Savvy spa-goers who like to experience exotic treatments from around the globe won’t want to miss the new Volcanic Sand Bath ($20, 10 to 15 minutes) at SoJo Spa Club (Edgewater, NJ). The unique experience marks the first time this traditional sand bathing treatment is available outside of Japan.
Hailing from the southern Japanese city of Ibusuki, the original treatment takes place in the shadow of the Kaimondake volcano, which is known for its black lava sand that is naturally warmed by the geothermal activity. People travel from near and far to be buried in the therapeutic sediment, which is reputed to promote relaxation, skin conditioning, and more. The spa worked with Ibusuki Hakusuikan, a high-end spa and resort in the region, to import 200 tons of lava sand from the region.
The treatment takes place within a 1,200-square-foot space on the sixth floor. Guests don the traditional Japanese yukata (cotton robe) before they are covered in sand by an attendant. Once guests are covered, they are given a parasol to provide a greater sense of privacy while they relax.
“Sand bathing in Ibusuki is very well known across Japan and among Koreans, so it was something that I was very much aware of as a wellness destination before I had even visited myself,” says Sojo Spa Club owner E. Rae Jo. “I loved the idea of offering our guests something totally new that would be beneficial as well as exciting, but without having to travel around the world.”