Continuing Adventures with the Enzyme Baths in Japan
The second place I visited with my friend Kazuko Takahashi was in the middle of Tokyo. From what we have learned it is typical of the majority of the many small family enzyme bath establishments found in all parts of Japan.
It was in an upstairs apartment converted into a business. We received a very warm reception from Masako Yamauchi, her son and daughter when we arrived at Hinoki Koso. The cost for the bath was Y3,200, nearly $40 at the current exchange rate. We were served the thick syrupy “Enzyme Drink” usually from Otahka Koso at the beginning of the session. This brew, made from fruits and vegetables, is fermented and aged with a very sweet robust distinct flavor.
There was a very small area in which to change. There were two small single tubs with wooden lids on them. The bath material was very dark, pungent and hot. Obviously it had not been changed for a long time. After being covered with the enzyme material, a light Mylar aluminum space blanket was put over me to amplify the heat. A wet facial pack was put over my cheeks, eyes and forehead leaving the mouth and nose exposed. The enzyme bath mix was then put over the mask warming the face and activating the enzyme compound in the pack. We both sweated profusely and felt deeply cleansed, refreshed and relaxed afterwards.
We really enjoyed being at this place and appreciated the warmth and enthusiasm of the wonderful family who run the place.