Happy Birthday, Tokyo Style
Are you tired of celebrating your birthday in Tokyo in the same old lackluster way? Has sponge cake lost its allure? Flowers and dinner are nice enough, but what you really want is some serious spoiling. Birthday blues be gone! Here are a couple of ways to celebrate with girlfriends that are sure to please.
Two things that say spoilt bigger and better than anything are champagne and a spa day, and Jet Set Salon in Hiroo offers you both! It is the latest go-to place for a great wash and blow dry. But if you plan ahead, the team can put together a fabulous birthday party special for you and five friends. Julia Spotswood, owner and manager of the Hiroo salon, will work with you to design a three-hour package that includes a bottle of bubbles. Her staff will pamper you and your guests with the most marvellous aromatherapy head massages, followed by a wash and a blow dry to die for. The result is that you and your friends will be in gorgeous shape to continue the party with either lunch or dinner somewhere nearby.
Or you could try a dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel for your special day. The hotel offers a range of party packages for you and your friends to enjoy. A dinner party in a luxurious private room with a two-and-a-half-hour free-flow drinks menu can be complemented by the addition of a fortune teller, makeup demonstration, deportment guide, or other such girly fun. A photographer can be included to capture all the great memories.
Also offered is a just-girls lunch (at ¥6,000) or a just-girls dinner package (¥8,000). The Shangri-La’s celebrations department can help organize a celebration to suit you, including an organic afternoon tea tailored to meet the needs of pregnant partygoers (if not a birthday party, this is a great option for baby showers). A maternity massage or maternity yoga features in this package and makes a lovely substitute for those forgoing alcohol on their birthday.
Massages and spa treatments are a wonderful way to spend your special day. Tokyo has many salons that offer great services and treatments, but for something a little different and quintessentially Japanese look no further than the Ooedo Onsen Monogatari, which offers a unique Japanese onsen (hot spring) experience pretty much right in Tokyo (in Odaiba). The onsen is easily accessed by rail and road, with buses at the station to transfer you to the front door. If you prefer to drive, there is ample parking available. This can be a full-day experience if you want. Take your friends along and not only enjoy soaking in some of the 14 hot mineral baths, but also take advantage of the various scrubs and massages on offer.
Wander the arcade dressed in your supplied yukata (cotton robe) and have lunch or drinks and snacks at any of the Japanese-style restaurants. Champagne is not an option here, but sake, beer and other spirits are available for a more authentic Japanese experience.
The onsen has a lovely garden with a foot bath just for soaking your feet. If you feel adventurous, you can pay a little more and have a fish pedicure. Yes, the fish nibble your feet (your feet must be clean and free from abrasions), taking away any dead skin. The outdoor garden is a relaxing and quiet place to sit awhile on your special day.
However you and your friends chose to celebrate your birthday, Tokyo has a lot of fun ideas to offer, so go ahead, you deserve it! Oh, and happy birthday!
Jet Set Salon
Address: 4-5-65, Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo
Address: Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Ooedo Onsen Monogatari
Address: 2-6-3 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-5500-1126 (Japanese only)