The basic idea of going to a cafe is that it’s a place to relax for an hour or so. You can sit down and have a cup of coffee, but eventually you’re going to get hungry, smelly, or sleepy. Sooner or later you’ll need to leave and go somewhere else for a real meal, hot bath, and good night’s sleep.
Unless, of course, you stop by a unique cafe in Saitama Prefecture, which not only has luxurious Japanese-style bathing facilities, but just about everything you need for a comfortable lifestyle.
The name of the establishment is Ofuro Cafe Utatane, with ofuro being the Japanese word for bath and utatane on of the language’s many terms for a nap. True to its name, the café has bathing and sleeping facilities, but let’s start our look at the facilities at the entrance. “It feels more like a fashionable living room, or the lobby of a boutique resort hotel,” gushed one satisfied customer.
One of the first thing visitors will notice is a fireplace, a true rarity in Japan, surrounded by cozy armchairs and sofas. The most economic plan is to pay the 1,260 yen (US$12.10) entry fee, then take advantage of the all-you-can-drink coffee deal which runs 500 yen for 60 minutes.
If you’d like something a little fancier, the cafe’s menu also includes a variety of mixed juices, plus a full line-up of alcoholic drinks, including Saitama Prefecture’s very own microbrew, Coedo Beer.
If you’re hungry, the food offerings are no slouch either, with things such as grilled chicken plates, sashimi bowls, and both Western and Japanese-style desserts.
Of course, since you have to pay just to get in the door, you won’t want to eat and run. Thankfully, finding ways to enjoyably extend your time at Ofuro Café Utatane isn’t a problem. For starters, shelves of reading material are scattered throughout the building. Grab a book or copy of the latest manga, curl up next to the fireplace, and be try not to doze off from how relaxing the atmosphere is.
Of course, even if you should start to feel drowsy, you’re in good hands. For starters, there’s a bank of free-to-use massage chairs.
All those vibrations keeping you awake? Then how about a recharging snooze in one of the on-site hammocks?
Okay, so Ofuro Café Utatane has the sleeping portion of its name covered, but what about the bathing? Once again, the complex does not disappoint, with Japanese-style indoor and outdoor baths, plus a spacious sauna.
There are no additional fees for use of the baths and sauna, and towels are provided as well, meaning you don’t need to bring anything other than your desire to loll about in hot water. For guests who still haven’t had all the tension taken out of their muscles by a good long soak, and who also want something a bit more personal than the automated services of the message chairs mentioned above, Ofuro Café Utatane has a team of massage therapists standing by.
But you can’t spend your whole life in leisure mode, of course. After all, you’ve got to do something to earn the money necessary for all those craft beers and foot rubs. Well, as long as you can telecommute, you can do that without leaving the building, too. Just grab a seat at the computer table, which earns it the title of classiest Internet cafe we’ve ever come across.
After you finish that report, you might not even need to head to club to unwind with a cocktail and some smooth beats, since Ofuro Cafe Utatane occasionally hosts music events with a live DJ.
OK, so you can eat, drink, play, bathe, work, and even party in the building, but at some point they close up and you have to go home, right? Nope, because Ofuro Cafe Utatane is also a hotel, and for an additional fee guests can stay the night in private rooms with beds. Each has its own bathroom, and while there’s no shower, you still have access to the gigantic indoor and open air baths.
Honestly, at this point we’re having trouble coming up with a reason why we’d have to leave. Just how thorough are Ofuro Cafe Utatane’s services? Let’s put it this way: they even have a play area for kids.
▼ You could honestly stay here for generations.
If our articles start getting a lot shorter in the coming weeks or you notice a sudden gap in the frequency of posts, we think you can guess the reason. Someone pass me the phone…
Ofuro Cafe Utatane / おふろ Cafe Utatane
Address: Saitama-ken, Saitama-shi, Kita-ku, Onari-cho, 4-179-3