I’ve bathed in aromatic waters beneath lashings of rose petals; soaked an aching body in ginseng extracts; slathered up with chocolate; and detoxed – more like fermented – in a bath of rice and bran. But cruising the ‘net the other day, I came across some even odder bath rituals that are all the rage in Japan.
On a serious note, it’s part of Japan transforming its traditional ‘Onsen’ resorts into spa destinations in an attempt to capture more of the lucrative spa-goers market. But on a sillier note, these concepts are taking a national custom of bathing to seemingly absurd extremes.
Chicken Soup for the Soles
For those who’ve felt so hungry they’ve wanted to dive right into their bowl of soup, the Ramen Soup Bath is the answer to your dreams. Guests soak in a giant soup bowl and are douses with noodles and curry sauce as faux noodles dangle overhead.
Real Cuppa Joe
Coffee drinkers will be in their element – literally – in this scenic outdoor Coffee Bath. One wonders if it’s hard to relax surrounded by all that caffeine, unless they’re using decaf. Starbucks, are you listening?
Tea for 2 … or 22
Japan loves green tea and what self-respecting theme spa would neglect the nation’s loyal tea drinkers. The Green Tea Bath features a giant teapot that continually pours vivid green Japanese tea into the bath. Don’t soak too long; you’ll end up looking as wrinkled as a used tea bag.
Wining & Diving
One spa now has wine flowing where water once did. The Wine Bath features a huge wine bottle from which flows a true Nectar of the Gods, tinted rich red and heated to a soothing warmth. Thrice daily, staff come by to pur actual wine into the bath and onto the bathers.
And there’s another spa that has turned water into a soak of a different genre!
If that weren’t enough, the Beer Bath is shaped like a frosty mug which is filled with warm, amber-colored water toped with hop-scented foam. In Austria, there’s a brewery that has filled an entire swimming pool with 42,000 pints of amber nectar.
So, on St Patrick’s Day, do they dye the beer green?