Dec 31,2015 Sento a nostalgic world behind the noren curtains!-2
Now let’s take a look at how to bathe in a sento. Individual sento may vary, but they typically open around 3pm. Part the noren curtains, remove your shoes and put them in one of the boxes. Take the wooden key with you into the building. Go to the bandai (attendant’s booth), pay the entry fee, and then proceed to the changing room. This is where men and women part ways, so be sure to check the entrance to make sure you are in the right place.
In the changing room, choose a basket to store your belongings. The basket-in-locker system is the Kyoto style. Take the key to your locker with you into the bathing area.
The bathtub is a clean place for all – thus, the rule is to clean your body before entering the water.
At last, the long-awaited bath! Don’t forget to dip a bucket into the water and pour it over yourself before getting in. This is to check the temperature of the water – sento have very hot water. Each sento has a different number of tubs, but be sure to try available denkiburo (electric baths in which a weak electric current runs through the bath water), medicinal baths, cold baths and saunas. Remember to lightly wipe down your body before entering saunas.
When you leave the bath, wring out your wash towel and wipe down you body. It is considered rude to enter the changing room with water dripping from your body. Once you have changed into your clothes, enjoy a drink (separate charge). Nothing beats a cold drink after a hot bath.
When visiting a sento with members of the opposite sex, be sure to agree to a time to meet after bathing -otherwise, someone will be left waiting in the cold!
ADDRESS: 175 Iwataki-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
SMOKING: No (Outdoor smoking area)
5-minute walk from Kawaramachi-shomen bus stop (board a city bus from Kyoto Station).
10-minute walk from Keihan Kiyomizu-Gojo Station.
The information is current as of November 2015.