- You can't go wrong with a massage in Japan. Here are some of my favorite spots in Yokohama to treat yourself.
Where to Find the Best Massage in Yokohama
Why I liked Raffine Relaxation Space
I’ve lived in Yokohama for a few years now and it’s no question, I enjoy a good massage. I’ve done a lot of traveling through Asia and one thing I never fail to indulge in is a massage. You can find a massage almost anywhere around Asia but finding a good one is another story. And a cheap good one at that. But when you find a cheap one and a great one, then the news must be shared.
I’ve been to several places around Yokohama and Tokyo ranging from high-end hotel spas to hole-in-the-wall establishments but I’ve always left feeling like my husband could have done the exact same thing. Not a good feeling. I could have used that money on an extra pair of shoes!
Well, the day has come and I finally discovered the best massage in Yokohama. I was eating lunch at the Collette Mare today, (right next to Sakuragicho station), and found myself wandering around the 5th floor. I stumbled upon this place called Raffine Relaxation Space. I walked over to take a glance at the prices. As it turns out, Raffine is a chain around the Tokyo area, but I was very impressed with this location.
From first glance, the studio was small but nicely lit and the massage beds looked well presented. They offered 20-minute reflexology of both the hands or the feet, as well as a body massage for 20, 40, or 60 minutes. I had time to spare today so they immediately accommodated me and escorted me into the modest waiting room out front. I was greeted with a medical disclosure form (in ENGLISH!), which I find is a rarity in Japan, as well as an iPad prompting me to select from a variety of teas to sip afterward, again in English.
For each of the teas, there was a description of its medical properties or suggestions regarding what it’s best used for. I selected the ginger, best for detox. A kind girl then showed me to a fitting room and handed me a set of attire to change into. It was neatly folded in a basket and the fitting room was modest but impressively accommodating with tissues, hair ties, and even cases for eyewear.
I was then handed some slippers and escorted to a foot massage chair and the kind lady in broken English walked over to me and showed me another tablet device with the translation of “do you have a sore spot?” I was further impressed at the customer service and smiled, and answered “no.”
The young girl was probably around twenty-five and she made basic conversation in English, and I struggled with my Japanese. Without fail, she told me she dreamed of going to New York and to my surprise, Magnolia Bakery. I love Magnolia Bakery!
About fifteen minutes into the massage she points to a tough spot on my foot and tries to rub it more. I always go to reflexologists yet not once has anyone ever actually made a medical reference to my foot. I normally just get a foot rub with oil which I’m sure is nothing close to actual reflexology. But this girl had actual insight into my feet and my health! I was stunned.
This has never happened to me before, though at times I’ve felt anxious going to so-called reflexologists because you know, it’s almost like getting your palm read. You wonder how much insight these people really have, and a part of you can’t help but feel a little bit anxious.
Afterward I got a forty-minute body massage and it was tremendous, and she asked me specifically where to focus on. She did a hell of a job and even found my sore spot beneath my shoulder blade, a weak spot from carrying all my heavy camera gear. She focused on that for a while, even after the timer went off. I’ve been to five-star hotels around the world and have enjoyed a good pamper, but the massages I get are almost always less than extraordinary. This one was the best.
And here’s the kicker. After I finished, she led me to a chair and handed me a warm cup of tea and sat down beside me with a chart in English depicting the reflexology zones of the foot. I felt a bit anxious, wondering what she was going to tell me. She first pointed to the region of the foot corresponding to the heart and struggled to tell me I should exercise more. She did a swimming motion with her hands and said, “jogging, running, umm, how do I say?” “I should exercise more?” I asked. “Yes,” she nodded and laughed.
Ok, will do. She was probably right. Although I’m quite active, I rarely fit in time to actually do any form of cardio. She then pointed to another segment of my foot correspond to digestion and told me I drink too many cold beverages, and that I need to drink more warm drinks. Interesting. And lastly, she asked me if I like to drink sake or beer? “No, I don’t drink sake but I like wine.” Evidently, my liver was a little “tired” as she described it. It’s been a stressful year, and well, I’ve started drinking a lot more wine. Maybe I should cut back. I’ll keep that noted.
Seriously though, it was a stellar massage and the price was not inflated. My masseuse’s name was Mitsuyama, but I’m sure they will all do a great job.
1-1-7 Sakuragicho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 231-8331, Japan, 5th Floor
11:00 – 20:00 (last service at 19:30)
Sakuragicho Station, exit the station towards the Colette Mare and you can’t miss it.
Why I Like Olive Spa Chinatown
I love Chinatown, but this little spa is a gem. There’s an extensive menu. When you walk in, you’re greeted with a menu and a selection of teas. The massage menu is extensive. You can also lay on Mt Fuji lava rocks in a room to detox. I almost always never made a reservation, but it’s probably best to ensure a spot. The girls here are always friendly too and I always left relaxed. The massage rooms are nice too, equipped with personal showers, a hot steam towel, and hair products. English also is spoken.
Japan, 〒231-0023 Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, Naka Ward, Yamashitacho, 123−1, 横浜クリード103
12:30 – 05:30
Why I Like Asian Herbs Yokohama Bay Quarter アジアンビューティーサロン
This place is located on the 4th Floor of the Bay Quarter. The quality of the service here was always great. I always left feeling a lot better and more relaxed. This place is different in that it’s an Asia Spa and it focuses more on pressure points, etc. They offer various services with stones as well that increase energy flow, etc. The price is competitive.