F Organics Spa, Daikanyama
Perhaps more quickly in Japan than in other places, trends tend to come and go. But one trend I am happy to see is still going strong—and even growing—is that of healthy, natural and organic lifestyles. While many of us are careful about the things we put into our bodies and where they come from, we often pay less attention to the things that we put on our bodies. The products we use on our skin penetrate our pores and can affect us nearly as much as the food we eat, so it pays to know what's in them. That's why I was so interested to learn that F Organics, a Japanese skincare line made from organic ingredients, had recently opened a day spa in Sarugakucho.
I visited the F Organics spa the day after I returned from a vacation. Not only was I jet lagged, but my body was also finding it difficult to adjust to the sudden rise in humidity it experienced in going from Minnesota to Tokyo in July. I cycled to the spa right around midday, and by the time I arrived I was a hot, sweaty mess. But when I walked into the bright, welcoming reception area, I immediately felt at ease. Two staff members greeted me with friendly words and sincere smiles, pretended not to notice what a state I was in, and gave me a cup of cold herbal tea to help me cool down. As I sat on the cushy white sofa filling in the English consultation form, I could feel myself already beginning to relax.
F Organics occupies an old, renovated house on a backstreet just off the main road in Sarugakucho. As far as the atmosphere and decor go, it is one of the best small spas I’ve seen in Tokyo. Natural light pours in from large windows, and the white interior contrasts nicely with an old, dark wood floor. The second floor has a small balcony attached to it, and the treatment rooms are simply but luxuriously appointed with comfortable beds and large mirrors above the vanities. In short, it’s bright, clean, and feels just like a spa should—an escape from the city.
The treatment I had was the balancing facial (¥14,000), a 90-minute-long indulgence that included not only a relaxing and cleansing facial, but also a much needed back and neck massage. Aside from checking with me if the massage pressure was what I wanted and asking me to roll over in between the back and facial portions of the treatment, the therapist performed her work in silence, allowing me to completely unwind to the soft music playing and the scents of the aromatherapy oils. At one point I even let the jet lag take over and dozed off, but when it was all over I felt calm, relaxed and refreshed, and my skin was smooth and radiant. Before leaving me to change back into my clothes, the therapist arranged a bottle of water, a hair brush and some face powder on the vanity, so that I could freshen up a bit before heading back out into the heat.
On the first floor of F Organics is a shop selling the brand’s entire line of face, body and haircare products, so if you like one of the items used in your treatment you can purchase it to take home with you on the spot. The Moisture Lotion is particularly popular, but if one use isn’t enough to convince you, there is also a trial kit available, which includes four of the brand’s best-selling products.
The treatments at the F Organics spa range in price from ¥5,000 for a 30-minute head, back and leg massage to ¥18,000 for the “organic beauty enlightenment,” a two-hour treatment that includes a facial and full body massage. These are more or less on par with other Tokyo salons, and considering the spa’s unusually wonderful atmosphere and the organic ingredients used, I’d say the experience is well worth it. I’m already looking forward to my next visit to help my skin recover from our city’s punishing summer.
Address: 3-18 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 12-9 p.m. (last appointment at 7:30 p.m.; the first-floor shop closes at 8 p.m.)