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My name is: Esther Cha.

I’m known for being: marketing manager at SoJo Spa Club

I’m talking about: The Volcanic Sand Bath at SoJo.

You can find it at: SoJo Spa Club in Edgewater, NJ, with sessions offered daily between 11:30am and 6pm.

How it works is: Guests don the traditional Japanese yukata (cotton robe) before they are covered in warm sand by an attendant in an enclosed communal sand box. A wooden headrest is provided to help keep errant sand and the surrounding heat from the head. Once guests are completely covered, they are given a parasol to provide a greater sense of privacy, while they relax in the sand for a recommended 10-15 minutes. After the session, guests can easily free themselves from the sand before slowing sitting and then standing up. Remaining true to the original experience as it is offered at Hakusuikan spa in Japan, guests may enjoy a post-sand soak in one of SoJo’s many therapeutic baths, as they would in the adjacent hot springs found in Ibusuki.

What makes it special is: It’s a treatment you would otherwise have had to travel to a remote part of Japan to experience! SoJo is the only spa in the world to have partnered with a luxury resort in Ibusuki to import their therapeutic lava sediment, so that we could recreate this traditional treatment as closely as possible. Japanese people have been traveling to this region in the shadow of the Kaimondake volcano for thousands of years to experience the benefits of volcanic sand bathing, which include relaxation, improvements to muscle soreness, skin and breathing conditions—and even purported weight loss.

One thing you can’t miss is: The Korean Body Scrub, a deep exfoliation treatment offered by Korean bathhouses that is great for the colder weather. It’s perfect to have the Volcanic Sand Bath, soak and then experience this service!

My favorite secret detail is: Coming to SoJo Spa Club early in the morning mid-week, to feel like you have the whole place to yourself.

Your body will thank you because: Experiencing all different spa traditions from cultures around the world (but under one roof) makes for the ultimate self-care day.

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