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Road Trip: A Serene Soak in Walnut Grove

Miyazaki Bathhouse

The Miyazaki Bath House & Gallery is the remarkable restoration of a Japanese “osento,” possibly the last one in America. Just an hour from Auburn and 15 minutes from Sacramento in Walnut Grove, you’ll feel like you’re on another planet. Sorry, the ladies in the photo are not staff at the bath house!

I am not a particularly spiritual person.

I am not someone who has learned how to relax.

I am not hugely enamored with water (especially in the presence of wine).

Yet hidden away in the Delta, I have found a place that directly connects all three, awakening—or perhaps revealing—feelings of which I was unaware. This is a hallowed site linked to an unfathomable culture, enshrined in time. And, remarkably, though barely an hour from Auburn, it is of another world and another century.

Be forewarned: this place should be shared only with someone you care about deeply, a soul mate. . .ok. . .with someone you love. It is the Miyazaki Bath House & Gallery in Walnut Grove, possibly the last surviving Japanese “Osento” in America, a womb-like place for private, intimate bathing yielding a “unique and delightful sensory experience as you soak and unwind in steamy waters”.

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