Learn about Wines in Tokyo

Monday, 4 August 2014

Breaststroke in a Bath of Beaujolais

Visitors to Japan's Yunessun wine spa get to bathe in wine as well as drink it

Wine spa treatments have been taken to a new level in Japan, where one resort lets you swim in a bath of red wine.

A glass of wine is good for the soul; a bottle arguably better. What about a whole spa’s worth?
In the volcanic hills just south of Tokyo, Japan, hedonists can put this very idea to the test and bathe in a spa pool filled with red wine. The Yunessun Spa Resort in Hakone, a traditional Japanese onsen hot pool, lets punters channel their inner Cleopatra for a short season – just 12 days – each year.

The spa is filled with diluted, chlorinated red wine – making it unsuitable for drinking (although the presence of several other sweaty bodies in the pool might be enough of a deterrent anyway). At set times during the day, the pool’s inhabitants will also be doused with red wine to "enhance" the experience, making sure every inch of their swimsuited bodies is covered with the stuff.
Yunessun’s wine spa is watched over by a 12-foot bottle of wine, a tasteful reminder that you are indeed bathing in the blood of grapes. This bottle, ostensibly Merlot, is repurposed every November in what is probably the most novel celebration of the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau.

If bathing in wine is not your cup of, erm, tea – there is also a green-tea bath on site. Yunessun complements this with baths of Sake, coffee and – god forbid – Ramen, as well as a whole host of more conventional, water-based spas. The park also boasts a water slide and a shopping mall on site.

The resort claims that bathing in wine is a "rejuvenation treatment for the body". This is a claim that has dubious science behind it at best, but it has been suggested that wine helps firm the skin and slow aging, as well as being "revitalizing".

Certainly wine and grape treatments are a favorite among the jet-setting elite, led by the exclusive Caudalie Spas around the world. But not many of these treatments let you tread water in your Tempranillo.

The Yunessun spa resort is one of the world’s more reasonable wine-related beauty experiences, with an adult pass going at 4000 yen ($39). This is a bargain when compared to a Caudalie spa treatment in the grounds of Bordeaux’s Château Smith Haut Lafitte: a half day "Grape Ritual" treatment here will set you back 550 euros ($750).

Although when tossing up between submerging myself in a murky, crowded pool of wine or having a massage in one of the world’s most beautiful and revered wine regions – I know which one I’d rather spring for.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/