Jarman International’s visit to Enospa
We took a nice visit to enospa to see just what sets this place apart from the others. The mineral hot-spring based medical therapy system is of course intriguing, but we had to experience for ourselves just how good this hot spring facility was as a whole.
Needless to say, it did not disappoint in the slightest. I consider myself a light aficionado of onsen, and I can say with confidence that I have never walked away from one feeling as good as I did on this day- and that was just the “sample course”.
I could tell right away that this facility was in a class of its own. Normally, to get access to a facility like this, you may have to stay in a suite at the Ritz Carlton, or something to that effect. This is a room for freshening up either before or after the onsen bath. Usually, after people have their long bath, they will take an additional long time to freshen up. This is the time to take your hygiene as seriously as possible! Trust me, you will feel anew.
You should take a shower before entering the onsen. Not only is it polite, an necessary to keep the onsen sanitary, but the onsen will mingle more effectively with your skin, and feel much much more rejuvenating. Before I came to Japan, the idea of taking a shower while sitting down had, I kid you not, never once occurred to me. If, like me, the idea has never occurred to you, please embrace the idea, and have a nice wash at this “sitting shower”.
Disclaimer: your shower may last up to 40 minutes without even realizing it.
The bath area, overlooking the pacific.
This is the men’s hygienic area. Have a quick shave, or clip your nails. Brush your teeth and then comb your hair. Or, skip all of that and get your robe on to continue your spa therapy course.
Men’s restroom= blueWomen’s = Red.You will actually find this color arrangement in many areas of the onsen. rule of thumb, men is blue, women is red.
After the bath….
In general, when spending a day at an onsen spa, one can enter the bath area and stay for as long as necessary. And then proceed to exit and enter again at will. Personally, I could spend a couple of hours at least cycling between the shower, sauna, and bath, but we were more concerned this day about seeing the range of services and facilities Enoshima Island Spa had to offer.
The mess hall on the ground floor has many quick options for a light meal, or drinks. This is near the entrance, and is open to the public whether they are using the medical, bath, or massage facilities or not. There are a few points of interest here that Enospa is very proud of:
Enoshima’s exclusive coffee is actually brewed from espresso beans, but is creamy and smooth enough to drink like a regular blend. it feels as though you’re drinking a latte, but it is actually black espresso! This coffee is grown especially for Enoshima Island Spa and is also for sale in the mess hall area.
“Enoshima Coffee”Available in this souvenir form for a very reasonable price. You wouldn’t think to get world class coffee from a health spa! But after all, this is nowhere near your average day spa, and all of its offering ought to be embraced.
The Enoshima Island Spa is overtly a “health” facility, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a fine island lager after our bath. Heck, why not even have one sitting by the outdoor pool? After all, this is a day of relaxation; and that can be better healing than any pain killer.
“Enoshima Beer”. A cool, crisp, lager beer with light undertones reminiscent of a Corona or Red Stripe. Yet, like other Japanese lagers, has a certain depth of flavor that cannot be compared lightly to other lagers.
After seeing the inside of the facility, we were recommended to explore the fantastic scenery and walking courses the island has to offer. The staff at Enospa were very considerate and prepared for us an English-speaking tour guide to tell us of the legends of the island, and other fun facts.
The tour course on Enoshima begins at Enospa and winds up to the top of the island like a snake. Shops and restaurants line the streets, as well as patches of shrines and excellent viewpoints.
The typical visions of the historic Japanese temple and shrine environments are resurrected here at Enoshima. Actually, certain areas that remain largely untouched and preserved in a historic sense commonly have hot spring options (Nikko, and Hakone for example). Japanese people have a very typical structure for day trips, and it almost always involves historic sites, shopping for local products, and hot springs. Enoshima is a unique existence in that it is close to Tokyo, but has a mysterious and resilient power to remain quaint cozy.
After passing the shrine area, we arrived at the crest of the island, into what is in fact one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the Tokyo area. This is the Samuel Cocking garden, which was established in 1880 byt eh British merchant. He gathered tropical plants so they could thrive here in the coastal environment of Enoshima. The garden itself is not massive in scale, but packed tightly with lush plants and fresh scents from various trees and flowers.
At the end of the walking course through Enoshima,we were greeted by the tall and illustrious Enoshima Sea Candle; a lighthouse built just within the last decade.
This tower stands tall at 60 meters and serves as a symbol of Enoshima’s longevity and position as one of the nicest tourist locations within the immediate Tokyo area.
The peak of the island was a bit higher than we thought, but we were not disappointed by the view we were treated to. On a clear day, you can see all the way back to Tokyo’s tall buildings to the north, and to the west, let’s not forget, one of Japan’s most famous national symbols, Mt. Fuji. At this point, I had gotten my exercise and was looking forward to possibly another round in the bath, the pools, and the massage in the Benten spa room of Enoshima Island Spa.
After the island tour, a nice dip in the many pools at Enoshima brought yet another layer of relaxation and excitement to the trip. Here is the pool that has been built into one of the cave networks in Enoshima. This cave has direct access from the above pool level via elevator, and the echoing sound of the splashing ocean make for a very surreal experience.
The outdoor heated pools overlooking the ocean are also highly recommended. It’s a great place to order a drink, and either kick back in a reclining chair, or sit in the pool and let your arms drape over the water’s edge. Gaze upon Mt. Fuji, enjoy the coastal weather, and just remember that you were probably in the Tokyo Metropolis just a few hours before. That in itself was a very surreal moment for me personally.