Makati is one of the most fast-paced and busiest cities in all of Asia. When it comes to 5-star hotels in Manila, these luxurious establishments are very much well-known for their outstanding services. But amidst the flock of high-class hotels in Manila is I’M Hotel’s signature variation of the Japanese hot spring Onsen Spa.
Behind the serene and exotic attributes of the Onsen Spa is a philosophy—an approach to life that carries within it the ancient and traditional Japanese principles that reconcile humans with nature; the oneness of the mind, soul, and body.
Let’s explore some of the most integral ways as to how the Zen school of oriental thought is reflected in the Onsen treatment:
The ofuro or Japanese bath is one of the most essential aspects of Japanese life. There is a greater significance in terms of sustenance and ritual that comes into play within the many sentos or Japanese bathhouses. Visiting the local Onsen spring is foundationally hailed as the focal point of Japanese residential villages. The general feeling of interconnectedness both with nature and other people is deeply rooted in the experience of getting a soak in an Onsen spring.
The Japanese have a deep affection for relaxation and contemplation by means of immersing themselves in their natural surroundings. The balanced spirit of Zen philosophy is the yearning for an untranslatable connection within all of us and our sensory relationship with reality—the innate and primitive simplicity that is the true natural state of living; being in all of its dialectic wholeness.
Social hierarchy and status are insignificant and non-existent to the bounties of nature. The Zen teachings of self-realization are impossible to reach without the openness and nakedness that unites us with the dharmas of mother nature.
For the Japanese, bathing is a ritual that serves as a chance to take some time off the rigid and progressively focus-heavy routines and activities of everyday life in order to relax and embrace one’s inner solace. This is of course not to be confused with pure solidarity, one of the most essential elements of the Onsen experience is the communal aspect that plays an important and central role in the bonds of Japanese culture.
Japanese hot spring bathhouses include a commutative nature in the sense that getting a soak, eating, drinking, and enjoying the environment is a translucent metaphor for the inherent value of honest relationships—nakedness and inter-being. The proverbial barriers that cause us to have tension and strains of animosity for our fellow humans are taken down, washed away, illuminated, and clarified by the enlightening treatments that we receive from the miracles of nature’s most revitalizing springs.
Modern era Japanese culture, specifically in the more urban landscapes of Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, and Nagoya is heavily ingrained with the stressful bearings of the ultra-rapid lifestyles that are synonymous with these city’s milieus. But the core value system that has always made Japan the formidable force that it is, is kept alive and running strong through the veins of its everyday people with each of their regular getaways to the meditative waters of their provinces’ hot springs.
Fortunately, in this day and age, there are now many select accessible cityscape Onsen Spas that magnificently and authentically recreate the most fundamental fruits of the Japanese Onsen tradition.
I’M Hotel’s iconic Onsen Spa is rated number 1 in the highly-reputable travel website TripAdvisor. The many package programs and meticulously crafted treatments are prepared by the country’s most esteemed wellness specialists and master aromatherapists. The I’M Hotel Onsen Spa beautifully recreates the ritualistic grandeur of these Japanese hot springs by blending the potent effects of oriental minerals imported straight from Japan, with the incredibly intricate techniques in Western massage physiotherapy. The custom blended essential oils carry with them therapeutic benefits that cannot be reproduced by contrived efforts.
The ethereal experience that I’M Hotel’s Onsen Spa provides perfectly captures the art of the Japanese hot spring bathhouse that has been practiced in all its sacred profundity for many a century. In a more clinical context, I’M Hotel’s Onsen bathing is well-known for being able to activate the body’s most central systems by stimulating fluid circulation and facilitating optimal hormone balance as to improving one’s metabolic rates.
The best 5-star hotels in Manila usually include first-class facilities along with world-class therapists and treatments to match. But nothing compares to I’M Hotel’s one-of-a-kind take on the ancient healing and relaxation rituals of Japanese Onsen Spas. The most fundamental core of I’M Onsen’s incomparable spa experience is the understanding and application of the Zen spirit that is found deep within each and every one of us as human creatures and children of the earth.