Solaniwa Onsen: Everything You Need to Enjoy Osaka’s Newest Hot Spring Theme Park
Solaniwa Onsen, a gigantic hot spring theme park, took everyone by surprise when it was inaugurated in Osaka in 2019. This huge complex inspired by the aesthetics of the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573 - 1603) offers a wide range of hot spring baths, as well as shops, restaurants, live performances, and much more. This article will cover everything you need to know about Solaniwa Onsen, the newest spot in town.
What Is Solaniwa Onsen?
Inaugurated in 2019 in the neighborhood of Bentencho, Osaka, Solaniwa Onsen is the largest hot spring theme park in the Kansai region. Inspired by the Azuchi-Momoyama period of Japanese history, this gorgeous facility makes you feel as if you went back in time. Here you will find a wide array of amenities and spa services intended to relax your body and mind, such as natural hot springs, a bedrock sauna, and beauty and body care treatments. In addition, the facility also has restaurants where you can enjoy Japanese food, shops for Japanese crafts and accessories, performances that teach you about Japanese sake and that include tasting, and many other special events that truly show what Japan is all about! This brand-new spa complex has been drawing a lot of attention lately as the perfect place for a full day of relaxation. But enough of introductions. Let’s get down to business with more details about the park!
An 8-minute walk from Bentencho Station on the JR Osaka Loop Line or Osaka Metro Chuo Line.
Weekdays: General 2,400 JPY, Children 1,200 JPY
Weekends and Holidays: General 2,600 JPY, Children 1,300 JPY
Special Days: General 2,800 JPY, Children 1,600 JPY
* Free entrance for minors 4 years old and younger.
* There are special fees according to time of entrance, such as late night and early morning fees. Refer to the official homepage for more information.
* Special days refer to New Year’s holidays, Golden Week, and other dates.
Going Back in Time to Ancient Imperial Japan!
As mentioned before, everything in Solaniwa Onsen was inspired by the Azuchi-Momoyama period. This time in Japanese history was when shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi managed to unify the whole country under his rule with Osaka Castle as his stronghold. During the mere space of 30 years, the town became full of life, different cultures from various countries were introduced, and the Japanese clothing style changed dramatically by becoming more colorful. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this exciting time in Japanese history as the Golden Age of Osaka. At Solaniwa Onsen, you can go back to the glorious days of the Azuchi-Momoyama period! The complex not only reminds one of the period, but also supplies patrons with garments to wear inside the premises that are reminiscent of the epoch. There's even a costume rental service that offers you the chance to become a merchant, a samurai, or even a ninja! Take the opportunity to totally immerse yourself in one of Japan’s most remarkable periods!
Relax in the Hot Springs!
The number one attraction at Solaniwa Onsen is undoubtedly the hot springs. The water is pulled from the source 1,000m underground and has low-alkaline properties, which makes this natural hot spring smooth to the touch, just like a serum. The hot water is said to alleviate physical problems such as nerve pain, muscle aches, joint pain, bad circulation, and fatigue. Solaniwa Onsen has a wide variety of hot springs, including an outdoor bath where you can enjoy the changes of the four seasons, a bath with a magnificent view of the Japanese garden, and the Origin Bath (also known as Beauty Skin Bath), which is fed directly from the source. If you don't fancy bathing in front of strangers, the complex also offers private hot springs that you can rent to enjoy by yourself or with other people (up to 6 people). Solaniwa Onsen also has a complete line of spa services to relax you, such as beauty and body care treatments. Take the opportunity to relax your body and soul in an invigorating environment after your hot bath!
Enjoy Great Food and Japanese Sake After the Hot Spring!
After an invigorating hot bath, you should definitely try some Japanese food. At Yama-Zentei, not only do they serve delicious dishes, but they also have a carefully-selected lineup of Japanese sake. The great merchant Konoike Zen'emon, propagator of the wonders of sake throughout Japan, came back from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to manage the store, or at least that is the premise here. As mentioned, the restaurant has a great selection of sake, including “Saigen-shu,” a re-creation of a famous Japanese sake from the period in question, as well as many others which are bound to please everyone. If you’re a fan of Japanese sake, this place is for you!
With its unique approach to Japanese cuisine, Ukiyo-Tei is another restaurant you shouldn't miss. Legendary chef Tsubouchi Sekisai, the same cook in charge of the kitchen of shogun Oda Nobunaga, also came back from the Azuchi-Momoyama period to manage this shop, or at least that is the premise here. The restaurant serves food from Osaka and uses cooking methods of the historical period in question to prepare unique dishes. Ukiyo-Tei is waiting for you with delicious and creative food that you can only find here!
Don’t Miss the Live Performances!
Solaniwa Onsen has a great array of live performances and other events you shouldn’t miss! At the Jingu-bo area, where the bedrock sauna is located, Manase Dosan - one of the greatest doctors of the Azuchi-Momoyama period - and his apprentices perform a “detox fire show” where they throw flames at each other. This amazing show is performed right in front of you! Laugh your heart out, sweat, and detox your body and soul.
At the previously introduced Yama-Zentei, back-from-the-past merchant Konoike Zen'emon performs a one-man show a few times a day where he talks about sake and his love for the alcoholic beverage. Also, be sure not to miss the tasting events the restaurant organizes with carefully-selected sake. These events will certainly entertain you, no matter if you’re already a fan or only a beginner in the world of sake. Don’t miss them!
Get Yourself a Present!
You should definitely try the shops selling Japanese treats and souvenirs! At Solaniwa Confectionery, you can find plenty of sweets that make use of Japanese ingredients. The packaging is so cute that you will want to talk about it with someone! The store also has a great variety of original food gifts that you can only find in Osaka. They also offer Onsen Manju, a sweet and soft steamed bun filled with red bean paste that is a must-buy at hot springs. You can find this product in boxes of large quantities, so it makes a perfect food gift to distribute among your friends and acquaintances. Be sure to take a look around!
Benihana offers a wide range of cosmetics that use typical Japanese ingredients, such as rice bran, sake, and gold foil. Back in the days of the Azuchi-Momoyama period, Minagawa Tora was said to have opened a cosmetics shop in Kyoto. Now she is here to introduce you to products specially handpicked by her. The store also offers cute and fashionable accessories decorated with Japanese patterns that will certainly appeal to customers. If you like cherry blossoms and other Japanese themes, don’t forget to check their seasonal products, too. It is a great place to buy a souvenir to remind you of the good times at Solaniwa Onsen.
Another Must-See Highlight!
As you can see, a great array of attractions await you at Solaniwa Onsen. But if numerous hot springs, live performances, restaurants, and shops are still not enough, the complex still has one last surprise waiting for you at the rooftop. Here you can find an incredible Japanese garden with an area of approximately 3,300 sq.m. Garnished with a beautiful waterfall and pond, as well as flowers and trees that embellish the garden throughout the year, this gorgeous space offers a magnificent landscape that can only be found in Japan. Come here to relax and forget about everything else for a while. Don’t miss the special night illumination! The beautiful line of Shinto gates is simply mesmerizing! This out-of-the-ordinary garden might just be the place you were looking for to have a romantic time with your loved one.
With its wide range of amenities and historical atmosphere, this huge complex has everything you need to have a great time with your family, friends, and loved ones. Step back in time and enjoy the old days of Japan at Solaniwa Onsen!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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