the little fishes eat the deadskin off your feet....sounded too gross for my liking. My 4 yr old fell asleep on the bench in the changeroom, I guess it really relaxed him!

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Wish there was one back home!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2008

There are some places one visits in order to get a taste of tradition and history. No doubt many onsens in Japan are like that, but this one isn't! From my point of view, the Oedo Onsen Monogatari is the Disneyland of onsens, full of pizzazz and ta-dahs, and, taken as such, is an absolute blast.

The onsen consists of both communal and gender-segregated areas. Once you get in, you put your shoes and stuff into lockers, get your barcode bracelet, make a selection from the yukatas on display, and head for the changing rooms. There are instructions on the walls on how to wear your yukata, and yes, you do keep your underwear on beneath.

The only communal bathing area consists of the foot pools, which are located outdoors. I don't know about other times, but on a cool dry autumn evening (perfect weather, in my opinion), it is absolute bliss to lower cold feet into water of al dente warmth. There are also stone reflexology paths, should your masochistic tendencies take you that far.

A kinder approach to feet would be to hoof it upstairs for a foot massage. This is heaven for overworked appendages!

All this serves as preparation for the crowning glory of the hot-spring baths, which are gender-segregated for the excellent reason that everyone does this stark naked. This is something of a culture shock, particularly in sophisticated Tokyo where appearance is king. I'm from Singapore, where nothing is communal for girls, so I'd never before had the experience of entering a locker room where everyone casually strips off. If you're shy, you use the teensy modesty towel to do whatever little it can, and that's it.

Important note - you MUST bathe before entering the pools; it's only considerate, considering how communal they are. For this purpose, there are banks of (door-less) stalls, each equipped with a small stool, shower jet, bath foam, shampoo, conditioner and various receptacles. Some people even brush their teeth there!

Once you're squeaky, it's free-for-all among the pools. There are about a dozen to choose from, with varying temperatures and flavours (sulphur, iron, unnamed minerals, etc.). All are comfortably toasty, except for the one icy-cold pool which you should identify early and avoid leaping into unless you have a death-wish.

One of the many nice things about the Japanese is that they really mind their own business and no one will stare at you even if you bumble foolishly around. There's no shouting, splashing or horseplay. The loudest anyone got was this small Japanese girl who looked about six. She took me for a local and began chattering happily as I was trying to get up sufficient courage to put one foot into the cold pool. Trying to talk to a strange child in an unknown language while starkers is now on my list of funny things I have done.

After being turned into limp spaghetti by the hot soaks, there's nothing better than a pint of cold dry Asahi with tempura soba.

All in all, I loved this onsen, despite having to agree with guidebook descriptions of "kitschy" and "cheesy", particularly in the communal eating area... but I'd say, take it in the spirit of the place.

It's unfortunate, though, about their anti-tattoo regulations. I suppose it's to restrict the entry of gangsters, who are stereotypically patterned and hang out in onsens. However, that's just a bit hard on the average tattooed-but-certainly-not-a-gangster person.

Tip of the day: Go after 6 p.m. when the entrance fee drops from 2900 to 2000 yen. Yatta!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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