After leaving the hot springs, it’s off to Hikifune Kirio’s palace, and there she prepares her specialty for them – mountains after mountains of glorious food. For some reason, her reiatsu and body weight are positively correlated, and so losing her reiatsu also means that she slims down significantly (much to the jealousy of girls everywhere however, her chest seem unaffected). Of course, just like Kirinji’s hot springs, Hikifune’s food is no normal cuisine, as its purpose is to restore and power up Ichigo and Renji’s reiatsu levels. Her skills extend beyond cooking as well, and she was apparently the one who created the Artificial Souls. That’s not surprising as the former captain of the 12th squad, before Urahara. All of the members of the Zero Squad apparently have had made significant contributions to the history of Soul Society, some of them predating even Yamamoto. For example, Kirinji seems to be older than Unohana, who was the first Kenpachi and was around when Yamamoto founded the Gotei 13, and Nimaiya is credited with having created the zanpakutou themselves, which I’m assuming makes him very, very old. This actually makes Hikifune a relatively new recruit to the Spirit Palace since she joined only about a century ago.
I’m guessing that Ichigo and Renji’s next destination, the “Phoenix Palace”, will also involve its owner’s specialty: zanpakutou’s. From the looks of it, their experience there will not be as relaxing as it was in the previous two palaces.