Where can you really go and relax when you have a small troop of children in tow?
We certainly found the answer, a beautiful piece of paradise nestled in a place just outside of the busy city. With the highly sensitive one having repeated meltdowns and myself feeling the exhaustion that comes with traveling in hot temperatures (let alone with 3 kids!), plus the fact I had managed to leave my purse at the hotel but only realizing once I had ordered us lunch (and recieving a bit of a telling off as I couldn’t pay for said lunch), we all needed some time to unwind. That’s when google produced this little gem.
We got back on the bus (this is when I was particularly relived for the cashless busses as with no purse or cash it would have been a very long walk) and packed a few bits at the hotel. My stress levels were pretty high by now so we jumped in a cab which wasn’t cheap (600sek) but was worth if for the minimal hassle it involved.
Yasuragi is usually a place for 16+. But, for July and the beginning of August they open the doors to children too, increasing my love for the way Sweden is so inclusive and with kids being seen as important (and actually allowing them the opportunity to respect the spa and be calm themselves – I know in England they would generally not be given opertunities to do this type of activity)
As soon as the taxi pulled in we knew we were in for a treat. The Japanese designed garden, with lots of wishes hanging on bamboo (tanabata I think it’s called) was really pretty.
We got a warm welcome from the reception staff. We were handed a really lovely Yukata each (a Japanese bathing robe) along with a set of towels and a water bottle. Adults are also given swimwear. You get to keep the swimwear and Yukata’s which we were really excited about. The way everyone is wearing simple colors and matching clothes is done on purpose to further ‘reduce redundant sensory impressions.’ I must say I found this really worked and any reduction in unnecessary visual stimuli always benefits my youngest.
A welcome talk was given with tips on how to best enjoy some of the spa baths, some fun facts and a little information on Japanese bath culture. The kids really enjoyed this. We sat on the floor on lovely cushions and the talk was informative and really helpful.
Then we were free to explore. I lost count of how many areas there where. There was a larger bath that went around corners with a tunnel and skylights. There ŵas a stunning outside set of baths where we watched the sun set, there was a foot bath, a long glassed roof bath which was like a cave, springs, wash areas, saunas-it was amazing. I really loved the way it was so peaceful, even though probably half of the people there were under 16. The kids seemed to just feel the peace and relax themselves. The most active kids I saw were jumping in from one of the deeper sides of a bath but that didn’t seem to bother anyone.
You could also visit the ‘Tea and Fruit buffet’ which was again, a stunning, light, relaxed room. There was a selection of teas available and large platters of fresh fruit. We indulged in there multiple times throughout the day.
We had a children’s ‘Forest Bath’ booked at 5pm. We took our towels expecting to get wet but this wasn’t a bath in the forest – it was about being bathed by the forest!! Our guide lead us for a walk through the forest while giving the children (and adults who wanted to join in-we all did) opportunities to meditate. It was incredibly peaceful and the children really joined in with the meditation. The session finished with a relaxing lay down in the center of a large stone circle.
Now we are all big food fans in our house, we love Japanese food and we really love a buffet. Included in the price of our spa day, was a Japanese buffet! We were shown to our table. There was a selection of sushi, salads, gyoza, rice and a few main dishes. There was also ice cream and some pannacotta as well as coffee and some more teas. The food was lovely and the view out of the restaurant over the Stockholm Archipelago was beautiful.
After dinner, we had another go in all of the baths then got ready to head back into the city but this time feeling so much more relaxed, revitalized and in tune with nature.
We are looking at going back and maybe staying over night this time. I really can not recommend this place enough, if your in Stockholm, give this a go, you won’t be disappointed.