Tobira Onsen Myojinkan Spa Japan

Because our thoughts and hearts are turned towards the tragic situation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan – we are proud to be a founding partner of #JapanLife an initiative to raise awareness.

Couple this with our passion for the Japanese way of life equals a jam-packed week where we are going to visit not one but two of our favorite spas in Japan as we continue our 2011 around the world spa tour (See under Daydream above!).  And let’s not forget, per our usual format we will share “Bring it Home” ideas throughout the week!

So let’s put on our kimonos and show Japan our support!  Our first spa is the Tobira Spa Resort Myojinkan.

Welcome to Myojinkan

Driving 1050 meters up from Matsumoto City in Nagano!  Look what awaits!  The demure resort  Tobira Onsen, Myojinkan pays homage to the national park, tucked into the Northern Japan Alps amidst snowy mountains and hot springs.  Though it’s deemed a spa resort it is more like a boutique with only 30 rooms and 15 suites.

The Zen interior of the Communal Room - Ideal for reading or relaxing.

The focus at Myojinkan is not on traditional spa services.  Rather, it is on truly rejuvenating your body and spirit from the inside out.  And at such a small property, the experience is contemplative, restorative and meditative as you commune with nature and restore your mind.

The Aroma Room

In fact only the typical spa spaces are the sauna and aroma room.  Where you can bathe in a fragrant jasmine or have a massage while being immersed in the view of the forest.

These hot springs run throughout the mountains. Their curative powers are legendary.

The curative powers of their world famous hot springs are know throughout Japan to bring long life to the residents of this area.  Legend has it the Japanese gods bathed in them.  As Myojinkan’s guest, we get to partake in them as well – heck I think I’d like to sneak some home in my suitcase!  A warm soak is particularly lovely on a cold day.

If you feel the need for an excursion, how about a day trip to the Matsumoto Castle. Definitely worth a look, the castle appears to float on the water!

From Setsugekka bath, look up at the glittering stars of the night sky and drift into an enveloping natural dream.

The Kazan bath is a shallow lie down tub.

Upon our return, let’s try out a few of the other baths offered here.  Alternating hot and cold baths increases circulation, encourages weight loss and is good for the digestion.  Doesn’t having multiple baths in one day feel decadent?

For dinner, indulge healthily and deliciously in a microbiotic kaiseki (a traditional Japanese multi-course dinner) in the traditional dining room.  Your kaiseki will include: an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed course.  Love how the different preparations are combined.

Simple, yet soothing furnishings in the Western Guest Room

Retiring to our rooms after a fulfilling, soul nourishing day. Good Night!

SpaHome Myojinkan:  Stay tuned throughout the week, we’ll have ways to:

-a multi-course Kaiseki meal for you to cook for your family

-decorating ideas for a traditional Japanese dining room

-how to feng shui your bed.

Plus, a new Japanese spa profiled on Wednesday!

Sayonara, Candy



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  • Anonymous

    this is so gorgeous! the baths are amazing! Wonderful #JapanLife post!

  • Fabulous Candy! As an interior designer I LOVE the decor…especially the Zen communal room with just that touch of red! Fab. And as an “interior” designer I know that to slow down and treat ourselves to a spa is no longer an indulgence, but a necessity in our crazy world! I’d go an visit this spa anytime.
    If you come up to wine country to visit sometime, I would be delighted to show you a couple of our favorites : )

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Irene! I’m going to be writing a few ideas to bring home that decor this week too! I will definitely take you up on the wc visit sometime for sure! Been to Calistoga so fun.

  • These photos creative a contemplative spirit in me and make me want to visit. Thank you for bringing us this virtual tour and at the same time helping build spirit with the people of Japan.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Balance, Boundaries, and New Life Directions Through Writing

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Judy! This spa is a gem of Japanese culture ; ) Candy

  • Gorgeous photos. I love the hot springs shot. Thank you for all that you are doing on behalf of Japan.

  • Thank you for the lovely journey through this spa. I had the good fortune to visit Japan almost 20 years ago…there is such an interesting contrast between the bustle of Japanese cities and the zen comfort of the baths, spas and retreats.

    Darcie Newton
    Discipline for profit, none for jammy zins and memorable necklaces

  • I felt relaxed just looking at the wonderful photos! Kind of made my body ache for a good massage… Certainly helps us keep Japan in our hearts in the wake of the recent tragedy.

  • A beautiful visual journey of Japan. With Japan so much in the news these days, this presents a very lovely view of all things Japanese…… and I hope the country will be restored fully.

  • These pictures remind me of Rivendell form the Lord of the Rings. Absolutely beautiful and what a pleasant place to relax.

  • What a glorious journey to awaken the heart soul body and mind and entwine in a space that rejuvenates. I would love to bathe and look at the stars, and bring some of that magic into my everyday life. The right elements around us definitely help to create harmony in our homes, & visiting spas adds a layer of living we should all indulge in.

    Jennifer Duchene
    Home Makeover Mixtress blending lifestyle laughter and Diva Dens

  • Donna McCord

    Oh my gosh, I had no idea such places existed! Have been to spa experiences before, but nothing like you describe here! Amazing! What a huge difference between these photos and the photos we see every day of the devastation from the earthquake and tsunami. I wish everyone who has suffered through that tragedy could be transported to the peace and beauty of this wonderful place. I look forward to future posts from you and will enjoy vicariously! Thank you!

  • This place is so beautiful! I’ve had dreams of spas like this but had no idea one existed in Japan. Gorgeous, relaxing and rejuvenating. The pictures are wonderful. Love the combination of nature with relaxation, but at the same time having the luxury of the indoors and being comfy in bed.

    Alara K. Castell
    Your Sassy Spiritual Guide

  • Absolutely breathtaking….when can I go? I love your words, pictures, and style. You really transport the reader to the destination. Thank you and amazing tribute to Japan. Rachel

  • Stunning! Unbelievable. With all the sad images coming out of Japan the past few weeks this is a wonderful tribute to them and all they have to offer. Wish I could go tomorrow….the hot springs are calling my name…lol! I’ve been to spa’s here…but nothing like what they have in Japan! Simply breathtaking. Thanks for enlightening us all to the wonders of Japan…and for supporting them!

    Rita Brennan Freay

  • Wonderful tribute. I’m not a designer but have ideas about what Japanese art and design looks like: graphic, clean and serene and you have shown this all to me in this post. Thanks for reminding us that amidst chaos there is still beauty.

  • Fiona Stolze

    What an amazing place this is. I could feel the relaxation spreading through my body and mind while looking at these images. It definitely is a very beautiful tribute.

    Fiona Stolze
    Inspired Art and Living

  • Maridelbowes

    What an elegant and sumptutous tour through this incredible spa! I just love knowing such places exist and immersing myself in their beauty even if from afar. Thank you for not only opening a visual door to Japan’s world of spas but for your obvious love of this country and culture. I look forward to more…

  • How beautiful and relaxing just to look at the pictures. It has renewed my desire to visit Japan. Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Susan Berland
    A Picture’s Worth

  • What beautiful images. Japan has never really drawn me but I could happily relax in these surroundings. Very meditative.
    Louise Edington
    Finding YOUR Freedom

  • Bill Browning

    Breathtaking! What a wonderful adventure.

  • Hi Candy,
    Oh, would I love to walk on those paths, sit in those rooms! Thanks for this inspiring reflection of Japanese aesthetics. I wish the internet could somehow let us experience what these places sound like and smell like. Now THERE’s an invention waiting to happen. We’d sure appreciate it. Meanwhile, I’m subscribing to your blog, and hoping for the best. Talk to you again.