Time For Your Sand Bath

Forget the bubbles and the aromatherapy oil – there’s nothing like a nice hot sand bath to put you back in fighting form! Like the sign says, “It feels really great when the heat penetrates to every corner of your body and you sweat a lot.” Southern Kyushu is famous for sunaburo, where hot springs seep up into beach sand and heat it to sauna-like sweatitude, but apparently there are also a lot of these tucked into Tokyo neighborhoods.

To take a sand bath, you put on a cotton yukata and lie down in the grave-like hole two burly guys have thoughtfully dug for you. Try not to think of being buried alive as they shovel the sand back onto every part of you but your head. Now you resemble a narrow pitcher’s mound. Let the sweating begin! They come back to dig you out after 10-15 minutes, which is plenty of time to turn you into a piece of overcooked vermicelli.

This sunaburo is at a public bath on Koshinzuka Street in Sugamo. If you’d like to visit Koshinzuka Street the next time you’re in Tokyo, visit my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

 The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

2 thoughts on “Time For Your Sand Bath

    1. The sand is really really hot, so I think it pretty much fries any bacteria and such that might want to take up residence. I seriously worried about the squick factor when I went to the mud baths in Calistoga, but it never crosses my mind when I go to sunaburo here. Somehow Japanese sand baths seem really clean.

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