Solaniwa Onsen – A HOT-SPRING THEME PARK? I think I’ve found a brand new reason to love Osaka even more. The world’s biggest hot-spring theme park, Solaniwa Onsen (spanning more than 16,500 square metres!) is the latest attraction to open in Osaka!
Solaniwa Onsen, the world’s biggest hot-spring theme park
I got an opportunity to have a sneak preview of the spanking new Solaniwa Onsen at Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower, and I am IN. LOVE. Forget about the traditional old-fashioned onsens of former times. Solaniwa Onsen is one fantastically modern onsen experience you don’t want to miss in Osaka!
I LOVE onsens. And Solaniwa Onsen has one-upped every other onsen I have ever visited in Japan, thanks to its combination of traditional Japanese concepts, together with modern technology and facilities!
This modern onsen experience starts with the visitor being issued an electronic keycard that you can secure to your wrist. The keycard doesn’t just allow you access into the facilities, you can even make purchases by scanning it (at the restaurant/gift shops etc)! Your bill will then be tabulated at the end of your visit to Solaniwa Onsen.
First, Pick a Colourful Yukata
I have to admit, I have worn some seriously ugly (usually hotel-provided) yukatas in my days, but the pretty and colourful yukatas at Solaniwa Onsen are definitely the most photogenic yukatas I’ve ever donned!
If you’d like to be special, you can even pay extra to rent a costume yukata and cosplay as a ninja or a princess 😛
PS. Don’t be fooled by how the yukatas look, they are actually modern 2-piece yukatas with an inner long dress (smocked at the chest) that’s layered with a kimono-style wrap top, before being secured at the waist with a colourful obi belt of your choice!
Then, Start Taking Pictures!
The interior of Solaniwa Onsen is designed to look like a 16th-century Japanese town and is so very picturesque!
Benten Street is the main street in the food/store area, with a traditional Japanese wooden arched bridge, the perfect photo spot.
As you probably know, onsens are typically “strictly no-photography” zones, but I’m glad the creators of Solaniwa Onsen know how much we visitors enjoy taking pictures to remember our vacations by!
Solaniwa Onsen is so social media-savvy that with an upload of a picture hashtagged #SolaniwaOnsen on Instagram or Facebook, a little machine instantly prints out a photo card that you can bring home for free. How cool is that?!
You can also get a professionally-taken picture with props like traditional paper umbrellas and Japanese masks, which will be printed out for you at a small fee. (Oh, the fee includes a soft-copy as well – Just by scanning a QR code that directs you to a download page! Nice.)
Next, Soak in the Hot-Spring Baths & Visit the Rooftop Garden
When you’ve had enough fun snapping photos around the photo-worthy interiors, it’s time to join in the age-old Japanese tradition of onsen. Head to the hot-spring bath areas to soak and relax! I didn’t snap much pictures of the hot-spring baths because obviously there were already a lot of unclothed ladies walking about, HAHA.
I wasn’t disappointed at all, the hot-spring bath areas and the outdoor rooftop garden are as stunning as the rest of Solaniwa Onsen.
Look at that beautifully landscaped outdoor garden! The garden features a pond and waterfall, and is filled with seasonal blossoms. Such a gorgeous sight to behold.
I didn’t get to take a dip, by the way. We were strapped for time, unfortunately. Quite sad about that 🙁 Hopefully, I’ll be back very soon!
Afterwards, Doll Up in the Most Luxurious Powder Room Ever
I literally walked into the ladies powder room and stopped in awe because this has got to be the PRETTIEST powder room I’ve ever seen!
I adore how the seats are discreetly separated with beautiful Japanese washi wallpaper, each in a bold and colourful print! Only top-grade Japanese products are provided for the ladies to use on their skin and hair. Such lovely attention to detail and thoughtfulness!
Bring home some souvenirs from General store Benten-do
After all the relaxation and fun, you can do a spot of shopping at the Benten-do (General Store) which carries an entire range of original goods to Japanese traditional crafts. I really wanted to purchase those adorable kitty cat tea bags!
There is much much more to explore at Solaniwa Onsen, including a facial & massage spa, restaurants and relaxation areas within its 16,500 square metres that I’m sure that I could spend an entire day in!
I hope my review of Solaniwa Onsen has convinced you to pay a visit and take a dip soon 😀
Book tickets for Solaniwa Onsen
Check out Solaniwa Onsen’s official website (it’s in English too!) to take a look at this incredible place, and you can also book via this link here! Admission tickets are very affordable and won’t burn a hole in your pocket 😉
Also, I was amazed to find out that you can even stay overnight at Solaniwa Onsen at a small fee (about 2000 yen, I think?) It’s even cheaper than a capsule hotel and so much more worth it!
Solaniwa Onsen officially opens on 6 March 2019.
Use promo code “SOL10” for 10% discount off your booking!
Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower
Solaniwa Onsen is actually an extension of Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower, where I stayed for two nights. My stay here was great! The hotel is located right outside Bentencho Station, a fantastic location because it’s near everywhere else in Osaka. A train ride to Universal Studios Japan or Dotonbori takes only less than 30 minutes!
I loved how spacious and clean my room was. There was a superb view of Osaka Bay from my hotel window too!
The hotel also boasts of some award-winning restaurants that serve good Japanese fare at reasonable prices.
For the travellers who want a taste of authentic top-grade Kobe beef without travelling far, Ruri Teppanyaki Restaurant has got very value-for-money dinner sets!
I was impressed by all the different types of rooms available at Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower! They even have themed rooms and kid-friendly rooms. Suitable for every kind of traveller.
These are only a few of the different unique room options Art Hotel Osaka Bay Hotel has to offer. Many of the rooms are newly renovated, which is a huge plus point for me.
The breakfast options are also fantastic at Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower! You can have buffet breakfast with a view at the Sky Buffet 51, or enjoy an ala carte breakfast with a smaller selection at Café & Brasserie O10 on the 2nd floor, which is what I did.
Book Art Hotel Osaka Bay Tower
Use promo code “KKDAY2018" for 5% discount off your booking!
GET 10% OFF KKDAY BOOKINGS FROM MAR-JULY 2019!
Use promo code "MYSTAYS10" for 10% off Osaka experiences and attractions!
Available for the following dates:
Booking Period: February 22, 2019 to April 15, 2019.
Travel Period: February 22, 2019 to July 31, 2019.
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*This media trip was sponsored by KKday, a travel experience e-commerce platform that connects travelers with authentic local tours & activities.
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