This stylish sauna is pure refreshment for body and soul: “SaunaLab Kanda”

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!

SaunaLab Kanda

Built in 1964, the retro building which is now home to “SaunaLab Kanda” was originally a printing company.

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 sauna is located in the basement of the building. Head for the huge lampshade in the shape of a sauna hat.

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.

The men’s and women’s sauna areas slightly differ in style. Therefore, on Wednesdays, the sauna areas are switched so that you can experience both areas.
I picked up my locker key at the reception.
Inside the bright locker room
This is my first time wearing a sauna poncho gown! Wearing a sauna hat makes me feel like a Finnish forest fairy – or gnome.

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!

The “FOREST SAUNA” has a nice scent of wood!

Inside “FOREST SAUNA”, the temperature and humidity are just right, and the nice scent of wood makes you feel like you are gently hugged.

Sprinkle some water on the heated stones to raise the humidity to your liking.

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!

After entering the “ICE SAUNA” I burst out in laughter. Look at the walls! They are FROZEN!

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.

Inside “IKE SAUNA”. You can meditate while sitting on a small zazen cushion! Of course, you can also lie down and relax!
After having some cold and delicious water, I went into the tiny meditation room which has the concept of “connecting with nature”.

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.

This area has magazines and books about saunas as well as power outlets to charge your phone.

The “SAUNA MARKET” is open to everyone.

SaunaLab original goods, aromas, sauna hats, cute “tonttu” sauna stones, and many other selected sauna-related goods!

At “KITCHEN SAUNA” on the 1st floor, you can enjoy Finnish food and beer, as well as various other drinks and sweets.

“Sauna Blend” coffee roasted in Kesennuma in Northeastern Japan and “Hatake de Shibori” fresh veggie juice. The carrots in this juice are super sweet!

Artist-designed items, coffee beans, books, and other original products.

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!

SaunaLab Kanda
3-9 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Google Maps:
Nearest stations: Takebashi Station, Jimbocho Station