Tourists and local residents in the Otemachi business district will soon be able to enjoy a natural hot spring bath in the heart of Tokyo, after real-estate giant Mitsubishi Estate Co. confirmed Tuesday it had successfully tapped a hot spring source and would proceed with plans to build a bathing facility.
Mitsubishi Estate hopes the authentic hot spring baths will provide visitors with insight into Japanese culture, and lure a multitude of foreign visitors to the area during the 2020 Olympic Games.
The “Otemachi Onsen” is the first natural hot spring dug up in the area. The source was discovered at a 11.2-sq.-kilometer site originally designated for the construction of a hotel and office complex.
The area has recently undergone a wave of development aimed at cementing its status as a business center and strengthening industry support services.
Work on the site began this year and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016. The baths will be offered at a facility fed by water pumped up from 1,500 meters below the ground at a rate of 240 liters per minute.
The company said it plans to route the hot spring water to other sports and housing facilities within the district at a later date, and will disclose which facilities are fed by the hot spring source to volunteers and disaster relief teams in the event of emergency situations.
Mitsubishi Estate said the water will be pumped at a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius and contains high levels of sodium chloride. The company claims it can provide visitors with relief from muscle and joint pains, as well as provide other therapeutic benefits such as alleviating digestive disorders and helping to regulate the autonomic nervous system.