CONTRIBUTED BY KAHO
This week we have a question from a reader about the Chu-La spa:
I was wondering if anyone had any info on the Chu-La spa. I think it is a bath house? I wanted to try it out but I was curious about what they had there, the price, etc. Before we PCS’ed here in October we were on mainland Japan for 4 years. I got the chance to go to a Japanese bath house (I called it the “naked baths”). It wasn’t a natural “hot spring” but just a lot of relaxing and soaking in different baths….while totally naked. After the
initial nakedness shock wore off it was really enjoyable and very relaxing! I haven’t heard of anything here…or anything spa-like? Any one know of anything remotely relaxing and spa-esque I would greatly appreciate it!
Chula-U is a fun and relaxing place to go as families, couples and friends!!! There are a lot of spas all over Okinawa and Chula-U is just a one of them, so I will mention some of them that I know later in this blog.
I’m sure people will have helpful comments about this place or other places, so make sure to come back and read the comments as well.
Chula-U is to me a casual resort swimming pool spa. You wear swim suit to the outside pool, so no nakedness except for the bath areas which are separated from outside with the wall and women can only go into the women’s bath. It’s no Club Med with Europeans. Sorry, boys. I’ve never checked, but I’m sure there is a bath area for men as well. It is located right next to the Beach Tower Hotel in the American village.
As you walk into Chula-U, you see this very nice lobby with high ceiling which sort of reminds me of the public bath that I used to go with my grand-parents when I was little. You put your shoes in a cupboard to your left and pay the fee at the reception. You receive a towel and a key to your locker and then you proceed to the changing room.
If you are a virgin to a Japanese public bath, please don’t flip if you see naked people walking in front of you. Yeah, it might be a little bit awkward at first, but no big deal. I think.
Chula-U’s swimming pools have natural spring water that has good health effects such as regaining energy. Each pool has water with different temperatures. I remember that one swimming pool has water like a regular swimming pool and it would be a bit too cold for winter. There is a very nice jacuzzi if you walk up the stairs from the swimming pool. The sun set would be gorgeous and I imagine that it would be very romantic. Don’t get too excited about this one, because it won’t as there will be kids splashing water and people coming in and out of the jacuzzi. It’s popular. I took my sister to Chula-U when she was in town and we went to the jacuzzi. There were a couple, a family and us. The family left and it felt like we should’ve left, too, but it felt so good that we stayed. Just a little more. It was a bit…. awkward, so we left.
What I love about this place is that after I relax sitting in hot spring, I can take a bath. I know that it’s weird to get naked and use a public bath/shower with no partition, but it feels wonderful to shower afterwards.
The very first time I went to the Chula-U, I was pregnant, but I didn’t know yet. I went there with two pregnant friends and one of them told me later of the risks for pregnant women to be in hot water. I called the Chula-U to ask about this, and as you can imagine, they did not say that it was safe. I researched a lot online about this and I was relieved to find out that it would be fine for a pregnant woman to be in warm water as long as she was not feeling uncomfortable. Then I recalled that when I was pregnant with my first child, I took a hot bath every single day after 33rd week till the birth. My child is fine.
The second time I went to the Chula-U was with my sister and I was 5-month pregnant with my second child. I was worried that I would be stopped to go in since it was quite obvious that I was pregnant, but I wasn’t. If you look like you’re going to pop, you might be stopped. I was careful not to get too warm. I felt good afterward and loved it. Now the baby is 4 months old and she’s fine. If you think that you would worry, don’t go to be on the safe side. I am from Japan and I know that Japanese pregnant women take a bath during their pregnancy for hundreds of years and I’ve never heard of any birth defect due to that, so I felt comfortable going during my pregnancy, but that’s just me.
Terme Villa Chula-U
Hours: 10:00～22:00 (No entry after 21:00)
Fee: 1,200 yen per adult and 800 yen for children. Toddler price is still 300 yen. If you want to use a towel there is an additional charge, but you are permitted to bring and use your own if you don’t want to pay.
The prices include body soap, shampoo, conditioner, q-tips, razors, tooth brushes, lotion, hair brush, and face wash.
Address: 2 Chome Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
GPS Coordinates: 26.3166777, 127.75924529
From Lester’s main gate, drive straight all the way to the end of the street and the Chula-U will be at the end on the left side. Plenty of parking space is available. Your right will be the Beach Tower Hotel.
Kanna Thalasso is located in Ginoza. It is located not so far from Camp Hansen. I have never been there myself, but I’ve taken our house guests there and they liked it. There are different pools with the ocean water and the thalasso therapy is believed to cure some illnesses. For more detailed explanation about thalasso therapy, here’s the Wikipedia definition.
If you have been to Kanna Thalasso, please post your comments about this place!
Ganbanyoku – Hot stone bath
This is quite relaxing. Some people might not like it, but I thought that it was fun.
If you would like to learn more about ganbanyoku, click here for the explanation and click here for pictures. I didn’t realize that ganbanyoku is only for women… I’m sorry about that, guys. I wonder if there are places where men can go as well.
I’ve only been to ganbanyoku place called Ishino Fushigi in Okinawa City.
Directions to Ishino Fushigi
From Kadena Gate 2, turn LEFT at the first stop light and get onto 85 (some people know this road as 23). Go all the way to the junction under a pedestrian’s overpass to turn onto 85 (85 is a loop). If you pass this, you will end up at the Gate 3. Cross the junction with Route 329. You’ll also pass Coop on your right and soon after that, you will find the blue ganbanyoku building “Ishono Fushigi” on your right. I think that it is on the first floor of an apartment building. Parking is behind the building and it’s a bit tricky to find it.