Multicultural Bangkok embraces customs and traditions from all over the world, and Japan is no exception.
Our latest obsession? Bangkok’s Japanese onsens.
Aside from the slew of fantastic restaurants which have taken the city by storm in recent years, there is now another Japanese trend which has taken hold and is becoming increasingly popular in Thailand — the Japanese onsen experience.
What is a Japanese Onsen?
Onsens are traditionally communal, open air, natural hot spring baths — normally heated by volcanic activity — which have a temperature of at least 25 degrees centigrade.
The waters from these thermal springs are rich in minerals and the Japanese believe that they have special healing and recuperative properties that make bathing in an onsen a revitalising, cleansing and healthy experience for mind, body and soul.
Japanese culture and philosophy dictates that there are strict rules of etiquette to be followed when entering an onsen.
Firstly you must wash yourself thoroughly before entering the water, this is done while sitting down to avoid splashing dirty water around as much as possible.
If nudity bothers you, an onsen may not be for you, as bathers must be naked (although in some onsens exceptions are made, usually for women). A small towel is provided to protect your modesty as you enter and exit the onsen.
The baths are a place of tranquility and relaxation, so noisy or unruly behaviour will not be tolerated. When moving from one bath to another you must rinse your body and feet.
Once in the onsen, it is considered rude to stare, so eye contact with other bathers should be avoided.
Men and women almost always bathe separately.
Best Japanese Onsen Bangkok Reviews
This truly authentic Japanese Onsen and Spa in Bangkok combines the ancient Japanese Onsen bathing experience with traditional Thai massage to provide the ultimate in relaxation and detoxification.
The onsen has a very traditional Japanese aesthetic to it, with lots of bamboo and a clean, minimalist style.
The waters at Yunomori Onsen are the real deal, as they are sourced straight from the thermal springs of Wat Wangkanai, a Thai temple famed for its waters that contain many different beneficial minerals to aid muscle relaxation and blood circulation, and to reduce muscle pain.
There are various different kinds of bath available, each with different benefits.
The Mineral Water Bath relaxes mind and body and works to relieve ailments. The high tech Soda Spa uses hot spring water is enriched with high levels of carbon dioxide to increase blood oxygen levels and increase blood circulation, ease high blood pressure and improve skin elasticity. The invigorating Jet Bath uses jets of high pressure water to massage the body, and if you like the idea of bathing in the open air, the Garden Bath provides the perfect way to relax.
If you prefer to bathe with a little more privacy, individual teak tubs are available to enable you to de-stress in comfort, and the Cold Bath with water at 17-19°C provides a refreshing alternative to the soporific waters in the other baths, as well as having anti-aging benefits.
Additionally there is a sauna and steam room at this Japanese onsen in Bangkok, and the onsen experience is perfectly complemented with a range of holistic and therapeutic Thai massage treatments available at the Yunomori Onsen spa.
Indulge in a traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy massage, body scrub, or herbal compress. There’s even a cafe and Japanese restaurant on site to nourish you from the inside as well as out.
The entrance fee at Yunomori Onsen is 450 THB for adults for the use of the baths. Spa treatments start at 390 THB. The onsen is located in the A-Square complex at 120/5 Soi Sukhumvit 26, Klongtoey, and is open every day from 9 am to midnight.
Situated in Silom in the heart of Bangkok’s financial district, Onsen Sky Spa has a cool slightly retro Japanese feel, and provides the ideal environment for relaxation and wellbeing.
At Onsen Sky Spa there is everything you need in one place. There are both hot and cold onsen baths available, as well as a sauna and jacuzzi which are available separately for men and women, but there are also a whole host of other services including various Thai massage treatments such as foot massage, hot stone therapy, and Thai herbal heat massage.
There is also an aromatherapy centre, plus a state of the art fitness centre where you can work up a sweat, and a beauty salon providing everything from hair colouring and styling to manicures.
After all that pampering and relaxation, why not treat yourself to a cocktail or a nice cold beer at the Onsen Sky Spa rooftop bar eight floors up.
Prices for the baths, sauna and jacuzzi at Onsen Sky Spa are 400 THB for adults with unlimited all day use. Massage and aromatherapy treatments start at 400 THB for a head and shoulder or foot massage, and a hair cut or manicure will set you back a minimum of 300 THB.
Onsen Sky Spa is located at Silom Plaza, Silom road, Bangrak, just a short hop from Chongnonsi BTS Skytrain Station and is open from midday to 2 am Monday to Friday, and 11 am to 2 am at weekends.
This luxurious onsen and spa experience in Bangkok has the unique quality of being the only onsen in the city to offer exclusive private teak onsen tubs (like barrels) — so if you’re a little on the timid side it’s the perfectka solution.
At Kashikiri Soda Onsen and Spa you can customise your bathing experience by adding the minerals of your choice with the healing properties you desire to your bath water.
The experience at this onsen feels very authentically Japanese, from the bamboo plants and bonzai trees to the kimonos you are given to wear during your stay. The setting is calm and peaceful with plenty of natural light and pleasant garden views.
Massage and spa treatments are also available, which use only the finest oils and scrubs made from totally natural ingredients.
A one hour Thai massage or foot reflexology treatment is priced at 450 THB, while an intensive one hour body scrub treatment with your choice of scrub costs 900 THB. Use of the private onsen costs between 550 and 700 THB depending on the time of day you arrive, and a complementary Japanese tea with cake is provided to round off your onsen experience nicely.
Kashikiri Soda Onsen and Spa is located at 84 Sukhumvit 49 Bangkok, and is open every day from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm.
This super chic, state of the art onsen provides the ultimate luxury Japanese onsen experience.
Low ambient lights and warm bamboo walls give an atmospheric, super relaxing feel, and make the perfect setting to protect, heal, and rejuvenate the body at cellular level leaving both mind and body feeling clean, rejuvenated, and full of health.
Mineral powder direct from one of Japan’s premier onsens is used to infuse the bath waters with minerals, and there are five different hot baths to choose from, including a silk bath, a whirlpool bath, and soda bath each offering unique health benefits.
A team of skillful and well-trained therapists offer a range of massage and spa treatments including Thai and Swedish massage, aromatic hot stone massage, Thai herbal massage, and body wraps.
Let’s Relax Thonglor is located on the fifth floor of the glamorous Grande Centre Point Hotel, Thonglor, 300 Sukhumvit Soi 55, and is open every day from 10 am to midnight.
The entrance fee for the onsen is 650 THB with unlimited use, and individual spa and massage treatments range from 150 THB for fifteen minutes of hand reflexology up to 2,200 THB for a two hour aromatic hot stone massage.
This highly reputed and long standing onsen in Surawong is known for offering an authentic onsen experience at a reasonable price
. Low key with a welcoming atmosphere, this quiet little onsen features hot and cold pools plus sauna, and staff are on hand to bring drinks and snacks.
Arima Onsen also provides a good range of massage treatments, including traditional Thai massage, reflexology, facial massage, and oil massage.
The aromatherapy spa features private treatment rooms with a selection of aroma and mineral therapies, plus a vigorous traditional Akasuri back rub to thoroughly clean the dirt from every pore and improve blood circulation.
A trip to Arima Onsen will set you back 500 THB, and there are some very reasonable spa and massage packages on offer too.
It’s situated at 10-14 Soi Suriwongse Plaza, Suriwongse Road, and is open from 9 am to 1 am every day of the week.
Have you tried a Japanese onsen in Bangkok yet?