Situated in the upscale Akasaka neighborhood, Holistic Sanctuary emerges as a new star on Tokyo’s beauty and wellness scene
Five minutes into my treatment at Holistic Sanctuary in Tokyo, my mind and body told me that I was experiencing something rather rare and extraordinary.
Keiko Chiba, the owner and therapist, had worked her magic on my tired body through a breathtaking array of techniques. Her hands, incredibly soft and supple, provided a therapy treatment that was at once uncannily soothing and deeply satisfying. My mind ran out of superlatives well before my 2-hour “Pioneer Special Body and Facial Treatment” ended in pure bliss.
Holistic Sanctuary is a boutique-style, private salon located in the upscale Akasaka neighborhood of Tokyo and a short 3-minute walk from the Akasaka subway station. The salon was recently opened to provide a complete beauty and wellness experience for health-conscious customers. Founded by Keiko Chiba, a VTCT qualified expert in both traditional and modern therapy techniques and a veteran of the high-end hospitality and wellness industry, Holistic Sanctuary brings forth an unusual depth of holistic therapy treatments. In addition, the salon is also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to provide a complete wellness and beauty program.
As a private salon catering to high-end clients, Holistic Sanctuary is well situated on the sixth floor of an elegant residential-commercial building in a quiet spot in Akasaka. As the elevator doors opened, Chiba was already standing outside her salon to greet me with the kind of warmth that the Japanese people are well known for. Chiba surprised me with her flawless and perfect command of English. As I would soon discover, the owner of Holistic Sanctuary has rich and diverse experience that belies her youthful appearance.
Having recently returned from London, England where she worked as a mobile therapist for two years, Chiba has traveled around the world extensively and has lived in many countries including England, Australia and Italy and speaks multiple languages, including her native Japanese and English. A veteran of the hospitality and wellness business with 15 years of experience, Chiba’s impressive CV includes renowned Japanese and multinational companies including: Park Hyatt Tokyo, Tokyo Midtown, Royal Caribbean International, and Blossom & Jasmine (UK). Chiba’s diverse client list includes A-list celebrities, famous sports figures and well-known photographers.
At Holistic Sanctuary, the healing process begins from the moment you sit down for your consultation. We chatted over a cup of green tea, and Chiba made me feel instantly relaxed and comfortable. Chiba believes that a pleasant personality is an important element of her treatment, “I think my personality is something that I am particularly proud of. I always enjoy meeting people and they also like coming back to me.” Her passion is obvious and could easily be felt. Chiba is obviously someone who loves her job. “I really enjoy taking care of people. I believe it’s my life mission to ensure people are healed through holistic therapies,” said Chiba.
Inside, the salon is spacious and very well designed. Mood lighting adds to a serene atmosphere while laid-back lounge music lingers in the background. An oversized bathroom featuring a large tub and vanity area allow guests to relax themselves before and after treatments. There’s a mini gallery section showcasing work by world-renowned photographers – many of whom are clients and friends of Chiba.
During my consultation session, Chiba explained the different treatments available at her salon. With her long list of impressive qualifications Chiba is able to offer holistic treatments including: Aromatherapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Swedish Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Facial Massage, Hot and Cold Stone Massage, Indian Head Massage, Thai Foot Massage and Pregnancy Massage.
Keiko Chiba, Holistic Sanctuary Tokyo
For clients who favor a high-tech approach, Chiba’s Lipo Cavitation machine, or Cavi-Lipo, has proven to be highly effective. This process, which takes advantage of ultrasound waves to eliminate fatty tissues, has been immensely popular among her clients. Recently, Chiba also introduced the Galvanic Body Spa, a device that she found to be highly efficient in combating an ageing appearance. The device utilizes Galvanic current to stimulate, refresh and purify skin.
Holistic Sanctuary carries a handpicked selection of beauty and spa products including PHYTOMER and THALGO from France. The latter, in particular, was specially brought in to cater to the large male client base of Holistic Sanctuary.
As for my treatment, it was simply an unbelievable healing and rejuvenating experience. I am not sure if it was Chiba’s skills and experience or her passion – or quite possibly a combination of both. All I know is that I will be back for more. There’s now a whole new reason to visit Tokyo.
Photography: Holistic Sanctuary, Emily Lee (portrait)
Tel: 03-6441-2150 (Reservation)
Address: 6-6-4, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo