... a dreamer, freelance writer, massage therapist, naturopath, mother & drop-out social work student living, working and writing in the Blue Mountains. When not occupied with the real world, she writes fantasy.
Published May 30th 2018
Find your inner Zen at the only hot spring onsen in NSW
Building on that special designation, the facilities have benefited from a recent upgrade - which includes new buildings, pools and amenities. With winter looming, you may want to check it out.
For those who haven't visited before, the bath house is located in the Blue Mountains two hours west of the Sydney centre, and well worth a visit if you're looking for tranquillity and the exquisite experience of bathing in hot water within the mountain air.
One of the special things about this place is that the management limits the number of guests in each session. Mobile phones are also forbidden, ensuring a level of peace to inspire us to contemplate deeper spiritual things. In an era where traffic jams, crowds, stress and technology are driving us all berserk, we can't say enough positive things about that.
Recent improvements to Blue Mountains Japanese Bath House
The entry price has seen a small hike to $70 but for 3 hours of bathing, it remains a bargain.
In addition to the already existing (and deeply cleansing) herbal steam room, and the three relaxing indoor and outdoor baths, visitors can indulge in more bathing options - two new outdoor hot pools and three hot tubs (you sit in a big wooden barrel within a man-made cave) as well as private pools within the Gassho (see below). Look out over khaki green hills that roll gently down to Lake Lyall.
Additionally, there's a revamped cafe and stylish new showers and toilets within a new Japanese style building. Replete with a tranquil Japanese Zen garden and wooden tables hand carved from trees that have fallen on the property, it's a quality renovation that conjures the illusion of visiting an onsen in Japan.
I found part of my experience involved marvelling at the architecture.
A range of homemade herbal tea's and light Japanese meals are available onsite over lunch.
The Tudor style house is still there but has experienced renovations and a new Japanese gassho-zukuri building (it means "praying hands") has popped up. A type of traditional Japanese farmhouse building constructed of wood and a steep thatched roof, it's available as guest accommodation.
Visitors now enter the onsen more mysteriously via a water bath – whereby you remove your shoes prior to wading through ankle deep, exquisitely warm water. So sensuous, yet ritualistic of the journey to relaxation you are about to take.
Plans are in the pipeline for private baths located within hedges in the garden. I can't wait.