Just my luck. After planning to spend Sunday having a nice stroll around Yamate and Motomachi, perhaps stopping somewhere for tea, the weather gods decide: 'Hey, its time for some rain!'. Admittedly, the downpours have definitely cooled down the city, which is nice. But it still feels like such a waste when it is grey and rainy for an entire weekend.
So, what DOES one do on a rainy afternoon in Tokyo or Yokohama?
Go to the Spa, of course!
There are several to choose from, depending on your location. LaQua in Tokyo, EAS and Manyo in Yokohama, Oedo Onsen Monogatari in Chiba. What is great about these places is that they not only have onsen, but also ganbanyoku. The spa provides you with a set of clothes, which you wear to enter the ganbanyoku, so genders are mixed. Naturally these places tend to be popular date spots, but they are also really good for those who want a bit of a spa experience, while avoiding the nakedness requirement of onsen.
We went to EAS, and spent a good hour or so trying out the different heated rocks. My favourite was the quartz-floored room, which also had big blocks of slowly evaporating sea-salt. The sauna, scented with essential oils, was also lovely. Having tried out one of those 'fat-busting' massages (it was cheap, and an excuse to get a deep massage on my ever-tight calfs), followed by a fast training run, my legs were tired. However, after stretching out on the rocks and a few minutes in the onsen (including a wonderful sparkling water bath), they felt light and bouncy again. You can literally spend the whole day there, and there are lots of resting rooms where you can nap and relax.
While EAS has several cafes (and a tabehoudai right outside, oy very), it is also very close to my friend Wave-chan's cafe. I had gone there before and really enjoyed it, so it was time for another visit. Lu's Cafe is a puppy-friendly cafe, with a good basic menu and large portions. We opted for a couple types of pizza, the blueberry-mint soda and a chocolate chip chiffon cake. Amazing!
The reason I can fully recommend their desserts is that Wave-chan makes them all! And, as her sharemates, we often are set the taxing task of sampling her experiments... I know, my life is sooo tough.