Tokyo Hot Spring Theme Parks: Back to Edo with Oedo Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語) - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tokyo Hot Spring Theme Parks: Back to Edo with Oedo Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語)

Soaking in a hot spring might not be the first thing that springs to mind (no pun intended) when thinking about the asphalt jungle of Tokyo. However, just a 20 minute train ride from Shibuya you can find not only a traditional style hot spring but a whole Edo era theme park where you can try out a range of Japanese cultural activities. If you want to experience traditional Japanese culture without having to go traveling outside of the metropolis during your stay the place to go would definitely be the Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari  (大江戸温泉物語).

A sign showing the way to Ooedo Onsen
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
Arriving at the Ooedo Onsen Monogatari the first thing you have to do is to take of your shoes and place them in one of the shoe lockers. You then proceed to check in, where you are given a wristband with keys to a locker in the changing room. This wristband is not only necessary for opening and closing your locker; it also contains a chip which is used to register all the extra services you use during your stay at the park. When you want something that is not included in the basic entrance fee such as for instance food, drinks, souvenirs or a massage they will ask you to show your wristband and the price of the will automatically be added to your final bill.
The check in area
The area where you get to pick your yukata for the day
After you're done with the check in it is time to pick your own yakuza (stop it, spell checker!!) yukata for the day. They have a number of colourful and pretty yukatas in all sizes, for both kids and adults, and the colours of the yukatas vary for men and women.

Entrance to women's changing room
Once you've picked your yukata you can proceed to the changing room, with different changing rooms for men and women. There is no need to worry about how to proceed from there; inside the changing rooms you'll find posters with detailed explanations about how to put on your yukata, how to behave in the onsen etc. When you're finished changing into the yukata you can step into the main area of the theme park, a huge indoor hall filled with activities and fun for the whole family.

An old-style poster inside the main area

Entertainment and Games

There are a number of games you can take part in if you want to try your luck inside the main area. They have numerous game stalls where you can win prizes, all in the style you would expect at a Japanese festival. Just be aware that all the games come at a small extra fee.

Food and Dining

Inside Oedo Onsen Monogatari you also find various dining options suitable for anyone whether you're looking for a full meal or just some light snack and a glass of beer. They have everything from the pure traditional to the slightly weird. How about for instance a crepe with Tuna Pizza Cheese? But don't worry, if you're not of the too adventurous kind you could always go for a regular bowl of ramen or sushi. There's plenty of seating space too, and some of you might even want to take a nap after lunch/dinner.

Our group taking a nap in the big dining hall

Hot Spring - Onsen

As the name of the place suggests, the Oedo Onsen Monogatari is also the place to go if you want to try to soak in the onsen during your stay. Here I would like to stress that one thing you should be aware of, is that as with most Japanese onsen the Oedo Onsen Monogatari has a strict policy against tattoos. If they find out that you have a tattoo you will not be able to enter the theme park in the first place, and if your tattoo is spotted after you enter you will be forced to leave the premises. The regular onsen is separated by gender, and you're not allowed to enter the onsen with swimwear on. There is however one option if you're uncomfortable with being naked around strangers, as the Oedo Onsen also has an outdoor ashy (足湯) foot bath where you only soak your feet.

Souvenir Shopping

When your day at Oedo Onsen is coming to an end it might be time for some souvenir shopping. And of course the theme park is ready to help you find almost whatever it is that you might be looking for in terms of stereotypical Japanese souvenirs.

Once it is time to go home you have to go back to the first changing room where you put on the yukata in order to change back to your regular clothes. But ohh, did you forget to bring clean panties? No reason to despair, of course they have a vending machine ready where you can buy new underwear too!
Forgot to bring clean pants? No worries, you can buy new ones from one of the vending machines

All in all the Oedo Onsen is a great place to visit if you're looking for that stereotypical Japanese experience all under one roof. Having lived in Japan for a couple of years already I can't believe I didn't visit this place sooner.. It'll definitely be one of my first choices of places to bring my friends to if they visit me in Tokyo.

Basic Info

Name of Place: Ooedo Onsen Monogatari (大江戸温泉物語)
Location A couple of minutes walk from the Telecom Center station
Entrance fee: ●Adult(Over age 12)¥2,480
(Sat. & Sun. ¥2,680・Special Day ¥2,880)
 ●Children(Age 4 〜 12)¥1,000 (No fee for a child under age 4)

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Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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