My Review of Yunomori Onsen & Spa
Yunomori first piqued my curiosity when I found out that it was the first Japanese onsen for the public and visitors were supposed to get all but suited up in their birthday suit. I was quite interested to find out how willing were Singaporean women to get nakers. In public. Even in an all-female environment I thought it might not be well-received by conservative Singaporean ladies who are more apprehensive about the idea then their other Korean and Japanese counterparts. I thought about all the Singaporean ladies in my life and how most have balked at the outrageous suggestion. ‘Won’t it be embarrassing?’ ‘What if you see someone familiar??’ ‘Are you crazy?’ ‘What? Free show for all?’ These were some responses that I got and I had to walk away with my tail between my legs. I stepped into Yunomori with the mindset that brave souls who would venture in would most likely request for the disposable underwear and tube top provided.
No stranger to the nude in public places, though only in saunas or jimjilbangs such as the Dragon Hill Spa in Seoul and the public bath toilets by the beach at the Boryeong Mud Festival in Korea, I was still a little antsy about being in my birthday suit. I had done enough research to know that there was no need to be buck naked at Yunomori. As the first Japanese onsen and spa in Singapore, customers are provided with disposable underwear. Having found no in-depth description of the underwear and the onsen place on the net, here I am writing one.
I traveled across the island to Kallang, a place where I believe I have only ever visited a grand total of 4 times in my life. Upon entering Kallang Wave Mall, I was enticed by the discounts at Forever 21’s shop front. My initial plan of action was to reach Yunomori as soon as I could to beat the ‘peak period’ of 7pm onwards and to you know, avoid as many people as possible in my almost-birthday-suit. However, I was distracted by the Forever 21 deals and thereafter H&M… so after much window-shopping, I finally made my way to Yunomori.
It was easy to locate the outlet as the signs overhead provides clear directions to it.
At the outlet, the neat rows of pristine white shoe lockers first caught my attention. I had my eyes peeled because it was my virgin experience there and I did not want to be laughed at. There was a sign at the entrance that requested customers to remove their shoes before entering. I thought I only had to remove mine at the door without the need to lock them, but I had already seen the shoe lockers so duh woman lock them in . So I chose a shoe locker with a number that I would easily remember (I chose 180 cause that’s the bus I took to and fro NTU for 4 years). With the key in hand, I went to the counter to make payment $38..after gst it was $40 with the fervent determination of staying at Yunomori for 2 hours AT LEAST to milk my money’s worth. The interiors exuded a soothing zen vibe, with soft lighting and strong elements of wood and nature in the decor. I exchanged my shoe locker key for the electronic, waterproof springy bracelet for my clothing locker before making my way to to the main area. The female section will be on your left and the men’s to the right.
(Images from Yunomori’s website: http://www.yunomorionsen.com/2015/sg/gallery.php)
Upon entering the female section, there be another counter for you to ‘check in’ and to be briefed. Personally, I thought the briefing was too fast. There was a slew of instructions given but these instructions were similar to what you can find online, mostly ‘reviews’ from the Yunomori official launch.
I was allowed to pick a cotton yukata of my choice from a wooden woven basket of rolled-up yukatas. Basically, wear the yukata only when you want to leave the bath area and into the dining and rest areas. Other than that, you have to go buck naked inside the pools OR wear the disposable underwears (black tube and panties) that are offered when you collect your yukata.
I cannot wait to talk about the underwear but first I have to finish talking about the next few steps because I am long-winded like that.
After collecting all your items, proceed to your assigned clothes locker which will correspond to your wristband number. Open your locker with your wristband by tapping it against the locker knob. Then, strip, store and stride.
Strip your clothes
Store them in the locker.
Stride to the pool area behind two sliding doors.
Upon arrival of this sacred feminine place, first and foremost do not gawk. Proceed calmly to the bath area where there will be a row of shower heads with stools for ladies to sit while taking a bath. I felt like a lazy ass, for a lack of a better word, for sitting instead of standing but there is actually a good sense of logic behind. (hahah behind get it? Ok moving on…)
Anyway, sitting down while bathing prevents your bathwater from splashing onto your neighbor. Tres polite this way.
In the next post, I will be reviewing my experience at the different pools, sauna and the post-onsen experience~