Tokyo office workers and tourists looking to soothe their aching backs and shoulders in one of Japan’s famous hot springs will soon have an option beyond the stone-lined baths deep in the mountains.
Mitsubishi Estate Co., Japan’s biggest developer by market value, found a natural hot spring in the heart of Tokyo’s Otemachi financial district after digging 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) deep, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement yesterday. The developer conducted research and consulted specialists, and was told the chances of finding thermal water in the area was high, said Takahiko Yamazaki, a Tokyo-based spokesman at Mitsubishi Estate.
Mitsubishi Estate drafted two years ago the development plan, including a natural spa, for the Otemachi and Marunouchi area, the most-expensive business district in the country with a love for natural hot springs, known as “onsen.” The neighborhood is home to global financial companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Citigroup Inc.
The average assumed achievable rent for grade-A buildings in the area is 32 percent higher than in Tokyo, according to broker CBRE Group Inc.
Shares of Mitsubishi Estate rose 1.7 percent to 2,574 yen at the close of trading in Tokyo, the highest since March 7.
Mitsubishi Estate plans to build an 18-story building at the location, where it will house a hotel by 110-year-old luxury hotel operator Hoshino Resort Co., and next to it a 31-story office tower which may include fitness and spa facilities, according to the company.
Since ancient times, Japanese people have been fond of thermal hot springs and immersing oneself in an onsen has become part of the Japanese culture and lifestyle, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
The digging started in April and the thermal water was found in June, Yamazaki said. The type of underground water is thought to help fatigue, poor blood circulation, depression and skin dryness, according to the statement.
The projects are expected to be completed in 2016, the developer said.