In a continuation of a series of posts about onsen in Okinawa, this describes my experience at the onsen on the premises of the Loisir Hotel in Naha, Miegusuku onsen 三重城温泉.
Since today was a public holiday, I decided to relax a bit by visiting one of the few onsen you can find in Okinawa. Now, I had been putting off visiting the Loisir hotel onsen due to its very high entrance fee, and being in Naha near the Tomari port, it is not exactly close to me either. So, since I had time to spare today, why not check it out?
Okay, well first, remember this is in Naha. So parking is not free. I parked at one of the fee parking lots just a few meters from the hotel (don’t park at the hotel, I think it is 1500yen). I walked through the front doors; on the first floor is the regular hotel reception, walk by this and go up the escalator to the second floor.
From here, you have a decision to make: the cheaper priced onsen (2500yen for visitors) or the more expensive onsen (3500yen for visitors). The cheaper onsen is straight ahead when you arrive on the second floor, easy to find. The more expensive one, you need to turn and head towards the Spa Tower hotel check-in (but do not go to these counters), looking for the corridor that leads to the Spa Tower where the onsen is located.
The cheaper onsen is called the Shimanchu-no-yu 島人の湯 (Islander’s bath); it appeared to have more baths, like jacuzzi and waterfall, in addition to the outdoor and indoor bath. I did not visit this one, so I can’t really speak for the details. It appeared to be “less fancy.” In retrospect, I probably should have just gone to this one.
However, I went to the more “luxury” of the two, the Uminchu-no-yu 海人の湯 (Fisherman’s bath). I followed the narrow corridor down to where there was a split; I was now on the 3rd floor of the Spa Tower. To get to the onsen, descend the stairs to the 2nd level of the Spa Tower and there is the spa treatment area and the onsen. I paid the fee, which is 3x what I would normally pay here in Okinawa (normal onsen entrance fees in Okinawa are between 1000-1600 yen).
Anyway, I was given a locker key and towels, then entered the ladies onsen. I left my shoes in the shoe locker at the entrance of the ladies onsen. Inside was the standard set-up with rows of clothing lockers, a water jug, and counter area for getting ready afterwards.
While the onsen was nicely decorated, I did not feel like it was much better than any of the others I have visited in Okinawa. Since the fee was higher than the other bath, it was much quieter, only 2 other people while I was there. There were 3 baths: indoor, cold water, and outdoor. The outdoor bath did not have a great view since it was covered with privacy shades (probably because we were in the city). There was also a steam/mist sauna.
After bathing, they had the usual amenities (lotion, etc), but nothing particularly special. Some places have really nice products (that they also sell at the front desks), but here was just standard Kose brand. I didn’t book any of the spa treatments since I went to a different one recently for my birthday. So I cannot really comment on these, but they looked more expensive than the other places I have gone to in Okinawa.
Overall, it was nice… but not worth the pricey entrance fee. So unless you are staying at this hotel (which gives you a discounted entrance fee), I probably would not recommend to come here over the other places I have been. And even then, I would recommend trying out the cheaper one since it looked like it had a few more baths anyway. As far as I could tell, the only bonus to the Uminchu-no-yu over the Shimanchu-no-yu was 1) more privacy/quieter and 2) fancier decor/atmosphere. Otherwise the Shimanchu-no-yu was 1) cheaper (but still expensive at 2500yen for visitors) and 2) more variety in baths.
If you want to try an onsen in Naha, Okinawa, I would say try the Ryukyu Onsen on Senaga-jima (just south of the airport); it is luxurious, has beautiful ocean views you can enjoy from the outdoor baths, and the entrance fee is a half the cost. Plus you are by the trendy Umikaji Terrace where you can enjoy a variety of good cafes.
Sorry, but no pictures inside the onsen.
Japanese only, link for ChuraSpa treatment menu (same floor as the Uminchu-no-yu): http://www.loisir-spatower.com/relaxation/spatreatment_index.html