Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari’s tale will soon come to a tearful conclusion.

Since its opening in 2003, Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari has been pretty much the best place in Tokyo to experience Japan’s hot spring culture. Conveniently located in the downtown Odaiba district, the facility has 13 different baths, both indoors and out, some with natural hot spring water pumped up from a depth of 1,4000 meters (4,593 feet). There’s also a gigantic outdoor foot bath garden, and they even provide free yukata (light kimono) rentals for all guests.

It’s also offers a great opportunity to get a feel for traditional Japanese festivals. Every day is like a party in the building’s spacious common area, which features carnival games and food stalls that are nostalgic for locals and novel for newcomers from abroad.

But sadly, soon it’s all coming to an end. The Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari management has announced that the facility will be shutting its doors for good this fall, ending its 18-year-run as a one-stop spot for its multiple cultural experiences.

With the ongoing pandemic, the Japanese travel and leisure sector is going through its worst slump of the modern era, and Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari’s proximity to both downtown hotels and Haneda Airport made it especially popular with foreign tourists. However, it turns out the reason Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari is shutting down isn’t coronavirus woes, but lamentable lease regulations.

According to the management, Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari’s lease will be up at the end of the year. However, even if they were to renew it, under the Act on Land and Building Leases, the total length of its land lease can not exceed 20 years total. In other words, even if they were able to negotiate an extension, they’d still have to shut down in 2023.

The statement says that Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari tried to find some sort of workaround, but was ultimately unable to, and since it has to return the land to vacant lot stats by the time its lease ends, they’ll have to cease operations in September in order to begin demolishing the building and removing its debris.

It’s a sad turn of events for a facility that attracted roughly one million visitors a year, especially with its outdoor foot bath garden, as shown in the video above, having just been renovated in 2019. “There are no words that can properly convey our deep appreciation to our customers, business partners, and everyone else who has supported us,” Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari’s statement says, and the last chance to stop by for one last soak will be September 5.

Source: Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Top image: Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Insert images: Odaiba Oedo Onsen Monogatari (1, 2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s still sad he never got the chance to go to Odaiba’s Neo Geo World.