The New Year has come and what more to celebrate the New Year in Japan with… Onsen!! It took a while for me to find out what to do on New Year’s Day since everything was closed, but considering that I definitely wanted to ‘cleanse’ myself and relax for the New Year, I dedicated some time to trying to find an onsen that was open on New Year’s day. Eventually, the effort paid off and I did find one onsen that looked promising and was so close by that I just had to spend my New Year’s day relaxing there: テルマー湯 or Thermae-Yu in Shinjuku!
Thermae-Yu is located in Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku. Don’t let the name “Kabuki-cho” fool you though. Yes, Kabuchi-ko is known as the ‘red light district’ with a fair share of sketchy places, bars, etc., but to give it some credit, it also contains some of the most luxurious hotels, restaurants, and more. Thermae-Yu Onsen, in its own light, is definitely an onsen that will give you that amazing, luxurious bathing experience.
Highlights about Thermae-Yu
As mentioned earlier, is located directly in the city in Shinjuku! If you use Google Maps (or maybe even ask around), it should be an easy find. It’s also a place that you definitely can’t miss, since it’s a big building with an ornate exterior.
- JR Yamanote Line, Shinjuku Station (East Exit)
- Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Shinjuku-san chome Station (E1 Exit)
Thermae-Yu caters to English speakers! You don’t have to worry about not knowing how to onsen, or how the lockers work, or what’s available. Most, if not all menus, have a decent English translation. Front desk staff are also able to speak basic English, so feel free to ask them anything you’re not sure about!
Thermae-Yu is actually the only onsen I know of that keeps its doors open until 9:00AM. Yup, you heard me. Thermae-Yu’s operating hours are from 11:00AM to 9:00AM the following day. If you suddenly feel like luxuriously bathing at three in the morning, this is the place to go! I guess the only down side that that if you stay and/or enter past 1AM, there’s ‘late-night usage’ charge of 1,836 yen on top of the initial price (mentioned below).
While there are, of course, cheaper and more affordable onsen than Thermae-Yu, I definitely think it’s worth its price. For its facilities and amenities, Thermae-Yu charges a set price of 2,364 yen for adults. It doesn’t matter how long you stay, or how many baths you take, you still pay 2,364 yen.
There are a variety of baths, and I’m glad to say that I was able to try all of them while I was there! There’s the lounging bath, silk bath, white bath, reclining bath, jet bath, cold bath, and even an outdoor bath!
For an extra fee of 810 yen, you can experience the “Healing Terra”, which includes healing processes for both men and women. For men, there’s rock salt healing and germanium healing. For women, there’s rock salt healing, aroma healing, and ocher healing.
The Healing Terra is open from noon to midnight, and after midnight is open free of charge and used as a resting are for both men and women.
For more information, you can check out their website here!
And there you have it folks! Onsen in the city? Thermae-Yu is the place!