Onsen

It’s a Japanese Bathhouse, Sure. But It’s Also Got Sake.

Holiday Stress Can’t Find You Here

By Lauren Sloss
6a4ca2b4744b809171aa0867fb195cc917 PhotosOnsen
Anyone can relax.

Take deep breaths. Gently clasp a hot toddy with two hands. Whittle something. You get it.

But what follows is strictly for the connoisseurs. Those who believe relaxing should be an art form. That it should probably involve floating around in what used to be a mechanic’s pit and definitely involve sake.

Such is the situation at Onsen, a new Japanese bathhouse and general sake-having establishment that’s opening soon in the Tenderloin. Take a look at your new happy place.

It’s in a former auto body shop, and though some details remain, the couple behind it have rebuilt the entire space, from the sliding door handles made from driftwood to the six treatment rooms where you can get a massage, acupuncture, reiki... It goes on.

Entering off the street, you’ll find yourself in the small teahouse, where you’ll wait with a glass of the green kind. Peruse the menu and make a plan to return after your treatment for some avocado toast or something.

First, though, head back through the corridor of treatment rooms to the communal soaking pool forged from the ashes of that mechanic’s pit. The high-ceilinged, airy room is a fine place for reflection, as is the steam room or sauna with bricks made from pink Himalayan sea salt.

So you’ll soak. You’ll steam. You’ll eat lamb belly skewers and drink sake.

Maybe next year, holiday stress.

Lauren Sloss requires a climate that allows her to wear motorcycle boots daily. She likes her bourbon neat and her martinis dirty, and would like to be the lead singer of a punk rock band when she grows up.

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