The Japanese Bath House

by Glenn Reynolds


Hidden in the heart of a drab industrial area of Collingwood, a bright white tiled wall with opaque glass windows beckons you to enter the Japanese Bath House. Leaving the street behind, I was somewhat surprised to find myself in a small piece of Japan, with stone floors, a small garden feature with waterfall, and the admonition to remove shoes on entering. This is a quiet introduction to the rituals of bathing in Japanese culture, which dates back for centuries.

If you don’t have a clue here, like I didn’t, don’t worry. The quietly spoken staff will give you very specific instructions on how to participate in the process. Cute, Manga-inspired directions are also posted on the walls of the bath areas. Basically, it’s a process of stripping off naked (mandatory in the bath area), cleansing the body, bathing in an extremely clean bath of 40 degrees, and optionally using a combination of sauna and cold shower to invigorate yourself. Men and women are strictly separated into their own wet areas, but can meet together in a lounge area afterwards.

The whole atmosphere, process and facilities are designed for maximum relaxation, and it works extremely well. I found myself rotating through the different wet services, bath, sauna shower, bath, each providing an element of cleansing or relaxation, and combined together, it was a great ritual.

I found myself still pretty hot after the bath routine, so I was looking forward to relaxing in the lounge. After your bath, you can dress in a traditional robe and enjoy inexpensive light refreshments in their Tatami Lounge and/or enjoy a Shiatsu (acupressure) treatment.

The staff provide a friendly and professional service, guiding novices if necessary, and always available for assistance or questions.

Next time I go, I’ll definitely try the shiatsu.

Pros: Friendly, professional staff
Great bath facilities
Comfortable lounge

Cons: None (It is a Bath House, so don’t expect skin therapies)

17/20 “Relaxing Ritual”

Well over 50,000 customer visits have been recorded over the 8 years the Bath House has been open. While I was there, an academic, computer support tech, businessman and a famous athlete were enjoying the Bath House facilities.

Bath/Sauna (1hr) + Licensed Lounge (1hr)$26/$23 conc.
Options after bath: Shiatsu 30min $44, 45min $63, 60min $77

Opening hours
Tues – Fri 11am-8pm (latest booking, Bath House Closes at 10pm)
Sat/Sun 11am – 6pm (latest booking)
59 Cromwell St

Tel: 9419 0268

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Wouter Kloos March 29, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I’ve been to this place and it’s great. I’m in Japanese now, and even compared to most public baths in Japan, this place offers top tier relaxation.


Glenn January 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Thanks Wouter, that's great to hear!


Anonymous May 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I found this place by accident, (that is another story) and always go back for more. Now I am taking my partner along for his first Japanese bath. It is a great place to reinvigorate oneself!!
Toni of Hawthorn


Glenn May 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hi Toni,

Isn't it great to find sensational new places by accident?! Glad you've enjoyed your visits. Hope your partner enjoys it, too!


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