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Questions about Sento 2016/10/16 07:06
I'm going to be staying in Japan for a couple of months. My dorm just has showers, not a bath, so I would like to use public baths regularly. But I can't find much information on them aside from "yes, you have to be naked", and "it'll be a problem if you have tattoos" (which I don't, by the way, and I have used sento-style baths in dorms before, on previous trips).
So some of the things I'm wondering are:
- How do you fit going to a sento into your day? Do you go there on the way back from work/class, bringing your shampoo and things with you all day, or do you go to your room first, and then go?
- Do you wear your day clothes going and put the same clothes back on after, take clothes to change into, or what?
- What time of day should you go to the sento? Are there times that would be particularly weird, or what?
- How close should you make sure the sento you choose is to where you live? It would be strange to take the train from where you live to the bath, right? Would it be bizarre to go to one closer to where you are during the day, and then take the train back after that?

Anything else you can think of with basic things to know would be appreciated, too.
Like I said, I have used baths like this before, so I do know some of the basics, I'm just not familiar with going to the ones that aren't in the same building as my room, and the truly public ones (as opposed to dorm ones - and yes, the dorms were mostly Japanese people, not, like, foreigner-only dorms or something).
by Lavender (guest)  

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/16 11:01
Sorry but these questions are all a bit... ??? to me.

You go whenever you feel like going to the sento. I mostly went in the evening, the one closest to my home.

I took my own stuff with me (towel and cleanser, shampoo) but you can often rent towels and shower stuff. Clothes, depends on you. Do you want to change into fresh ones?

No one will know whether you are live far away from the sento or not. Seriously, you are overthinking this
by asahana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/16 12:03
Thanks~ I guess it's more from the perspective of trying not to make any faux pas. As an outsider, I feel like it's best to ask and not to assume things.

Any other information that a Japanese person would know, that may or may not seem obvious to a foreigner, would be greatly appreciated, too.
by Lavender (OP) (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/16 17:17

Even locals hardly go to sento nowadays, so you are equally a newbie along with the majority of residents of your generation.

But I think most sentos (I mean the normal ones with reasonable prices) are only open for a limited time of the day which is from early evening to midnight. So you should check with the facilities first.

The people I know who go to sento only for pleasure seem to go to one of those "super-sento" on weekends with friends, but of course I notice a lot of people coming alone.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/16 17:18
Look, it's not very complicated. You go to the sento of your choice. Prepared with your bathing products, towel and whatnot.

You put your shoes in a locker. Take the key with you. I only went to sentos in Tokyo, so I paid 460 yen. There was once fancier sento with touchscreen and they provided shampoo+body soap free of charge. Had sauna too. Other, simplier sento places had the choice of sento only or sento+ sauna.

You choose your option and present your ticket to the old person behind the counter. Now you can still rent a towel and shampoo if you forgot.

Old person may or may not hand you the key to your locker. enter the correct room.

Wash yourself, rinse the stool you sat on, bring a small towel with you to dry yourself somewhat after your bath. Bathe. Dry with big towel.

Change. Clothe yourself. Use hairdryer or not. Maybe drink something from one of the vending machines from there. If counterperson gave you locker key, give it back. Retrieve shoes. Leave.

As a foreigner they probably expect you to make a fazx pas.
by asahana (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/28 12:03
First, rent a room without a bath, but close to sentos, say, less than 5 min by bicycle. Check the routes and opening days/hours of the sentos.

On the day for a sento, I prepare for a day pack, in which, I hold a plastic bag with clean clothes and a bath towel to dry out, an empty bag to keep changed clothes in, and another bag with a wash basin, in which I hold a shampoo, a body shampoo, and a washing cloth. There is a free basin in sentos, however, it is convenient to hold my own basin for handling.

Once I go home well earlier than the closing time for one of the opening sento on that day, I go there by bicycle carrying the day pack. Take off shoes at the entrance, put my shoes in the shoes box there and keep the key. Pass by the gate paying the fee with greetings. Take off clothes, put these into the empty bag, and then into the day pack. Other than the wash basin, put the day pack into a larger locker on the wall, keep a key with a band on my wrist. If there are a large basket, keep the day pack there. No key for that.

Go into the bathroom and make sure to close the glass window completely. Wash the body as you like. Make sure to rinse your body before you go into the bath tub and also get out of the bathroom.

Then, wrap up. Get out of the bathroom making sure to shut the door thoroughly. Wipe the body with the bath towel, put clean clothes on, pass the gate saying thanks, pick up the shoes, put them on, and go home.
by Luisjp rate this post as useful

Re: Questions about Sento 2016/10/28 14:40
btw. check this page:
or if you know japanese:

it gives you a selection of very nice sentos and onsen with description. so you get an impression... (they extend the page until olyimpics 2020 so it will cover whole japan)
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

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