Best Solo Travel in 2021
The Solo Travel Handbook
The Solo Female Travel Book: Tips and Inspiration for Women Who Want to See the World on Their Own Terms
Solo Travel: Try It At Least Once (Diary of a Traveling Black Woman: A Guide to International Travel)
Sola: One Woman's Journey Alone Across South America
Bali: The Solo Girl's Travel Guide
Destination Earth: A New Philosophy of Travel by a World-Traveler
Travel the World Without Worries: An Inspirational Guide to Budget and Adventure Travel (3rd Edition)
I Am Another You
There She Goes: A Guide to Solo Female Travel: How to Stay Safe, Sane and Solvent on the Road
Joyful Traveling: A How-To Guide for Backpacking and/or Solo Traveling Abroad
Spa World Osaka: No. 2 Most Fun Thing to Do Naked in Osaka
South Osaka's Spa World is a colossal public bath house offering entertainment and relaxation for families, solo travelers or anyone longing to be so relaxed they can barely walk home.
Western travelers, and North Americans in particular, aren't used to shucking their clothes and walking around in public naked - but that's exactly what expected of visitors to Spa World on the bathing floors. Communal bathing is very normal in Japan and while it might feel very strange to the visitor, it's definitely a unique experience. The Japanese are typically a very private people and travelers can expect nothing more than a few glances - not because of being naked, but because of being foreign! The age range of Spa World visitors goes all the way from toddler to clusters of grannies taking in the health benefits of the spa's offerings.
Arriving at Spa World can be a bit intimidating because very few of the signs and literature are in English, but the Spa World staff does its best to help even without a common language. The routine goes something like this - upon entering the lobby, purchase a ticket from the vending machines at the right. Typically entry fees for Spa World are somewhere between 2700 and 3000 yen, but there are often specials offered that bring the price down to 1000 yen or less, especially if you print off a coupon from Spa World's website. After purchasing the ticket, head through the main line to receive your bracelet - this is how everything within Spa World is paid for, convenient given the lack of pockets when all one is wearing is a smile. Head over to the large room of lockers on the left and store your shoes, then head up to the designated floor for your gender.
Large locker rooms are available with towels, cotton yukata-style bathrobes, drink vending machines and plenty of space to change. Typically next to the locker room is a large room full of reclining chairs, perfect for taking a nap - Spa World even supplies blankets to keep guests toasty warm.
It's normal to wear the bathrobes around Spa World's locker rooms and nap areas, but once past the locker area towards the baths it's time to go naked. A hand towel is provided which some people choose to hold in front of themselves; others wear them like hats, which keeps them from getting soaked while in the baths.
Both the European Zone and the Asian Zone have a wide variety of pools to bathe in, with a range of temperatures from ice cold through tepid to boil-a-lobster hot. There are also dry saunas, steam saunas, jacuzzi baths, salt scrub saunas, herbal mud baths, and even a snack area to have a drink while lounging. The third floor of Spa World also has a collection of reasonably-priced restaurants available.
Although Spa World might seem intimidating to visitors to Japan, it's a relaxing way to spend a few hours during a busy travel schedule, particularly after a lot of walking around sightseeing. Spa World is fun and a great introduction to the idea of onsens, albeit not a traditional one. After visiting Spa World it won't be difficult at all to try a more old-fashioned onsen hot spring in Kyoto or Nara. Spa World is located in the south of Osaka, 5 minutes from the Dobutsuen-mae Subway Station on the Midosuji line, or 5 minutes from the Shin-Imamiya train station on the JR or Nankai lines.