Bathing culture is deeply ingrained in the Japanese society. Japanese people love soaking in hot baths, both at home and in public hot spring resorts, known as onsen. You’ve surely heard about onsen already – all together with the high prices, rules and etiquette that might seem weird for us Westerners (entering the public bath stark naked, no people with tattoos allowed, and more.) If you’re still wary about trying an onsen, you might want to look into sento bathhouses instead. Sento is very similar to an onsen, but most of them use regular heated water instead of real hot spring water and are closer to a Western-style bathhouse than a Japanese onsen. Let’s take a look at some sento in Tokyo you can visit during your trip:
1. Saito Yu
Probably one of the most popular among tourists sento in Tokyo, Saito Yu is located in Taito, near the Nishi Nippori Station. They charge a flat fee of ¥460 for adults, ¥180 for elementary school kids, and ¥80 for pre-schoolers. They also offer towels for rent in case you didn’t bring your own to Japan, and essential amenities like
makeup remover and lotion to use before getting in the bath. What’s more, they even sell draft beer, so that you can crack open a cold one (not really, it comes in a mug) after your hot bath. The best part about this sento is that they allow people with tattoos, which makes it very popular with Westerners.
Name: Saito Yu
Address: 6 Chome-59-2 Higashinippori, Arakawa, Tokyo 116-0014, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Sun 14:00-23:30, Fridays closed
Phone number: +81 3-3801-4022
Official website: http://saito-yu.com/
2. Tsuru no Yu
Another sento located in the Taito area of Tokyo is Tsuru no Yu. However, this one is closer to Asakusa station, so you can pop in while visiting the area. They offer different kinds of traditional Japanese baths – starting with herbal and water jet baths and rounding up with Infrared Radon baths and Western-style dry saunas. The bathhouse also has a laundromat that you can use if you need to freshen up your clothes as well. Lastly, Tsuru no Yu also accepts people with tattoos, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to enter, even if you’re inked from head to toe.
Name: Tsuru no Yu
Address: Asakusa 5-48-4, Tokyo 176-0022, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Sun 10:00-23:00, Thursdays closed
Phone number: +81 3-3872-7753
Official website: http://taito1010.com/component/mtree/sento-list/tsuru_asakusa.html?Itemid=112
3. Azuma Yokusen
Azuma Yokusen is perfect for those who want to experience a bit of the history of Japanese onsen as well, besides dipping into a hot bath. The place was opened in 1970, and is a splendid example of Taisho era design. While most sento have a representation of Mt Fuji inside the bathhouse, this one features and intricate mosaic depicting mermaids. If you’re only in for the baths, you’ll be able to enjoy traditional Japanese cold, warm and hot tubs, Western-style dry sauna, and aromatic baths.
Name: Azuma Yokusen
Address: 2-34-2 Chuo, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo
Business hour: Mon-Sun 14:00-22:00, closed Wednesdays
Phone number: +81 3-3654-0034
4. Arai Yu
Arai Yu is located close to Tokyo Sky Tree and Asakusa Station. This is one of the best places to go to for the quintessential Japanese bathhouse experience. They offer several different types of baths, including hot and warm tubs, aromatic baths, and massage baths. The men’s bath also has access to a smaldoesden terrace, where you can relax and enjoy the view of a Japanese garden. The sento doesn not specify what their policy is regarding people with tattoos, but you might be able to talk to them about that, especially if your tattoo is small or in a more hidden area.
Name: Arai Yu
Address: Japan, Sumida ku Honjo 2-8-7, Tokyo
Business hour: Mon-Sun 15:30-00:00, Closed on the 6th, 16th, and 26th of the month
5. Minowa Yu
Minowa Yu is the perfect destination for those who don’t have time to go too far off the beaten path to try out a sento. This bathhouse is located in the very heart of Shinjuku, and offers a wide variety of baths to choose from. This includes massage tubs, herbal baths, mist saunas, and regular hot tubs that anyone can enjoy. The design of the bathhouse is also pretty spectacular – it sports Roman-style arcades and mosaic, which is a fairly interesting choice for a Japanese sento.
Name: Minowa Yu
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kamiochiai 3-31-2, Tokyo, Japan
Business hour: Mon-Sun 15:30-01:00
Phone number: +81 3-3368-2661
The Japanese bath culture is certainly different from anything we’re used to in the West. And if you’re still not ready to commit and go for a real Japanese onsen, try one of these sento spas we recommend. They’re sure to offer you a quick dip (pun intended) into the traditional bathing culture but in a more Western bathhouse ambiance. And they’re also really cheap – most charge a flat fee of just ¥460.
Top 5 Foot Massage Chains in Tokyo
After a long day of exploring Tokyo, your feet may hurt. Or, you may feel tired all around. Before you call it a day, why not consider getting a foot massage? Tokyo has many places where you can have a foot massage that will make your feet feel refreshed and ready to explore some more. In this post, we’ll talk about the foot massage and show a few places that are worth checking out. @arashiyu.kyoto History of the Foot Massage The foot massage has been a source of therapy for thousands of years, with books found in China around 4,000...
Top 5 Japanese Hair Color Products
Changing your hair color can be quite an experience. Sometimes, you wonder if you’d look different with a hair color different to your own, and you decide to give it a whirl. You can choose either a natural hair color, or an alternative hair color such as green or pink. Other people use hair coloring to hide any gray hairs they may have. Whatever the reason you want to color your hair, Japan has some hair coloring products that will keep your hair colorful and will last a good while. 1.Palty Hair Color @truonglenguyen @shibuyalaktown Palty Hair Color is a...
Tokyo’s Top 5 Facial Esthetic Salons
Nowadays, our skin is more exposed to damage because of the harsh environment that we move in. This is why a lot of us, women, are always on the lookout for the best clinics we can entrust our skin to. Japan, specifically Tokyo, has always been considered as one of the hottest hubs when it comes to beauty services and products. As pioneers of esthetics, you can possibly spot a beauty salon in almost every corner of Japan. With an overwhelming number of advertisements on trains, malls, magazines and TV, you’d really find your feet making its own way to...
Best Japanese Facial Steamers
I have said this once before, and I will say it again. The Japanese have almost flawlessly perfect skin. They pride themselves on their beauty and wellness treatments. In fact, the way the Japanese take care of their skin is nothing short of amazing. Most Japanese cosmetic products use only natural ingredients, instead of harsh chemicals, in order to keep the skin soft and gentle. Salons all across Japan use lotions, moisturisers and creams that nourish and hydrate the skin, keeping it soft and gentle. In addition to using the right lotions and creams, the Japanese also avoid excessive bad...
Top 9 Japanese Hair Treatment Products
A lot of women have this misconception that hair care and treatment will always be expensive and luxurious. While it’s true that a trip to the salon is needed every once in a while, you can still pamper yourself at home with cheap yet quality products. Japan is one of the front-runners in offering beauty products that are both inexpensive and effective. That is why its brands have made its way to department store racks all over the world. You can also find them online as most shops offer Japanese products from skin care, cosmetics and of course, hair care....
Tokyo's Best Ashiyu (Foot Bath) Cafe's
The Japanese Ashiyu, or Japanese foot bath, is exactly what it says on the tin – a bathing experience specifically for your feet. Ashiyu comes from the Japanese words ‘Ashi’ meaning ‘foot’ and ‘yu’ meaning ‘hot water’. They are traditionally located in natural hot springs all over the country of Japan. With some of them being made with hot tub like spots for better convenience, in residential areas such as peoples’ homes, or in hotels, or even in transport stations for busy working people. The Ashiyu is widely regarded as an ancient and wonderful thing by native Japanese people, and...