I went to Korea a few years ago and had the authentic Korean sauna experience at Itaewon Land and have always been wanting to visit the one in Toronto. I was never able to rope anyone to go with me normally since it IS a bit pricey for what it is – sitting around in a hot room for $25.
And finally now years after, I had my chance. Or rather, I created that chance by making it part of my birthday celebration activities 😛 Thanks everyone for being a good sport to try it out!!
And also playing along by making the hair bun hat. And the Korean finger heart ❤
Seoul Jimjilbang was a close replica of the Korean sauna I went to in Korea – except I guess it doesn’t provide “special” massages here, I’d hope.
There’s a bit of a general procedure to these saunas so let me run you through it if you are unfamiliar:
- From the staff you receive a locker key and change of clothes, which you will take and change into at gender divided changerooms. You also get 2 towels – one for your head wrap / use in sauna, and one for post sauna shower.
- Next you enter the large non-heated room where there is abundant floor space, sofas, dining tables and some TV’s and exercise machines for your use.
- From there you can enter into the heated area – here at Seoul Jimjilbang they have an open heated area which leads into the specific mineral rooms available (ex. crystal, gold, jade..etc). Each room has a different mineral base built into the structure, and is set to a different temperature. They ranged from 30 – 100 + Celsius …accuracy on the temperature was not verified. The minerals are supposed to give healing effects such as anti-aging, detox, reduce indigestion… (Bonus note: The acoustics are awesome in these rooms. We self-karaoked a bit and we all sounded like Adele).
- After sweating profusely in the heated rooms, you can rush into the ice room to chill off – literally.
- When you’re done and tired of the rooms, you can head back into the non-heated area to relax, play some board games, or buy some snacks at the snack bar. Popular snacks are boiled eggs, ramen, and of course the various Korean popsicles. Melona is my all time favourite.
- Lastly, when you’re ready to head out (which is really whenever you want as they open 24/7), you head back to your changerooms and towards the shower and jaccuzzi room. Korean sauna protocol states that clothing is not allowed in the shower area – and there are no shower dividers or curtains either… Great way to overcome any body image concerns, haha.
- Then you’re done! There’s lots of space to change and even fix your hair / make up before heading back out to exit.
I had a great time and out of my 3 part birthday celebration I have to say I enjoyed this sauna part the most. Thank you to everyone who showed up to any part of that day even though I may not have any pictures with you!
Was the sauna worth the price? To me because I got to spend it with a lot of my friends and it was a one – time thing, yes. But would I go again? Probably not.