Onsen bathing is an unique yet somewhat awkward and embarrassing Japanese cultural experience for Singaporeans who are not used to the concept of being naked with strangers in a private bath. For those who are not comfortable in visiting an onsen bath and feel regretful over missing the health benefits of onsen bathing, you will be pleasantly delighted with what Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Bath Cafe (もみの湯(もみの気ハウス) 上野店) in Ueno offers!
Managed by Mominoki House, Momi no-Yu Cafe prides itself as the first foot onsen bath cafe in the world. It is situated within a 3-minutes walk from JR Ueno station and steps away from the popular Ameyoko market, hence an ideal pit-stop to rest your tiring and aching feet from all the nearby shopping. The cafe features an artificial hot spring of “Mu Bai stones”, which release mineral content into the foot bath and boost health benefits such as relief and recovery from fatigue, stiff shoulder, lower back pain, rheumatism and elimination of swelling.
To locate it easily, I would recommend using ABAB as the landmark. Walk 1 more block after ABAB and turn left into the lane to find Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Cafe.
The cafe is located on the first level and private massages which include body stepping and shiatsu, acupressure, oil, aroma, footpad, ayurveda, and foot reflexology are available on the second level. Its exterior looks more like a massage parlour then a typical cafe and it seems to have a lot to offer with the many pricing list and signages.
The entrance of Momi no-Yu Cafe features an artificial hot spring of Mu Bai stones.
The interior of the cafe is small yet feels warm and cozy. It seats around 15 persons and seems popular with friends and couples crowd. Probably a good venue for first date too! ?
Upon entry, you will be greeted by their friendly and polite staff dressed in pink blouse and black pants. They will hand you a plastic bag to place in your shoes and socks for storage in the stool you will be using. (The stool cover opens up like a storage box.)
Their staff speaks very minimal English but do rest assured that there is ease of communication as they have an instruction sheet on their basic package in English and answer queries using their handheld translation equipment.
This basic session cost 1,000 yen (approximately SGD12) and last for 45 minutes, including a complimentary healthy tea and a 5-minutes shoulder, neck and upper back massage. You could also extend your session or order light snacks at additional cost.
15 types of tea offerings with their benefits. Can you guess which tea was my choice? ?
They also offer a special lunch-foot bath package at 1,500 yen for an hour from 11am to 3pm.
I was excited to start my session and was a little embarrassed by the difficulty encountered in rolling up my jeans. Ladies who wear super skinny jeans would understand. ? So, I would highly recommend all to come in appropriate attire; not recommended to wear jeans or leggings unless you can easily roll them up for the foot bath.
The staff was quick to offer an alternative and brought me a basketball shorts to change into. Her prompt reaction also made me wonder if this has been a common scenario they frequently experienced with tourists. ?
Getting ready for the quick washing. mmm…pardon my ugly and big feet! I’m a dua-ka-sor. ?
A lean and friendly staff who washed my feet. She was gentle and I felt comfortable with her. She also did my shoulder, neck and upper back massage, and was able to give a good rub. I’m satisfied with her service! ?
My tea arrived at the end of the feet washing session and this marked the commencement of my “free and easy” 45-minutes foot bathing time.
Similarly to an onsen bath, the temperature of the foot bath is hot and approximately 40 degrees. Do submerge your feet slowly and once you are used to the water temperature, your feet will feel very relaxing and rejuvenating.
There are many Japanese magazines placed on the wall racks for easy browsing, as well as a paper fan in front of every seat. I soon realized the reason for the fan. After soaking my feet for around 3 minutes, my whole body start to feel warm with the increased blood circulation. That’s when the paper fan come to a good use. In fact, almost everyone in the cafe was using the paper fan provided.
Enjoying my pot of healthy tea….I selected the Beauty Skin Tea! ?
The shoulder/neck/upper back massage which was included in the package. A thoughtful gesture of the cafe to provide a head support during the massage.
Hot! Hot! Hot!!! I had to continuously fan myself to keep cool! ? Happy to have a matching flowery fan with my blouse
Overview of Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Bath Cafe.
My feet at the end of the 45 minutes session. The redness is due to increased blood circulation during the foot bath.
I left the cafe feeling refreshed and most importantly, my feet were relieved from previous aching. I would love to think that I look better after drinking the beauty tea too. ?
Foot Onsen Bath + a pot of healthy tea + shoulder/neck/upper back massage = Only SGD12!!! ? Isn’t this a fantastic lobang???
Highly recommended! ? ? ?
- Not recommended to wear jeans or leggings unless you can easily roll them up for the foot bath. You can bring alternative bottoms to change but I have to warn you that their restroom is very small!
- You may want to bring a small face towel to wipe your sweat especially after the massage. I felt quite sweaty despite the air-con. haha ~~~. For those who are conscious, you may even want to bring an extra blouse or shirt to change after the full session.
- It’s probably easier to wear easy and fuss-free shoes as the entrance area for shoe removal is very small and narrow too.
- The cafe opens from 11am to 5am! So, you may also like to keep this as your last activity of the day.
Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Bath Cafe, Ueno (もみの湯(もみの気ハウス) 上野店)
Address: 4-5-2 Ueno, Taito-ku, 台東区上野4-5-2 〒110-0005
Directions: 3 minutes walk from JR Ueno Station. (Refer to the road map above; use ABAB mall as the landmark.)
Opening Hours: 11am to 5am
Do note that Mominoki House also operates 2 other foot bath cafes at Ikebukuro and Shinjuku, which look interesting as well! Maybe I’ll try them next time.
Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Bath Cafe, Ikebukuro (もみの気ハウス池袋店)
Address: 1-27-8 Minami Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Ozo Ikebukuro East Exit Building 7F
Direction: 1 minute walk from the east exit of Ikebukuro station
Opening Hours: 11am to 5am
Momi no-Yu Foot Onsen Bath Cafe, Shinjuku (もみの湯(もみの気ハウス) 上野店)
Address: Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 1-17-2, Toya Building 6F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町, 1-17-2, 戸谷ビル6Ｆ
Directions: Travel to Seibu Line Shinjuku Station, 5 minutes on foot along Shinjuku Yasukuni Street
Opening Hours: 11am to 5am