Last weekend we visited one of the most famous spas in Stockholm – Yasuragi. Everybody here knows the place and it indeed feels like most people have been there. In fact, my colleagues had given us a gift card there as a wedding gift and it was now time to use it. What better time to enjoy hot springs and a feeling of Japan than February? (Well, in other parts of the world February might be nice, in Sweden, it’s just a very tiring month).
Our Stay at Yasuragi
Yasuragi is a spa hotel and there are many packages to choose from. We wanted to spend the night there and really pamper ourselves. Check-in started at 4 pm so we decided to leave work early, have a nice Friday lunch together and take a walk on Södermalm. Our overnight package also included dinner at one of the restaurants and breakfast. All visitors receive a yukata – a cotton robe – decorated with the Japanese signs “good luck and happiness” and “true joy”. Everybody at the spa wears the same kind of robe and at times (like at dinner) it did feel quite funny that all people looked the same.
In the evening we enjoyed our dinner at one of the restaurants. Four courses later we were more than happy with our Friday. One of the best things about Yasuragi is its location – the spa lies next to the sea, in the middle of the forest. From our Japan-inspired room, we had a view over the sea from our big window. In the morning we were woken up naturally, by the rising sun, and we felt so energized. Jesper took another swim while I took the chance to read my book under the warm covers.
I’m one of those people who love a good breakfast. And to be completely honest, I had one of my best breakfast experiences at Yasuragi. Dinner was nothing compared to all the fresh fruit, the bread, the pancakes, the smoothies, the yogurts… A good breakfast really sets the tone for the day!
Activities at Yasuragi
After checking in, we attended a short introduction course about the bathing rituals in Japan. After that Jesper took a long swim in the normal pool, while I spent some time relaxing in one of the hot pools. Yasuragi does not always allow kids. However, as our visit took place during school holidays, there were plenty of children visiting the spa. I understand that parents want to take their children there, but I think it negatively affected the feeling of zen and calmness.
As in most spas, one can buy additional treatments at Yasuragi. We did not want any, instead, we were happy with the pools and saunas. I also attended a mindfulness session, which was a very positive experience. Mindfulness is something I’d like to explore further! There were other activities as well – such as zen meditation and sauna yoga – which I might try again if I ever return to Yasuragi.
At Yasuragi there is also a lovely Japanese garden among all the pine trees. We took a quick walk in it after checking out. There were no other people (maybe they were not brave enough to try the icy paths in the forest?), so we could definitely enjoy the silence!
Going to Yasuragi
As I already mentioned, Yasuragi lies in the forest, by the sea. This means that it is a bit tricky to get there if you don’t have a car. We took one bus from Södermalm to Orminge Centrum. From there we caught another bus – that only runs every 30 minutes. Getting back to town on Saturday was even more difficult, as the bus from Yasuragi only runs every hour. We ended up walking to Orminge. Fortunately, it was a sunny day!