Across the street from Cosmo Clock 21 in Yokohama and a stone’s throw from the Cup Noodles Museum, one would hardly expect to find a fountain of healing. And yet, Manyo Club delivers as few places can. With its combination of modern tiled, wood and stone outdoor baths as well as treatments like ganban-yoku where you lie on a therapeutic bed of polished heated stones, one soon forgets the outside world, as all of one’s worries melt away.
This establishment offers a baffling array of options for all tastes; from a variety of massages to reflexology, Amoi Oil Therapy and exfoliation. The indoor baths, segregated by gender, offer exceptional warmth; heating your being to its core, with the rising steam contained on all sides. However, it's the chill of the air meeting with the warmth of the waters with the outdoor rotemburo baths that offer the most relaxed intensity.
The rotemburo here stand out from the crowd in many ways. Located on a rooftop, overlooking Yokohama Bay, largely constructed of wood and stone, these baths treat you to both the Japan of old as well as the ultimate in modern dreaming. Of course, the ganban-yoku enraptures as it heals too; soothing music charms your mind, as the polished-stone bed rejuvenates your skin. You literally feel stripped of all concern as any troubles float away. My wife also tried the foot massage, and walked away refreshed; smiling from ear to ear.
In spite of all the healing on offer (or perhaps because of it), before every visit to Manyo Club I always look forward to its izakaya or Japanese pub. Cafeteria style, you really can seal the pleasure deal by treating yourself to some gastronomical indulgence. With cushions for seating on traditional tatami flooring, this Pleasure Island for adults serves some fantastic delectations such as highballs on tap, draft beer, fried chicken, sushi, ice cream and other culinary delights. The centre's no-cash payment system makes self-abandon effortless; a microchip inside a bracelet keeping your tab until you leave.
The icing on the cake for many overseas visitors may be the fact that you have a choice of apparel to wear during your visit to this spa. Upon admission, before entering the change rooms, you will be offered a choice of garment to wear in the areas where clothing is required. Many styles of a light summer kimono known as yukata are aimed at female customers, while the jinbei, a set of a side-tying, tube-sleeved top, and matching loose-fitting trousers, for the males.
Considering how many people dream of trying on such garments, just being able to wear them could be worth the admission price for many. In any case, the value of the baths, treatments, food and clothing make Manyo Club a great indulgence, one that my wife and I take advantage of once or twice each year.