Company behind Tokyo’s steampunk massage parlor goes even more old-school with beautiful and relaxing innovation.

There’s something inherently relaxing about tatami, traditional Japanese reed floors. Maybe it’s their connection to a simpler era, or maybe it’s because classical Japanese design sensibilities mean less clutter and more space to stretch out.

Kyoto-based massage chain Goku no Kimochi has found a way to make them even more relaxing, though, by letting customers stretch out on tatami as their masseuses give them a relaxing head massage. The service is being called “Tada no Tatami,” which translates to “Just an Ordinary Tatami,” but as the video below shows, it’s actually anything but ordinary.

The tatami is mobile, moving about at roughly four kilometers (2.5 miles) per hour, a speed the designers say creates a relaxing sensation that’s like floating on a magic carpet.

▼ A massage recipient being taken down a leave-strewn path next to a grove of maple trees.

But with the masseuse using both hands to knead the stress out of the customers tired muscles, and the clients themselves asleep or at least incapacitated with luxurious comfort, who’s driving the tatami? No one. The tatami mat moves by itself utilizing self-driving AI technology developed by Kansai Electric Power Company.

▼ Equipped with a paper umbrella to keep the sun off its riders, the Tada no Tatami is just about most Japanese-looking self-driving convertible imaginable.

And even if the reed mat wasn’t driving itself, it’d still be more than “just a tatami.” For the project Goku no Kimochi has received donations of antique tatami mats, including ones previously used at Kyoto’s opulent and historic Heian Shrine. To restore the mats, some of which are estimated to be 200 years old, Goku no Kimochi has recruited the help of Fujii Tatami, a Kyoto tatami maker which was founded 150 years ago.

▼ The tatami donated by Heian Shrine

▼ Fujii Tatami

With self-driving cars not currently allowed on public roads in Japan, Goku no Kimochi is currently looking for partners such as theme parks, sightseeing facilities, and hot spring resorts, and is hoping to launch the Tada no Tatami service this spring. The thought of getting a massage atop a gently moving high-tech tatami after an onsen soak sounds incredibly appealing, and in the meantime we’ll have to tide ourselves over with a visit to Goku no Kimochi’s “time machine” steampunk massage parlor in Tokyo.

Sources: Goku no Kimochi via IT Media, PR Times
Featured image: YouTube/悟空のきもち動画
Top image: PR Times

Insert images: PR Times, YouTube/悟空のきもち動画, Goku no Kimochi