April 26, 2010
This is the entrance to the women's bath at Yunomori (湯の森), a local Super Sento (a public bath and spa facility). Here at Yunomori they pull up natural weak alkaline hot spring from 1100 meters underground. They also have many other types of baths, saunas, and massage booths.
Everyone puts their luggage and clothes in these lockers before heading into the bath area. Some people bring their own shampoos and soaps, but the facility also provides shampoo-in-conditioner and body soap. You can also borrow bath towels at the entrance desk.
Outside the men's and women's bath areas, there are places you can sit and watch TV or eat something light from the snack booth. Usually you will find the men sitting around and waiting for their women folk to come out. I'm sure Japan is not the only place where women tend to take longer baths than men!
I happened to see a cute old man and woman with matching Hawaiian hats the other day. The lady came out saying 'Omatase!' which means 'Sorry to keep you waiting' in Japanese.
If you ever get a chance to go here, or any public bath, you will here a lot of 'Omatase!' because the baths are so relaxing it's hard to pull yourself away!