Thursday, June 23, 2011

Manyo Club

About 2-3 weeks after Golden Week my sister came to visit me for a weekend and we spent a whole day together at the Manyo Club Yokohama, a 8-floor onsen spa club that trucks in its natural hot spring water from Atami, Shizuoka daily!

We've been trying to find an onsen facility locally here at Yokohama but weren't successful. Hubby did overhear his classmates talk about a bathhouse (sento) nearby but when he finally inquired, the classmates replied they only heard rumors and had never been themselves. So we were left to our own device to search for an interesting place to bring my sister when she visits. Thank goodness for the Yokohama City sightseeing guide on the city's official website (in English too, yay!), where I spotted Manyo Club further down the list. With details and pictures on Manyo Club's official website and more information from this review, all 3 of us were totally sold on the place. A foot bath on the building's roof with a 360 degree view of Yokohama? Yes, please!!!

Walking from the train station to Manyo Club, as soon as we saw the building hubby exclaims, "Heeeeyyyy, I know this building! I was watching it shake like crazy during the earthquake!" Erhh...not the most comforting thing to hear, but hey, the building's still standing with no damage whatsoever, so that can only mean good news. Manyo Club is, quite literally, behind hubby's school and he looks out at it every day eating lunch on the school's 5th floor balcony. It was there on this balcony that he witnessed the big earthquake and yes, he saw this building getting its major shakedown of the decade.

We came in just a couple of hours before lunch time and decided to go take a dip in the baths first prior to eating lunch. Just so you know, there was no visible trace of the earthquake anywhere inside the building. No cracks in the tubs, walls, nothing, like the biggest earthquake in Japan's written history never even happened. You can always argue that it's been 2 months after and whatever damaged happened might have been repaired. To that point, the Daiei building further down outside the Yokohama Station, being an older building, was damaged during the earthquake and is still in the midst of restoration to this day and with only its first 2 floors reopened to the public. My argument is that all 8 floors of this Manyo Club building are wholly operational and in excellent shape, which probably means the building wasn't even damaged in the first place. Damn, this country has some of the sturdiest architecture out there and you just can't appreciate it until you see it for yourself.

Manyo Club has 3 eateries: a buffet, a mid-end restaurant, and a more fancy shmancy place with a view of the harbor. We picked the mid-end restaurant because no one was there and we had the whole place to ourselves ^.^ Most people were either at the buffet or the fancy place, we just wanted some privacy to chat and laugh away without drawing attention.

Check out the tamami mats in the elevator!

That's me grinning from ear to ear. The 360 degree view was as breathtaking as we had hoped, and then some!!! Do watch the video I took of the view, although I have to warn you that because it was a windy afternoon, you won't hear a thing I said ^.^

Hubby was grinning from ear to ear too ^.^

The Pacifico Yokohama.

View to the left of the Pacifico.

The Cosmo Clock 21 and the Yokohama Landmark Tower behind it.

Yokohama World Porters to the left of the amusement park.

The 100 years old Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse far behind World Porters.

The Red Brick Warehouse up close.

My sister and hubby taking a nap next to the foot bath.

The building's model.

Chilling out in the quiet room. Every reclining chair has its own TV. I was very annoyed here actually. The woman behind totally ignored the fact that we were all in a QUIET room where everyone was sleeping, including myself. Not only she didn't turn her phone on vibrate, she let it rang loudly several times before picking it up and had several more loud conversations, which woke me up completely. Goes to show not everyone in Japan is as polite as they claim to be.

We left Manyo Club around 7:30 to meet up with friends for dinner in Chinatown but I would have totally spent the night there. Manyo Club often get together with the hotels in the vicinity and offer spa packages along with hotel night stay. When we were there, there was a promotion from which you get a day pass at the spa, some sea salt spa treatments which would have been extra otherwise, and a night stay at a fancy hotel nearby (I forgot which one...), all for 10,000yen ($120) a person. That's a freakin' deal if you ask me, because a day pass at the spa is already 2,650yen to begin with, plus the extra charges for the sea salt spa treatments, etc. Too bad we couldn't spend the night because we had plans with my sister and her friends later in the night as well as the next morning.

The Pacifico at dusk.

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