Yasuragi for Kids
Lola A. Åkerström reviews Japanese-Scandinavian spa Yasuragi Kids with family in tow.
This wasn’t my first trip to Yasuragi.
I had already explored this exquisite spa experience located 20 minutes from Stockholm’s center with my husband as a wedding gift from friends. That was seven years ago and I firmly remember that soothing experience. From dipping in its rejuvenating bath and getting a facial to dining on some of the tastiest lamb I’ve ever eaten to date at Yasuragi’s Restaurang Teppanyaki. My husband and I came back relaxed, rejuvenated, and closer.
Located along Höggarnsfjärden Bay with stunning views from its boxy dark brown exterior and gardens designed by Japanase architect Yoji Kasajima, Yasuragi Hasseludden has been running for over 17 years and is considered to be the largest Ryokan (traditional inn) outside of Japan. It was designed around the 5,000-year-old principles of Feng Shui to create balanced energy flows and help you break away from everyday stresses of the daily grind to firmly center you in the moment.
In harmony with your mind and spirit. If only for a few hours.
Fast forward seven years and two kids later, when an opportunity to revisit Yasuragi on a complimentary basis with our two energetic toddlers in tow showed up through my participation in TBEX Stockholm, I gladly took up the offer. Yasuragi is normally reserved for only adults but when summer rolls around, Yasuragi opens up its doors to kids and launches its seasonal Yasuragi Kids program.
This time around, we caught the 09:30 ferry from Strömkajen to Hasseludden which was a relaxing and scenic 30-minute cruise through Stockholm’s harbor. A steep but short walk took us up through wooded paths to Yasuragi. We gathered for a rich and flavourful blueberry coconut smoothie while learning about the Yasuragi Kids program and what activities we had at our disposal for the rest of the day.
Then it was time to change into our traditional navy blue and white Japanese cotton robes called yukata. All adults also receive complimentary swimwear but we had to bring along swimwear for the kids. We were given an introduction to the traditional ablution ceremony – the classic Japanese way of taking a bath and washing off any negative energy and stress we may have brought with us into the space. This cleansing ritual is first for the body and secondly for ridding the soul of negativity. You sit on a wooden stool, fill your wooden bucket with warm water which you lift and pour all over yourself and then you wash in slow circular movements all over your body. We later tried the tranquil Japanese bath and hot springs which were a big hit with the kids who loved the warm soothing waters of the springs built out of smooth stones.
Lunch for the Yasuragi Kids program was a buffet spread at Restaurant Tokyo with sushi, lightly fried gyoza dumplings, teriyaki chicken skewers, and other classics like pasta for pickier eaters. Adults order off a fixed menu, choosing from various sushi plates to some teriyaki hot dishes as well, while dining out on the open air terrace with stunning views of the bay below.
After digging into sushi for lunch, it was time for my daughter to learn how to make her own sushi from scratch, taking directions from a professional sushi chef. We worked with base ingredients such as sticky rice, seaweed wraps, raw salmon, and cucumbers to make her own Maki rolls. In addition to sushi school, other activities at Yasuragi Kids includes Japanese radio gymnastics, family yoga, Qi gong with chiball, Zen meditation, an outdoor trail of senses walk, sumo wrestling, Japanese arts and crafts, play corners, galleries, and so much more.
For adults, in addition to a variety of spa massages, treatments, facials, mediation classes, and yoga, we also experienced a live fish spa. For my mother who was also traveling with us, this was her first time getting a pedicure from dead skin-eating fish and she thoroughly enjoyed it, wishing she had more time to have her feet in the tank for at least 30 more minutes.
Having to leave a spa where you’ve just had a full day of relaxation and peace isn’t always easy and saying goodbye to Yasuragi at the end of our day wasn’t either.
But I am lucky to live in Stockholm with a quick 20-minute access to Yasuragi – one of my top recommended activities for kids during the summer.
Yasuragi Hasseludden is also a Ryokan – traditional Japanese inn – with 191 rooms for overnight stays. It has 24 treatment rooms and indoor/outdoor Japanese spas called Kyarabi. You can check out the rates for overnight stays here.
A day package from 8am-4pm costs SEK 895 (€95) per adult and child over 13, SEK 595 (€63) for kids 8-12 years, SEK 395 (€42) for kids 2-7 years and free for kids under two years old.
In addition to the day activities, it includes a lunch buffet as well as free tea and fruit throughout the day. Everyone over two years old gets a free Japanese robe (Yukata).
Visit Yasuragi’s official site for the latest information including rates and opening times. Special thanks to Yasuragi for the complimentary family invitation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are solely mine.