Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Inside Tokyo's Bath Houses | Sento ★ ONLY in JAPAN

Difficulty: 0

Welcome to one of Tokyo's many public bathhouses called "Sentō" they're usually very distinctive looking buildings around neighborhoods with high chimneys

We're going to get naked and show you what makes Tokyo's bath houses worth a visit

Tokyo Sentō all have the same price, but they're certainly all different than unique

As the industry changes from the past to the future, it's an exciting time right now to take a bath in Tokyo

Welcome to Takara-Yu, this is one of Tokyo's most famous Sentō, sentō being a public bathhouse

Takara-Yu is famous for kind of maintaining that retro style that they have decades and decades ago

But that's not the only attraction, of course, there the baths and to help me explain it all

He is a Sentō master, Machida-san

I think he has just arrived

This isn't your first visit here for you?

Of course not. I've visited here so far, nearly 300 times

Oh, great!

By the way, when this building has been constructed?

About 80 years old

It's characterized by its Japanesse traditional style

That's right. Very traditional Japanese looking

What's kind of attraction is there in this Sentō?

This Sentō highly appeals to

its high ceiling

There is also a very beautiful and spacious garden and the traditional painting

This is a vast area you can't enjoy in your own house bath and a lot of tradition lives here

So the purposes of Japanese bathing are half washing the body clean and half relaxing

So Takara-Yu has a lot of attractions to it of course every Sentō in Tokyo has an attraction

Something that makes it special Takara-Yu

it's the building itself and the garden not many Sentō have space for real nature in the city and

Then there's the building

External appearance, it resemble a temple

If you're wondering why it's because this is Paradise!

It's Paradise!!

Let's go!

Takata-Yu is a pretty typical Japanese bath house under its roof the showers with faucets under to fill the buckets for bathing

Rather than Mount Fuji, Takata-Yu highlights the other side of Japan the painting done by Machida-san himself

Wait a moment!

Oh, we haven't changed yet !

It's time to change

This is much better

Yeah, so now that we changed you're ready for the bath

This bath room - the ceiling is pretty high

This is one characteristic of Tokyo Sentō

The roof is high to let the steam out

On the outside where the waterfall is made of the rocks from Mt. Fuji

Machida-san is telling me that a piece of Mount Fuji exists outside that window

It's not obvious at first but Fujisan is there -- sort of

You see outside that window, there's a big boulder that was actually brought to the bath from Mount Fuji

Do you see it, it's hard not to feel the power of Mount Fuji here

Every Sentō in Tokyo pays homage to Mount Fuji in one way or another

But it's still a Sentō, and we still have to get into the bath

Wash your body before getting in the quick rinse is usually enough

Bathers must be completely naked when entering the bath, but for this video, we're wearing towels

Sentō aren't typically hot springs the water is heated before entering the bath

Machida-san and I went into the back to see a demonstration on how they used to heat the Sentō baths in the past

They did it with wood and fire

This heater is the last of its kind in Tokyo and now Takara-Yu uses gas and electricity to heat the baths

The heater produces a lot of heat and a lot of smoke

There really is a lot of smoke

That smoke is why Sentō have those high chimneys.

They're no longer necessary but many keep them up because it's easy to see the center from far away

Chimneys are also a symbol of the bathhouse you can see that the wood generates a great deal of smoke

The Sentō has changed a lot over the years

Japan is rich in water and has high temperature and high humidity

so that is why Sentō grew in numbers

Also Japan has a lot of Onsen

so people are used to getting into baths

Tokyo used to have about

2,000 Sentō more than

2,000 Sentō over the last 15 years or so the number has been declining now there's about 600 remaining in Tokyo

People have baths in their houses

They're also much busier have busy escapees Sentō bathers have changed a lot over the years

But fewer bathers these days Sentō have made more space between the showers

How long does one stay in the bath

It depends on a person, but they stay in for 30 minutes or so

30 minutes? Some people even longer

So how is the price of the Sentō decided?

From way back, it has been the same as one bowl of Soba

Right about 400 yen in current currency

Same since the Edo period (1603-1868)

So a simple bowl of soba noodles decided the price when bowls got more expensive, so did the entrance fee in Tokyo it's now

460 Yen

Takara-Yu's garden is also a big draw you can watch the carp swim by

The building is also an attraction constructed in the 1930s the outside maintains pretty much as it was back

Then the bath is family-run and the owner showed me some of the history of the bath

This is around 1937 or 1938

This picture shows the ceremony for putting the ridge-timber in place of this bath-house

A bunch of the carpenter specializing in temple, shrine etc. construction are lining up

You haven't used the second floor at all, haven't you?

timber construction

No machnines or cranes were used. By only "Ningen (human) power"

This is a picture of the well

to bring the water up manually

Water was brought up by wells to fill the baths a labor-intensive job

This is my uncle's family

Sentō are almost always family-run businesses going back generations. There's a love for the community it brings in

Ceremony of the day the Sentō opened

This was the day that Takara-Yu Sentō opened

The neighborhood may have changed around it, but Takara-Yu has stood strong throughout the years

The Sentō is more than a public bath these days. It's also a community spot for events like music performances and art exhibits

That's sort of the place I want to make here

This is not just a bath, it's a different kind of place

There's a connection between bathing and drinking milk, coffee milk is Machida-san's recommendation

From way back, kids came to the Sentō for coffee milk

When you get into the bath, you get dehydrated

and you want something sweet

In old days, they only sold normal milk

but since kids came, they started to have this

Kids think coffee something adults drink

so when they drink it, they feel mature

All kids want to be adults and adults love the nostalgia

Delicious! Totally satisfied

What a incredible feeling! Felt great, didn't you

We are totally refreshed!

This is just one experience one Tokyo Sentō

There are hundreds more to explore as I said each one is special and another Sentō master was waiting for me across town

Right away, you can see that the building is modern almost looks like a museum

This is Hisamatsu-Yu and it's been remodeled to fit today's style

Since everyone has a bathtub in their house these days bathers look for an enhanced experience

You pay and get your key, which is a card in this case welcome to the 21st century

It's used for the locker

Oh, this is Shimokitazawa-san, you can tell from his t-shirt that when it comes to bathing he means business

Change into your birthday suit and make your way to the baths

The showers are the lazy man's way to rinse yourself be careful not to splash your neighbor Shimokitazawa- san prefers the tap and bucket method

Shimokitazawa-san invites me to try it out everything looks fine another relaxing bath

until things go totally wrong

Pulsing in the water is an electrical current. It's like he planned the whole thing

After a few minutes he convinces me that it's good for my health and to give it another go

Of course, I'm skeptical about the whole thing, but maybe I didn't give it a fair chance

Yep, it's still shocking and still rather funny to my friend

The current runs between these two bars, so now you know

Hisamatsu-Yu, also has an outdoor hot spring bath that bubbles

I think you really need to have this open air when you're in a real Onsen because that the cold air and the hot water really

Penetrates your soul like it gives you energy doesn't

Good for your health. Yeah, very good for your health!

Everyday, everyday, EVERYDAY!

Do you go to Sentō everyday? Of course, everyday.

Besides good health what's the attraction for him?

It's very interesting because it's quite different in places,

with the exterior, interior and the water itself and the people as well

People coming are so different in every Sentō

Hisamatsu-Yu was also an incredible Sentō experience and I'm starting to see why bath tourism is popular with Japanese

Each one is like entering a new world

Shimokitazawa-san knows about my final destination Daikoku-Yu, but while I'm travelling there

Let's take a look at some other Sentō in Tokyo as I said before the industry is changing to meet the times

This is the newly remodeled Sakae-Yu, the new style is modern giving bathers a totally different experience

Beautiful white walls of the changing room as you can see lighting is important to set the mood here

it looks like a scene from the future a bath from the Year 2050 and

The sound on has incredible art on the ceiling

Bathing has gotten a lot more exciting at Sakae-Yu

Another style shift is to go back in history to another era

Hasunuma-Onsen is newly remodeled as well, but in the 1920s Taisho era look

The Mount Fuji mural usually over the bath is now in the lobby so people can take photos of it

The ceiling is high

surrounded by stained glass and antique looking lights

The bath has painted tile making it seem like a theme park the main bath pays homage to japan's oldest bathhouse

Dogo-Onsen and Matsuyama where I was unclear this episode

This is a hot spring water with natural minerals coming from deep underground

Japan's four seasons painted above the showers going back in time is just as fun as going to the future

But there is one modern touch here the carp swimming under the floor. It's digital

Welcome to Daikoku-Yu and Oshiage near the Tokyo Skytree

Come on in it's an inviting place for locals and tourists alike

Leave your shoes in the locker and get a ticket from the vending machine

Like everywhere else it's 460 yen

Bring your own towel or pay a little extra to rent one. You'll also get a key for your locker

The setup is a little similar to Takata-Yu

There's my good friend Fujisan on the wall above

Grab a bucket and a stool and rinse yourself then pick a bath

The Super Jet

The Body Massage

The Sitting Bath

The Waterfall

The Medicinal Bath

The Walking Bath

This one's Daikoku-Yu has Wow many different varieties including

And Onsen, Daikoku-Yu pumps up water from the ground to bring it Onsen experience to the bathers something unique

That's not in people's homes

You can also go upstairs to a lounge to cool off and relax

At 643 metres high the Tokyo Skytree looks over the neighborhood

There's also a sauna here

But my favorite place in this Sentō is the retro hairdryer no instruction manual needed

Plonk your head under the hood

Pay 20 yen -- or 15 cents

And enjoy a three-minute blow feels like you're inside an airplane turbine

The feeling is better than a double espresso

People with body art will be happy to know that Tokyo Sentō are increasingly becoming

tattoo friendly the Sentō is open to all and it's just

460 yen you can take your first step to be a Sentō master, it's not just a bath. It's a relaxing experience

That's good for your health part of the culture and history and one of those experiences that is certainly only in Japan

Enjoy your soak

If you liked it hit that subscribe button and check out another one of our shows

Don't miss my second live streaming channel only in Japan go and check out location photos on Instagram


The Description of Inside Tokyo's Bath Houses | Sento ★ ONLY in JAPAN