CONTRIBUTED BY MONETTE EAMES
I may have found my “Heaven on Earth” in the Camp McTureous/Courtney area amidst the cow farms, cabbage patches, and goya fields. There are some who never venture out this way, but this may be a reason to. I went to Essence today for a much needed massage.
I have been to many massages in my semi-long lifetime. This massage, however was different. I was in total euphoria. In fact after the massage, I got up and felt a bit dizzy. The massage really took me away! I don’t know what it was.
Was it the body oil selections? Or maybe they were magical potions. After all, the choices were: Happy, Sleeping, Beauty, and Refresh. I decided I did not need Happy, because I had guests watching my boys for an hour-and-a-half. Sleeping, nope. Didn’t need that one, because I had been sleeping in every morning since we had our Japanese Spring Break the past week. Then there was Beauty, but that really comes from within.
Last, I picked up the potion called Refresh and took a whiff. That’s exactly what I needed — especially after our eight hour staff meeting the day before.
And if it wasn’t the potions, maybe it was the Hawaiian music that was softly playing complemented by birds chirping outside. Hmm… maybe it was the disposable underwear? Whatever it was, I can’t wait for my next massage. Maybe, next time, I’ll do the pedicure, manicure, and hot stones.
Drop whatever you’re doing and head on over to the Camp McTureous/Courtney side of Okinawa. You won’t be sorry.
Directions: From Camp McTureous, turn right; take a left at the Lawson’s light and drive 0.8 km. You will pass J Park Pachinko and the car lot. Family Mart will be on your left and Essence will be on your right.
Hours: 10:00- 19:00 Monday-Saturday, Closed Sunday
Payment: They accept Yen and US dollars. No credit cards.
Menu: Click image for larger view with prices
I have been to Essence many times since it opened. Services, I have received are a facial, eyebrow waxing, manicure and pedicure. The ladies who work there are very nice, but their skill set is just average, about what you would get at the BX salon. I continue to go because I prefer the atmosphere to that of the BX but as nice as the ladies are, they could definitely afford to step up their game.
Next time you get either a mani or pedi, ask for Kako. She is amazing! I bring her crazy pictures, and she does a brilliant toe art every single time (and the massage with the pedi is a-maz-ing!). My shellac is always perfect and lasts forever. Also, there is a new esthetician. If you are looking for Mari, she is at Moana Eyelash Extensions on FB.
I am aware of the changes that have occurred at Essence as I have been a customer since the salon opened. I have received services from all of the ladies and have yet to receive an “amazing” experience. The salon is relaxing and calm and the customer service is good, but in my opinion the services and the massage are similar to what I receive at the BX and not as good as what I get when I go to Cocoks.
It is so hard to book an appointment with them because they never answer their phone! You kind of just have to call randomly and pray that someone answers. I’ve gotten eyelash extensions there, after 2 weeks, they start falling out and taking your real lashes down with them.
your natural eyelashes actually fall out on their own and take the extensions with them 🙂 Your lashes have a growth cycle just like all the hair on your body!
@lynette, because the woman (I assume she owns the cafe) followed me down to the salon with my license plate written on her hand. She didn’t speak English, but I could tell she was not happy. She motioned for me to move or leave. I said “gomenasai” (I’m sorry), and she said, “psh”.
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, park in the Moove Cafe behind Essence.
does anyone know if they do eyebrows good? i’m really nervous about my eyebrows being screwed up. i have full eyebrows (not thin at all) and really hope they don’t mess that up.
I just got back from getting a pedicure with my 4 year old daughter. I am a usual attender at Cocok’s, but I recieved a gift certificate for my birthday. When you first walk in, it smells so wonderful that I quickly go into “relaxing mode”. I love that its very intimate and personal, but those were the only major selling points. It was a great pedicure, but I would definitely chose Cocok’s over Essence (although I live closer to Essence). The massage wasn’t very long and the nail art to choose from was very cheesy. I had to look over the book three times before I decided to just settle. I had the same problem with the foot stool as the previous posts above I couldn’t relax my legs or else the foot stool would slide into the lady! My pedicure was done in about 50 minutes, while Cocok’s last from an hour and a half to two hours. It was terrible, but I feel Cocok’s does a better job! BTW, they don’t off any birthday discounts (I asked today).
Cara, I completely agree with you- nail art? Really? That is beyond tacky and trashy. Amy- you sound like a typical disgruntled, hard-to-please, bitter customer. Children screaming in the lobby is NOT the salon’s fault, perhaps you should’ve taken it up with their mothers. Who complains about a footrest anyway? Wow. Cheer up, buttercup.
Ummm.. Amy I find it very difficult to believe all of this happened at Essence?! There really is no lobby per se, and I go every week either for a massage , pedicure, and manicure and the reason I like it is because there is never anyone else there? They have OPI polish? I don’t do all the crazy designs always thought they were a little tasteless anyway?! So could not tell you if they use paint or whatever. I do know they take their time, never had to deal with children…. in fact I don’t remember a child being there ever…. Just sounds really strange that everyone else loves it!!
Sorry, my previous post posted before I was done writing… so to continue… We both thought that was AWESOME and we absolutely loved our massages! And Secret Garden’s prices were cheaper than any other place here on The Rock! You can check them out online at http://www.aromatherapyokinawa.com, but their website doesn’t compare to actually getting their massages! Secret Garden is definitely our favorite place to relax!
My husband and I wanted to get massages but were having a difficult time finding a place that could do them at the same time–our time is very valuable. We have 3 young children that need a babysitter when we are out so we try to get out a couple times a month to have a relaxing time enjoying each other, but not be gone for long periods of time–good babysitters are hard to find and, therefore, not cheap here. Long story short, a friend told us to go to Secret Garden Aromatherapy Salon. We made an appointment and, not only did we get our massages at the same time, but IN THE SAME ROOM AT THE SAME TIME!!
We aren’t on Okiniwa yet (hopefully will be right before Halloween), but we have heard that if it’s a local establishment, tipping isn’t really done… But when on post, tip as usual… I really wish we knew why- hubby is cool with it, but I consider it rude not to tip…
Went to Essence for the first time for a pedi w/art. Was not impressed. At first glance, there were four kids in the lobby screaming and falling all over each other. Also, the nail designs I was given to choose from were sloppy. Normally at other salons it’s hard to choose because of so many great designs to choose from, but here, it was the opposite problem. The pedicurist did not give a good massage (very light, not much pressure) and had very long nails that scratched me from time to time. I had to ask her to refile a nail to smooth an obvious rough edge, and I also had to ask them to paint certain parts of the nail that were missed. The foot rests are such that you can’t put your full weight against them, so I ended up tensing my legs the entire pedicure and was never relaxed. Also, they brought out the craft paint to do my nail art which I personally don’t like (prefer it all done with polish). The nail polish they used was a drug store brand that I could pick up for a few bucks at CVS at home. While pretty reasonably priced, overall, I was not impressed and won’t be going back.
This is my absolute favorite place to get a pedicure. I get the spa pedicure and it is amazing. The prices are awesome and they do great nail art.
Anyone had a pedi here?? How was it? Is the art as good as Cocok’s?
Should we tip or not tip? This is my first time going to a salon here so I am unsure. My husband came home today and told me he booked me an appt there 🙂 I am excited.
@ MS- I don’t think so, when I was there 2 friends came in and asked if they could have a massage at the same time and the lady replied she was the one and only massage therapist. The room also only had 1 bed. But with as much business as they are now starting to get- maybe they’ll add that service soon!
What an inviting and warm place. I truly enjoyed my pedicure and manicure with art. What topped it off was the pastries that came with my tea. This is now my favorite nail salon.
Does anyone know if they do couples massages here?
I really needed a massage. I called and got a same day appointment here. It was so wonderful. The ladies there are very nice and the price (5,500 yen for 60 minutes) was excellent. I will be going back- very soon!
I live close by essence and have been saying I’m going, I’m going. after reading your posts I’m gonna make an appointment now. I need relief ; )!
I too was pleasantly surprised at how nice Essence was. After calling 4 places (Cocok’s and the base spas) with no luck to see if I could a same day appt for a pedi, I decided, I would try the place I had just read about on OkiHai. I’m so glad I did. Essence has a really relaxing, peaceful, atmosphere and the pedi was 90 min for 4000 Yen (including nail art). They had a good selection of nail art and my pedicurist did an excellent job. They even bring a menu for a complimentary drink (ice tea, hot tea, hot coffee, mango tea, and juice). The mango tea was very nice. Now that I’ve found Essence up here, I doubt I’ll need to drive all the way to Cocoks again! Seriously!
I recently went to Essence and was pleasantly surprised!! I have been looking for a good place to go since we’ve arrived on the island. I tried the hot stone massage for the first time and enjoyed it very much. I am looking forward to trying other services that they offer. This was my first time at Essence and was unsure if we were supposed to tip since they are so close to the base and obviously see a lot of Americans. Does anyone happen to know? Also, there is another place I’ve been wanting to try…I think it’s called Luana?? It’s located by McT. Has anyone tried this new shop?
WOW! Can’t wait to try this – now that I am doing Marathon training I have been trying got find ways to pamper my body!