Exploring Tokyo can be both fascinating and frenetic, so take some time to relax, rejuvenate and recover at these urban oases.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
The Mandarin Oriental's luxury spa is the complete urban spa package: decadent and personalized treatments, a variety of top-notch facilities, VIP spa suites and an eye-popping view. Plus, director Ayuko Suzuki spent 16 years studying and working abroad, so her spa provides excellent English support and caters to Western expectations for a wellness facility. That's probably why it's the only spa in Japan to get a five-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide.
The staff provide a consultation to help guests choose the best treatment for their individual needs, but if you are looking for a particularly Japanese experience, you might try their three-hour Sakura Ritual, which includes a foot bath, moisturizing azuki bean scrub and full-body kiatsu massage. Then be sure to enjoy their vitality pool, amethyst crystal steam room, sky view sauna and rain showers before you venture back into the hustle and bustle of town.
Photo courtesy of the Aman Hotel
Aman Spa offers a soothing escape with a very Japanese aesthetic created by light wood, grey stone and the juxtaposition of sharp angles and smooth curves. Several of the treatment rooms also have traditional soaking baths and steam rooms. Beyond the usual massages and facials, you can get treatments drawing on ancient kampo medicine and seasonal ingredients. Those not staying at the hotel can opt for the full-day Aman Wellness Program to get a private 60-minute yoga or Pilates lesson, a 90-minute massage or facial and a macrobiotic lunch, along with access to the gorgeous heated indoor pool and fitness centre.
CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La
Photo courtesy of the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo
The name of the spa comes from the Chinese idea of ch'i, the life force that flows through our bodies, and their treatments are correspondingly focused on movement of the body and mind to restore balance. In the soothing deep earthy tones of their six quiet treatment rooms, four of which have private baths and steam saunas, guests can enjoy signature treatments that draw on Asian ingredients and techniques to restore chi health. There is also a large selection of massage styles and body wraps to choose from. We recommend the salt and rice bran scrub to leave your skin smooth and revitalised.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Fitness
Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Fitness
From a brand synonymous with luxury comes a soothing day spa with cedar wood dry sauna, coral stone steam sauna, nine treatment rooms, one spa suite and luxurious hot tubs with a view. In collaboration with ESPA, the Ritz-Carlton Spa & Fitness offers a full range of facials, body treatments and massages incorporating the luxury skincare company's highly effective products, including the exclusive Energizing Bakuhan Stone Reviver treatment, which uses Japanese bakuhan stones to massage and exfoliate. Or for a romantic treat, book one of their couple's treatments in the private suite.
Mars the Salon
Photo courtesy of Mars the Salon
If you are looking for something a little more intimate than a grand hotel spa or have less time to spare, try Mars the Salon in the upscale neighborhood of Minami Aoyama. This cozy blonde day spa offers a full menu of spa treatments beginning from 30 minutes, including Rolf Method treatments and holistic healing therapies like deep shiatsu. They also have a full-service nail salon for men and women.