It was only a matter of time before the most bizarre health and beauty trends found their way to the ramen obsession of foodie cities all over the world and had a truly puzzling love child: the ramen noodle bath.
Forget the instant ramen noodles that kept you alive at university, the benefits of bathing in ramen – if you concede there are any – are going to come from the high quality noodles and soup you’d find in authentic ramen houses.
And you know, ramen burgers.
Or, be like this guy and go for the instant noodles:
In all seriousness, hot springs and public bathing houses are popular in many parts of Japan, although aromatherapeutic options usually vary from the more expected lavender and rosemary to baths loaded with extra elements like natural salts.
At the Yunessun spa in Hakone – make that “hot springs amusement park and spa resort” – the bath menu is already more creative than you might expect.
The resort boasts more than 25 different spa services and attractions, ranging from more traditional spa pools to baths styled after the Roman era, a Rodeo Mountain area packed with water slides, and spa pools filled with real sake, green tea, coffee and even wine.
Yes, you can officially bathe in wine and call it a beauty remedy as “a rejuvenation treatment for the body”, fit for Queen Cleopatra, according to Yunessun.
The ramen bath is as simple as it sounds – hot broth and swirling noodles. While the local health department forced the spa to use artificial noodles in the ramen bath, Yunessun owner Ichiro Furuya still touts the benefits of collagen in the bath’s pork-based broth.
(And that didn’t concern the health department?)
“At this bath, everybody can have fun and take advantage of the healthy elements of ramen noodles,” said Furuya. And hot on the heels of his pork broth claims, many brands and varying degrees of doctors have leapt to attribute flawless skin to the body’s natural ability to produce collagen.
An adult day pass to the swimsuit zone of the Yunessun spa (as opposed to the more secluded naked zone at partner spa resort Mori No Yu) costs about AU$30.
So go for the noodles or go for the broth, but the ramen bath looks like something you’ll have to experience first-hand to ever truly understand. Do you dip in the wine pool before or after your main course ramen soak?
Editor’s note: We’ve tried, and searched, and hunted to find reviews of this place. Sadly, we haven’t found any in English, at least. We’ll update this if and when we do. Or raise enough crowdfunding to send someone over to review it. It’s important, people!