Sento is a facility for taking a bath. This Japanese-style public bath house also functions as a social hub in its neighboring community. Since old times in Japan, it has been believed that washing dirt off from your body is to cleanse you of the spiritual grime in the Buddhist teachings. In the early 13th century, a bathing facility for people called “Sento” was established.
Now You can just enjoy specious bathtubs, a Jacuzzi, out-side bathes and saunas.
Sento are known for their temple-style architecture called “Miyazukuri”, but nowadays this type of Sento can not often be seen.
Sometimes you can find a massage chair, single-seat sofa-chair with massage functions in Sento. Massage chairs are best used when your body is relaxed after the bath. Embedded rollers inside the seat and seat back produce massage motions to soothe the user’s shoulders, lower back, arms, and feet. Latest models offer advanced functions like muscle-strain detection, motion control synchronization with pulse and skin responses, professional massage touch, etc.
The tradition of painting a mural of Mt. Fuji in the main bath area started in 1912 when the owner requested a painter to draw something that would make children happy. The painter was from Shizuoka, so he painted Mt. Fuji. This became very popular and has spread to many Sento across the country since then.
How to enjoy Sento
① Take off your shoes, and put them in the shoe locker.
② Paying the bathing fee at the front desk.
Most Sento sell a towel for bathing, shampoo, soap, and other goods such as disposable razors. Recently, some public baths provide shampoo and body soap free of charge. Please check with the individual Sento when you visit.
③ Find a vacant locker in the changing room, take off all your clothes.
④ Let’s head to the bathroom with a small towel to use when washing.
⑤ Preparing the wash basin and stool, let’s wash so we can go cleanly into the bath.
⑥ Relax in the large bathtub!