When I lived in Tokyo, I often went to “Sento”, public bath.
In my unit, the bath room was so small and could not keep proper hot temperature for long time .
In winter time, even after taking bath, my body felt still so cold.
Also some of old apartment doesn’t have bath room, instead of the condition rent is cheap.
So young people chose the reasonable price of apartment and use “Sento”.
Sento has quite big bathtub and hot water is flowing every time.
It’s good to keep warming body up at cold weather.
Even Japanese people are confusing but, Sento is different from “Onsen” 温泉, spring bath.
Onsen is warm water that springs from the ground, other gases and water vapour mineral water.
Only Natural spring hot water is called “Onsen”.
Most of “Onsen” is close to country side as there are volcano mountain or natural resource around.
“Sento” is more local people’s living facility.
The building is not special, gorgeous, beautiful or big, but you can see Japanese people’s bath culture there.
People are naked, feel relax at hot water and easy to make conversations in there.
Children learn public manner and communication at the first time there.
It’s kind of local people’s community.
Thus, if you want to use the facility, strictly need to know the rule.
I should tell you basic rule of using Sento here.
Using price is around 400Yen, $5
1. At first, pay 400yen at counter and buy necessary stuff, towel, shampoo, conditioner or soap.
2. Find out unused locker, put your clothes and belongs. It’s possible to keep locker key in side of bath.
3.Before taking bathtub, rinse up well your body especially, under arm, crotch, behind knee and between toes.
4. Keep hiding around your crotch with towel,while walking to bathtub,
5.While Entering bath tub slowly, checking water tempurture.
6. If feeling hot, flowing cold water from tap, but not so much to do for concerning about another user.
7. After warming body up well, take out from hot water and start washing body.
8. The body start feeling cold out side of bath, take bath again.
Please be careful. Most of Sento are not allow to enter a person, who has tattoo.
I think people traditionaly believe that someone has tattoo is Yakuza.
They don’t want to have trouble with Yakuza.
I introduce some local Sento place in Tokyo.
If you have a chance to travel Tokyo, please try it!
Address: Tokyoto Arakawa ku Higashi nippori 3-22-3
Opening hour: 15：00～24：00
Address: Tokyoto Shinjuku ku kagurazaka 3-6
Opening hour: 15:00～25:00
“大正湯 “, Taishouyu
Address: Tokyoto sumida ku Tachikawa 1-5-1
Opening hour: 16:00～23:30