In June, we wrote about Joya Onsen Cafe, a Japanese bathhouse-cafe hybrid in the making. The 3D impressions and brief overview of the facilities were enough to send us into a frenzy, but we remained somewhat doubtful. Just like how menu illustrations in restaurants can disappoint us, sometimes, it’s better to keep our expectations low.
A month and a Phase 2 later, the cafe finally opened its doors on 22 August and real-life pictures of the establishment have been released. If you’re as curious as I am, here’s a first look at Joya Onsen Cafe.
First look at Joya Onsen Cafe
Joya Onsen Cafe claims to be an oasis of relaxation and from its first look, we’re sold. The cafe is partitioned by shoji screens and decked with wooden elements, creating a Muji, zen-like aesthetic without even trying.
Located at Upper Jurong Road, the Japanese onsen is just nine minutes away from Joo Koon MRT station — a big win for the Westies.
Purchase a full day pass at S$38 and you’ll be able to access the establishment’s facilities at your own pace — there’s no need to rush through everything when time is on your hands.
Upon entering the premises, head to the changing room where you’ll get to don an elegant yukata at no extra cost for an authentic experience. Disposable underwear will be provided for you to wear underneath and there are also hair ties to keep your tresses in place.
For those who are wondering, you will have to strip down to your birthday suit to enter the baths. If it makes it any less awkward, the public baths are gender-separated — your lady bits and crown jewels will only be exposed to people of the same sex.
A shower station is provided along with bathroom essentials such as shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner. You don’t have to wash your hair, but we recommend a quick body rinse for hygiene purposes.
The hot pool’s water is optimised at 40 degrees, but if the heat is getting to you, you can take a dip in the ice bath or have a drink at the water dispenser provided.
Saunas have been traditionally used to produce a feeling of relaxation and if you’ve been feeling vexed at work, opt to visit the one at Joya Onsen Cafe and sweat it all out.
Once you’re done with the baths, freshen up at the vanity stations and head on to the tatami-inspired cafe to treat yourself to some refreshments.
We’ve heard that the Hokkaido Honey Milk Ice Cream (S$3.40) is to die for. But for the ultimate indulgence, dive right into the ice cream parfaits instead. Priced from S$5.40, you’ll get to enjoy the velvety Hokkaido milk ice cream with extra toppings such as fruits, crystal jelly balls, cornflakes and more.
To warm up your tummy, you can also try the simple Hokkaido Milk (S$4).
The public full-day pass for adults is available for S$38, but you can top up an extra S$7 to include a set of onsen refreshments. If you’re coming with a loved one, you can also book a private onsen room at S$120/couple for more privacy.
We hope that the first look this article provides helps you in deciding if Joya Onsen Cafe is worth the trip! From a new mega-sized go-kart track to an authentic Japanese bathhouse, it seems like the West is brimming with activities.
More information on Joya Onsen Cafe can be found here.
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