One of the things my boyfriend and I miss the most about living in Japan is the onsen culture.
An onsen (温泉) is a hot spring public bath; they are an integral part of Japanese culture and can be found all around the country. These baths can range from basic facilities for everyday use, to luxurious resorts called ryokan (旅館). Much like a western spa, the appeal of an onsen is to disconnect from all your worries and relax.
In short, onsen are awesome! And we were quite surprised when we stumbled upon an advertisement of a Japanese-style onsen in the outskirts of Stockholm. Intrigued, we did some more research, and finally decided to go as a late-Valentine celebration.
The name of the place is Yasuragi Onsen, and it surpassed our expectations! We though that the place was going to be a western spa with a Japanese touch, but it was completely the opposite!
The rooms were quite nice and with a lovely view to their Japanese garden (although it was winter so everything was covered in snow). And we received a swimming suit, yukata, and sandals to wear inside the place.
The onsen area was quite spacious and had several pools where you could try different water temperatures. They also had two saunas, one dry and the other with steam. The cherry on top was the rotenburo (露天風呂) or outdoor spring, where we could dip in hot water while enjoying the cold winter breeze in our face.
The most surprising thing for me was how the onsen etiquette was so similar to Japanese one: washing yourself before going into the onsen, keeping your hair out of the water, and being quiet and avoid splashing water to others. The only exception being that we needed to use a swimming suit instead of bathing naked. However, this last point is understandable since in Yasuragi all baths are mixed, and in Japan you tend to have separated baths for women and men.
Overall we enjoyed our stay very much and we will definitely come back again.
So, if you are interested in spending a quiet and relaxing day with your family or partner, this is a great place to do so.
Hope you enjoyed this post and have a wonderful day!