Speedy NEWS

Visiting the world’s best sauna to be enjoyed at Mifuneyama Rakuen and Chikurin-tei, an inn in Saga Prefecture

Yoshihisa Obara, owner of Rakuen Keikaku Co., Ltd. which manages Mifuneyama Rakuen and the Chikurin-tei inn, arranged for us to visit Rakuan-no-yu, which was awarded the Grand Prix of Saunasuran 2019 and 2020 for the second year in a row. I was allowed to enjoy it. And, of course, we got to enjoy Team Lab’s many amazing pieces of art!
It is located in a vast forest and pond the size of 15 Tokyo Domes. In fact, this site was once a social gathering place for the Nabeshima family, but Mr. Obara purchased the land and created it into a creation befitting the 21st century.
It may seem unimportant, but the Fukuda family originally had their principal residence and tomb in Saga Prefecture. My uncle’s wife (my aunt) married into the Nabeshima family. My grandmother Tsuruko is of the Imaizumi Imaemon family and married into the Fukuda family. So this fusion of capitalist and artist has shaped me. I was entertained by these roots.
The forest of sacred trees on Mt. Mifune is 3,000 years old, and it is also the historical place where Gyoki, the creator of the Great Buddha in Nara, built the oldest sauna in the world to pray for good health.
The sauna is soft with excellent painted walls, and self-lowe-lu is available. Aromatic water called “keugel” is made into ice balls (Japanese Hakka, mandarin orange, rose, and cypress leaves), and the aroma spreads along with the wax.
There are outdoor and indoor baths, medicated baths, mist saunas, a water bath based on hot spring water maintained at 17 degrees Celsius, totonoe rocks, and a “totonoe” coffee shop with firewood, all of which allow visitors to become one with nature.
These were made possible by Mr. Obara’s bold ideas, meticulous attention to detail, and efforts to see, hear, and incorporate designs from all over the world. Therein lies a fierce passion.
I had been wanting to visit for a long time, and finally I was able to come, albeit late, and spent a total of six hours over two days in this modern day hot-spring cure. I have never had a better sauna experience.
I urge everyone to go and experience it.
+38 cases

Yoko Tanigaki, Kyoichi Ichimura, and 135 others