I have been coming back to Japan for as long as I can remember. But I have never been to the Tsukiji Fish Market and Tuna auction. After the relocation of Tsukiji’s inner market to Toyosu, I just had to go this time.
For one, you need to wake up too damn early. And our place is not exactly near. With train stations opening at roughly 6 AM, It’s virtually impossible to commute and arrive by 5:30 AM. (Update: They now offer earlier train schedules!! Thank you Japan! Check Google Map schedules for Shijo-Mae station.)
The only option? Book a hotel room near the market grounds. The cheapest one I saw is a capsule hotel (Tokyo Ariake Hotel) at around roughly 3800 yen (1900 PHP).
I was ready to book this. But I wonder, why don’t I just sleep in Oedo Onsen Monogatari?! It’s more or less the same price. And I get to relax while waiting! Game for another adventure?
How to Get There?
If you want to go straight to the Oedo Onsen, just ride the train going to “Telecom station“. This Onsen theme park is just a few minutes walk from there.
But I suggest to not go there directly. In my opinion, the best place to go first is in Odaiba. Odaiba has so much to offer, you would probably want to visit and play there first.
I mean. Just look at how much I enjoyed taking photos of its neon lights:
Or this amazing fountain in Venus Fort:
Or this life-size Gundam:
Anyway, after your exhausted frolicking selves, just find this sign near Venus Fort. The bus would take you straight to Oedo Onsen for free! Look for this bus sign:
Adult: 2,720 Yen Weekdays, 2,936 Yen Weekends, 3,044 Special Days
Children: 1,058 Yen
Evening Discount: 2,180 Yen Weekdays, 2,396 Yen Weekends, 2,504 Special Days (Entrance after 6 PM)
Late Night Premium: 2,160 Yen additional charge if you are staying beyond 2:00 AM
It already includes the Bath Fee, Yukata Fee, and Towel Fee. You don’t need to bring anything else but yourself!
You can also show this discount voucher (only available for foreigners) for a maximum of 788 yen discount. It’s only up to March 31, 2019, though. I will update you if there are other discounts available in the future.
What to Do?
There are many onsens around Japan. But what sets Oedo Onsen Monogatari apart is that Japanese Edo-era experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else.
If you always dreamed of wearing a Kimono, this is your lucky day. The first step is to get a Kimono as you walk down this festive place. You just need to get your Yukata in this area:
Choices for Women:
Choices for Men:
The inside looks like a Japanese festival straight from an anime. Look at this high five guy!
And all the people in their yukatas.
Also, there are fortune tellers. Multiple gaming areas. Japanese souvenir shops and countless Japan food stores. You can even get the potentially dangerous “Fugu sashimi” here! In my experience, you feel a tingling sensation in every bite. It’s like your lips and tongue are numbing. Worth to try at least once in your life.
The prices are quite high though. But not super expensive to break your bank. Look, I got this seafood yakisoba.
Not bad for 800 yen.
Outside Foot Bath Area
In the outside areas, you can also experience a footbath. There are pointy rocks when you walk within the pool. Pretty much like acupuncture. It hurts but makes you feel good after.
And it even looks hellishly good at night. Literally.
Now for the highlight. The Onsen experience is quite relaxing. There are multiple baths ranging from Open Air Baths, Sodium Chloride Baths, Mist Saunas, and more.
The water is pumped directly from an underground spring, which will give you health benefits such as better skin and improved blood circulation. I stayed for almost 2 hours here. Some can go as long as 4 hours. It depends on you.
But for the first timers, you might not be aware of what to do. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
You Have to be Completely Naked (But You Can Use a Small Towel to Cover)
I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or tease, but I can’t really show the actual pictures here. It’s obviously not allowed to take pictures inside. Because in Japan’s onsen, you have to be completely naked to bathe. Yes, naked. As in not wearing anything at all.
This might be uncomfortable, especially if your seeing strangers in their birthday suit. But if it would really help, they actually don’t care. Just mind your own business. You will also be given a small towel you can use to cover just in case.
Shower Before You Bathe
The Japanese are known for their cleanliness. And having been outside (although Japan is relatively clean), you need to bathe first so that you won’t contaminate the pools with your dirty selves.
If you have a tattoo anywhere in your body, you aren’t allowed to bathe in most Onsens. Tattoos are highly stigmatized in Japan because of their association with Yakuza members. I know. You just have that chibi heart tattoo. But still it’s not allowed.
Although quite unfair, you will be kicked out of the establishment when found out to have one. And with no refund at that.
The Pools are Just for Soaking
If you love the water and would like to swim laps, this is not the place for you. The pools are just for soaking and relaxing. So keep your human fins from flipping too much.
Keep Your Hair Under Control
If you have long hair, it’s best to bring a hairband or towel to keep it from the water. You don’t want soak on other people’s floating hair. So it’s just a sign of respect. to the other users.
It’s Time to Sleep
So far that’s it! After my soaking, I went straight up the Yasumi-Dokoro area. Photos are not allowed inside but this is how it looks like:
It’s pretty much like business class seats on an airline. You get your own personal TV (which I didn’t use because I don’t understand Nihonggo), a pillow, and a blanket.
Take note. Some uncles and aunties might snore that can rival a high Richter scale reading. Solution? You can just buy earplugs for just 100 yen in Daiso. Not a total waste. You can use it in your travels. This little thing has saved me countless of sleeping time in hostels and in transit. Worth the 100 Yen investment.
Back to the sleeping area. Honestly, it’s quite comfy for something that’s free of charge. I feel like I made a good decision before heading to Toyosu’s Tuna Auction the next day. Anyway, this is the end of the post. See you on my next adventure.