In Japan, it is a must to experience sento (public bath). It’s also known as onsen where you soak yourself in mineral water, which is good for your body.
If you take a 10 minute train ride from Shinjuku or Shibuya, you will find a local sento, æ „æ¹¯ (æ¸‹è°·ç¬¹å¡šæ¸©æ³‰æ „æ¹¯), located in Sasazuka, a quiet residential district. Just another 5 minutes walk from the train station will take you to a very local onsen.
Unlike other big sento or onsen, this public bath costs only 460 ¥. A quick warning though, you will have to strip naked when you’re at the sento.
Everybody in the sento will be naked and it’s the local culture. You don’t have to be worry about how your body is like because nobody cares.
After entering the main door, the first step is to put your shoes into the locker.
Next, is to make payment. The entrance fee is 460 ¥ for adults and that’s about it. If you require rental of towels, there will be additional charge. They have small tower (to wipe your sweat) and big towel (to wipe dry your body).
If you are able to bring your own towel, you will be able to save on that. Enter the section according to your gender.
Follow these steps to enjoy yourself in the sento:
- Prepare 100 ¥ for the locker (to keep your belongings)
- Take off all your clothing.
- Enter the bathing area to bathe. Soap and shampoo will be provided free of charge.
- Ensure that you are free from soap and shampoo before entering the onsen.
- Enter the onsen. There are indoor jacuzzi baths, open air baths and even cold baths.
- There’s also a sauna, but an additional charge will apply.
After you are done with the onsen, you can proceed to dry yourself or take another shower before leaving.
On your way out, grab some cold drinks to chill out. :)