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Do you love hot springs and spas? How about Tokyo? If so, we have good news for you! A new onsen (hot spring) spa, the largest in Tokyo, is currently under construction right here in beautiful Shinjuku! Even better, it’s set to open at the end of July.

We were so excited about this ginormous new relaxation spot, we sent a writer to check out the new spa, called Thermae-yu, to see how it’s looking these days. Along the way we learned a certain secret that’s not actually a secret, but may disappoint die-hard onsen fans.

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The official RocketNews24 headquarters/offices/secret superhero base is, in case you didn’t know, also located in Shinjuku. We won’t give you the exact address, but we will say this: The power was in you all along. More importantly, the office isn’t terribly far from the location of Thermae-yu, which is nearly ready for the public, so Yoshio, one of the dashing writers for RocketNews24 Japan, decided to go check it out.

▼ It’s not particularly exciting yet, is it?

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The future spa is close to Hanazono Shrine and located next to the Shinjuku Yuhodo Park’s Four Seasons Pathway (新宿遊歩道公園  四季の路, or “Shinjuku yuhodo koen shiki no michi” in Japanese), pictured below, giving the area a nice, lush green feel. That certainly sounds like a great place for a “natural” onsen spa! In addition to the nice location, the building has two underground floors and four above-ground floors, making it the largest in Tokyo.

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However, you’ll notice we used quotation marks with the word “natural.” Apparently, there aren’t any actual hot springs at Thermae-yu — but it turns out there will be real hot springs water at the spa!

Wait, what?

▼ Is this magic? Do they have a contract with Gandalf?

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While it’s not quite sorcery, it’s also not quite the same as a regular hot spring. It turns out water will be transported to the spa everyday from real hot springs. This sort of thing is actually pretty common with urban onsen complexes, with many of them making trumpeting the exact locations where they hot spring water comes from (Thermae-yu hasn’t officially announced where it’s sourcing its water from). Thermae-yu’s website indicates that the water will be “heated, diluted, circulated, and purified” to maintain its quality, which actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea. But it’s also not exactly what you think of when you think of onsen.

So, if you’re a die-hard onsen-lover, this might be a bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, if you just want to relax a bit in Shinjuku, this honestly sounds like a decent compromise. Entry fees and the like haven’t been announced yet, and while Thermae-yu’s main target is women, men will be allowed entry as well (the bathing areas are gender-specific). So if you’re looking to wash off after a day of shopping and karaoke in Shinjuku, this looks like it will be a great place to soak before catching the train home.

Location information
Thermae-yu / テルマー湯
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho, 1-1

Images © RocketNews24