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!


Tall Gary said...

Wow. A natural hot spring in Tokorozawa. That would be worth a visit. I lived in an apartment without a bath for 3 years. Some people called me “Sentô Man” because of the bath gear I always carried in a little backpack (towel and soap and stuff). My first visit to a public bath cost about 140 yen. By the time I left Japan the price for a visit had climbed to something like 360 yen. I won’t mention the cost of Yu no Mori. After all, it is a real hot spring.

Is there a Mt. Fuji mural in the bath itself; or some volcanic rocks? Oh, I could find the website here.

OK, men on the right women on the left.

Musashino Line, Higashi Tokorozawa. Got it.

Tall Gary said...

I see. The back wall in the women’s bath resmbles a bamboo fence, like at Katsura Rikyu in Kyoto.

VP said...

A very interesting posts and a nice thing to know.

Tall Gary said...

Information about Japanese public baths can be found here at Wikipedia for those who are interested.

Babzy said...

This is a place i would certainly enjoy a lot ;)

Leif Hagen said...

Onsen, onsen - daiski! Your posting today brings back many memories of visiting the many Onsen hotels in Gero, Gifu-ken while I taught English there for two years!
Domo arigato!

arabesque said...

now that's a new word for me!
informative info, i'll be sure to try that sometime...haha, hopefully, when i visit japan. ^0^

Lois said...

I would love to try this! Those hats are so cute.

White Oleander said...

I went to public bathes when I visited Japan (age 6 & 7), which I really enjoyed because the bath was huge. Last time I went to a small public bath at a hotel and was a bit disappointed with the size of it.

Hopefully I can go to hot spring when I visit Japan next time.

mia said...

The old couple is so cute. And I like how there's one Japanese word for "sorry to keep you waiting." It's so much more efficient! :)

Kaori said...

Tall Gary, 360 yen sounds about right for a regular Sento. 140 yen sounds better though! Yunomori is 700 yen. And they actually exchange the baths occasionally so you'll have to be careful not to walk into the women's 湯 ;)

VP, Japan seems to have a love affair with hot springs and they are virtually everywhere. Tall Gary's links are very good :)

Leif, oh I'm sure Gifu would have amazing baths! I'd love to visit there in the winter!

Babzy, Arabesque, Lois, White Oleander, you will both definately have to come! There are bigger spas in Tokyo where you can enjoy the facility a full day. Kind of like a bath amusement park ;D

Mia, we probably make it short because we're inclined to say it so many times, haha ;D

Louis la Vache said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing me a "lesson", as I tried to read the sign. Learning the language for now a bit more than a year, it was of joy to understand a bit.
Thank you for explaning it though !
Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

daily athens

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