Since onsen in Okinawa is a popular topic, I have decided to make some individual posts for each onsen. Check this post for some general information on Okinawa onsen: Okinawa Onsen (Hot Springs): 温泉
In Okinawa city, there is a wellness resort with an onsen: the Costa Vista resort and Spa Corazon. I have visited her a few times before, but this time I went for special spa treatments for my birthday. My husband made reservations in advance for me; this is important since they fill up fast, especially on weekends and holidays. If you are only going for the onsen, then you do not need reservations.
As for the onsen, no tattoo are allowed. However, recently, they have a sign stating that if you cover your tattoo with a skin “patch” (or called seal, sticker, tape), then you may now enter the onsen. They sell these patches at the reception desk for 200yen, but if you go over to DonQ you can find them for a better value. This is perfect if you only have some small tattoo and would like to try an onsen in Okinawa.
I was signed up for the anti-aging package (yeah, I am not that old, really, but gotta take care of yourself). I showed up early to use the onsen prior to my spa pampering. When I arrived, I stowed my shoes in the little locker, handed the clerk at the counter the key, and let them know I had a spa reservation for later. They handed me towels (1 big, 1 small), spa clothes (pajamas, really, called samue 作務衣), and a locker key for inside the onsen. They also had some free amenities at the counter if you needed any.
There are different areas to this wellness resort– reflexology area, spa treatment area, relaxation area, bedrock bath, a.k.a. ganbanyoku 岩盤浴 (separate entrance ticket required!), and the onsen itself. I went inside the ladies’ onsen area and followed the standard procedure described in my previous post. I enjoyed the onsen for a bit, dipping in both hot and cold pools, as well as the jetted tubs. This onsen does not have an outdoor bath, but it does have a mist sauna and a dry sauna, as well as some sort of “silky” bath. There are views out to the ocean and towards the Aeon Rycom Mall. Once it was time, I got out and changed into my spa clothes.
There are 2 treatment areas; one is inside the onsen (a little less fancy) and one is in a separate area (much more fancy). I was booked for the fancy package. When I went to the desk, I was immediately given tea and told to choose from a basket of oils (I went with lemongrass). From here I was shuffled into a private room and given 紙パンツ kami-pantsu (paper “shorts”) to change into. I had an EM salt scrub, then a fancy smelling private bath, a full body massage, and a facial. It was all very relaxing, and my skin felt fantastic. Plus all the stress melted away and I felt completely refreshed.
The big draw to the onsen resort is the EM products. I guess it is kinda like organic. Anyway, when my spa treatments were over, I was given more tea and some snacks, as well as a little bag with some of the products used (lemongrass oil, bath salts, face pack, and some face cream).
Another bonus to this onsen resort is the EM healthy lunch viking (buffet). It is fantastic and reasonably priced. I highly recommend trying it out, the food is quite delicious. There are also some EM products shops scattered within the wellness resort, in case you want to pick up some beauty products or produce, eggs, or other EM goods. Overall, this is a great place for trying an onsen, spa treatments, and a healthy lunch.
entrance fees to onsen: 13 years and older: 1,500円, 4-12 years: 1,000円, 3 and under free.
the bedrock bath is an additional fee of 500円.
(as photos are prohibited inside the onsen and treatment areas, this is all have to show)
webpage with more info on packages and reservations: http://www.costavista.jp/