You don’t need to be staying overnight to enjoy this special kind of relaxing luxury.

Though communal bathing is a part of Japanese culture, many hot springs and bathhouses also allow you to rent out a private bath if you don’t want to share the tub with a group of strangers. The tradeoff, though, is that private baths, or kashikiriburo, as they’re called in Japanese, are often much smaller than the spacious general-use bathing area.

But we recently found a place that gives us the best of both worlds, right here in Tokyo.

Dormy Inn is a chain of “business hotels,” which usually means simple, no-frills accommodations for people on budget-conscious business trips. Dormy Inn, though, has a reputation for offering exceptional comfort within the class, with the relaxing Japanese-style baths at many locations being especially popular.

The Dormy Inn Express Meguro Aobadai, about a 10-minute walk from Tokyo’s Naka Meguro Station, is one such bath-boasting branch, and recently they’ve started a special offer that lets you rent out the entire bath facility. To clarify, this isn’t a tiny little kashikiriburo, but the entire common-use bath area that’s ordinarily for the simultaneous use of multiple guests.

The service is offered once a day from 1 to 2:30 p.m., in the gap between the hotel’s check-out and check-in times, and can be used by a party of up to two people, if you’re interested in bringing a bath buddy. Reservations can be made ahead of time, but walk-ins are welcome as well, if the day’s slot is yet to be claimed.

Eager to experience this luxury for himself, our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma wasted no time making a reservation, and after checking in at the hotel’s front desk, he was granted access to the hotel’s bath facility, which is called Ebisu no Yu (after Japanese folklore’s god of prosperity, Ebisu). Just inside the entrance is the changing/grooming area…

…and beyond the door set in its far wall…

…was the private bath domain that Masanuki was now lord of.

Japan takes cleanliness pretty seriously, but even by those standards, Masanuki was impressed by how freshly scrubbed the facility was, since it had been cleaned right before his private-use time slot.

Following Japanese bathing etiquette, Masanuki started by thoroughly washing and rinsing his body at one of the shower stalls. Taking a look at his options after that, he saw that his bath realm had two different tubs, one with cool water, and the other piping hot.

He started off in the cool water bath for a short dip, but before long it was on to the hot water one to soothe the aches in his muscles and fatigue in his heart from such tough assignments as dressing up in Amazon Japan’s highest-rated Japanese demon costume and making giant sushi rolls.

▼ Tough jobs, but somebody’s gotta do ‘em.

The hot bath even had blocks of fragrant wood, fashioned to look like apples, bobbing in the water to give it an extra-classy touch.

In addition to the baths, Masanuki was also happy to learn that his realm also included his own private sauna!

As mentioned above, the hotel’s plan gives you use of the bath and sauna facilities from 1 to 2:30 p.m., with the plan priced at 3,790 yen (US$33) for one person or 5,990 yen for a party of two. But because it’d be completely contrary to such luxurious relaxation to saddle you with the stress of making sure you’re back on the street at 2:30 sharp, the package also includes use of a guestroom as a relaxation space until 3:30.

▼ It’s even got a fridge with free sports drinks so you can rehydrate after your bath and sauna session.

When Masanuki’s time finally was all up, he started strolling back to the station, taking the sakura tree-lined path that runs alongside the Megurogawa River. Coincidentally, this is also the same street that the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo is located on, so Masanuki decided to stop in for one of their special stone-ground matcha lattes.

Because the only thing better than treating yourself to a reward for working so hard is to treat yourself to two.

Hotel information
Hotel Dormy Inn Express Meguro Aobadai
Address: Tokyo-to, Meguro-ku, Aobadai 3-21-8

Photos ©SoraNews24
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