We love wearing yukatas whenever we're in Japan, but since we don't actually own one, we thought it would be fun to visit Oedo Onsen Monogatari (or Oo-Edo Onsen) to borrow one of their cute yukatas and walk around their park. This place is a one-of-a-kind theme park where you can experience the Japanese hot springs, foot baths, street food, carnival games and more.
The park is themed after the Edo period, which is the period between 1603 and 1868 in Japan. As soon as you step foot in the park, you are immediately taken into the festive streets of this time period. The festivals today still resemble the same atmosphere, so if you have never experienced Japanese festivals you can get it here! There is so much to do in this theme park, so we skipped bathing in the hot springs and enjoyed some of the other activities the park had to offer.
First, before we actually walked into the Edo period, we had to dress the part in a traditional Japanese yukata. A yukata is a more casual version of a kimono and is typically worn during the summer. This is such a fun part of the experience and it is included in the price of admission. There were nine yukata designs to choose from and once we grabbed our outfit, we headed to the changing room.
There are plenty of large lockers to store your belongings and it's easy to come back to get something from the locker if you need something again. You can leave your wallet in the locker as you get a wristband that you can charge everything to inside the park. Anything you buy will be scanned and payment is made when you exit the park and return your yukata.
Once we had our yukata on, we started to walk around the festive streets of the park. It reminded us of the times we used to go to the Japanese festivals as kids. It has been so long since we dressed in yukatas and enjoyed the festival street food and games. Some of the booths handed out prizes even if you didn't win the game. A few games are really tough like the "sukui" (scooping) games. You use a scoop, called poi, that is lined with a very thin paper and you scoop out as many items (bouncy balls or gold fish) as you can from the water until the paper rips. We saw a girl scooping a ton of balls and were amazed at her skills because we usually rip those things on our first try!
Another common Japanese festival game we saw was the Yoyo Tsuri (Yo-yo Fishing). In this game, you are challenged to pick up a water-filled balloon. The string is made out of paper, so you have to hook the balloon before the paper disintegrates. Crystal stared at these games for awhile and was really tempted to play, but since she would end up with an item she couldn't take home, she reluctantly watched others have fun.
We didn't want to spend all of our time inside, so we headed outdoors to dip our feet in the warm foot bath. The outside of the park was a beautiful tranquil garden and there was plenty of space to find a spot to sit down and relax. The weather was a bit chilly outside, so the warm water on our feet felt really nice.
There was also a tiny building in the garden where you can experience some fish therapy. It's where little fish peck at your feet to remove dead skin cells. We were thinking about getting the fish therapy, but this was an extra charge so we decided to skip it.
After we soaked our feet for a bit, we headed back indoors and decided to eat some lunch. There were so many dining options that we were having trouble deciding. We saw a little bar and decided to grab a drink and make a decision while we sipped on our Moscow Mules. We eventually both agreed to dine at an izakaya.
An izakaya is a Japanese drinking establishment that typically serves small dishes like edamame and hiyya-yako (cold tofu). Dining at an izakaya is a great way to share and try different dishes. We ordered kara-age (bite-size fried chicken), oden (Japanese winter soup dish), and yaki-onigiri (grilled rice ball). Everything was delicious and we had a great time having some girl talk.
By the time we finished our meal and drinks, we were ready to call it a day. Candy wanted to have dessert, so we stopped by a crepe shop and then headed back to the locker room.
After we changed out of our yukata, we returned our key and paid our balance. If you want the entire experience, you can stay the night here in one of their hotels. They have a variety of room options and if we had known about this, we definitely would have thought about staying here. Although we didn't take part in the hot spring experience, we thoroughly enjoyed our time. The staff was friendly, the atmosphere was awesome, and the food was excellent!
OEDO ONSEN MONOGATARI
ADDRESS: 2-6-3 Aomi, Koto 135-0064, Tokyo Prefecture
PHONE: +81 3-5500-1126
HOURS: Sun - Sat 11 AM - 9 AM
ADMISSION: Adult (12 and up) ¥2,612 (Sat & Sun ¥2,828・Special Day ¥2,936), Children (Age 4 〜 12) ¥1,058, No fee for children under the age of 4