Located inside the renovated Kanda Port Building, which reopened last spring, “SaunaLab Kanda” is a modern, stylish sauna facility for sauna beginners and pros! After sweating inside the Finnish-style sauna, hop into the -25 ℃ “ice sauna” for ultimate refreshment. Our reporter Marei changed into the sauna wear and experienced the new sauna!
With sauna comics and dramas, and sauna special features on TV and in magazines, Japan is experiencing a sauna boom. While saunas in Japan used to be a place where (mostly male) office workers would go to compete in a “sweating competition”, SaunaLab Kanda aims to reconnect people in the city with nature. It’s a place for everyone who wants to concentrate on their mind and soul.
The pricing system is extremely simple: one timeslot is 90 minutes. You have to make a reservation online (advance payment). The sauna is divided into two areas – for men and women – with a mixed rest space. Face towels, bath towels, sauna poncho gowns, and sauna hats are also included. Other amenities such as shampoo and hairdryers are also available. In short: you don’t need to bring anything.
After changing into my sauna wear, I headed to the Finnish sauna. I decided the wear the poncho over a bathing suit, but if you like, you can go inside without wearing any clothes.
Experience the fashionable sauna area!
Inside “FOREST SAUNA”, the temperature and humidity are just right, and the nice scent of wood makes you feel like you are gently hugged.
After a good steam, when you feel like cooling off, it’s time to enter the “ICE SAUNA”.
The “ICE SAUNA” was built to resemble the Finnish outdoor rest areas where you sit in the cold to slowly cool down. It’s a tiny winter wonderland!
SaunaLab Kanda also has two special saunas. “OKE SAUNA” in the men’s area makes you feel like you’re in a huge sauna tub, and “IKE SAUNA” in the women’s area features tatami mats and a shallow pond.
You won’t see clocks in any of the saunas. This allows you to concentrate on your inner self and feel nature without worrying about time. My body felt comfortable and warm, and I was very relaxed. I believe I reached the level of what recent sauna enthusiasts call “totonou” which translates to “being properly adjusted” or “body and mind are in line”.
Exploring the other areas
After leaving the sauna, I headed to the unisex rest area.
The “SAUNA MARKET” is open to everyone.
At “KITCHEN SAUNA” on the 1st floor, you can enjoy Finnish food and beer, as well as various other drinks and sweets.
My first time visiting of SaunaLab Kanda was a lot of fun! It’s a lovely facility that even beginners can use without getting overwhelmed. I felt healed not only by the relaxing sauna but also by the fun concept and artistic space. If you want to try something new in Tokyo, this is the place to go!