Welcome to Moka Igashira Onsen iFitness: no tattoos, no swimming, no jumping, no splashing, no horseplay, and don't get in the way of the folks walking in circles! Oh dear - I told my son he could practice swimming today.
Leave your shoes at the entrance and then exchange the key for your shoe locker with a changing room locker key at reception (remember to do so again, before leaving.) If you want to enjoy both pool and onsen, buy a special ticket, but you will need to change into your clothes, then walk to the other end of the building to a different changing room. We chose the pool, which costs ¥1,040/adult, ¥640/child. Use the fitness room for ¥650.
The wood-paneled changing room is spacious,with plenty of blow driers and the showers that have shampoo and soap. The pool itself has lots of massage jets. The water in the main circular pool is 34 degrees, and the air is balmy. Heat up even more in an aroma steam room, steam room, Finnish sauna, or the adjacent hot tub. Need fresh air? Lounge around outside at a small pool during the warm months, June through September.
We step into the pool area just as it is being cleared for an aqua fit class. Water fitness classes occur throughout the day. I enjoy the forty minute lesson, although I have to crouch to be submersed; the main pool is only 120 cm deep. Kids under the height of 140 must wear water wings, no matter how well they swim. My son is stuck wearing water wings and sitting in a kiddie pool, about 30 cm deep, with lots of floating foam toys, while I faced him, doing aqua fit.
I visited the onsen (hot spring) area a week previously with a friend. We chatted and soaked in sodium and calcium rich hot spring water outside, where there are two pools to chose from, one infused with ginseng. This hotspring is said to be good for treating fatigue.