I Love ゆ
湯 (ゆ/yu) means hot water in Japanese. Bathing in natural hot springs is done throughout the world wherever the geothermal situation has allowed springs to develop. Japan is fortunate to have springs located across the nation and a culture of bathing has grown up around them from the beginning of history.
In Japan bathing is a national pastime and an attraction for tourists from around the world. Bathers have a choice from remote springs in the mountains to grand hotels. This site focuses primarily on the area around Osaka called Kansai. Information on local sento (銭湯) bathhouses, the larger more commercial supersento (スーパー銭湯), and other less classifiable hot springs. Some of these locations just use the municipal water, some augment their water with radon gas or water softeners (軟水), lastly some have wells or springs that fill tubs with groundwater.
I began going to hot springs while at university in the United States and found it the best therapy for my upper back pain and mental health issues. Since moving to Japan, I have also found bathing as a great stress reliever and conduit to explore the country.
July 13, 2021
While vaccines are beginning and the rules are changing please still abide by the Mokuyoku [黙浴] silent bathing rules and watch out for temporary closures [臨時休業] by calling, checking websites or looking on Google Maps before venturing out for a bath.
New Reviews Added
Two lovely sento in Amagasaki. After two more and I will have visited all the sento in the town.
Shiawase no Mura was a place that I never visited in Kobe and I never visited their jungle hot spring till this month.
Five new places in Himeji including some hidden gems.
Akari no Yu is a newer supersento in Yawata, Kyoto. Good fancy supersento in an area with not many options.
Yamatotakada, Nara Pref is a mecca for old school, retro sento. Worth checking out if that is your passion.
Tawaramoto Town is in the center of the Nara basin--a place with few sento but one. I was not expecting such a well appointed bathhouse but what I found was outstanding. Gokō Onsen was great sento and one people people in Nara can check out with out going over the hill. Asuka no Yu down the street, however, was a well built supersento but one that you might want to avoid.
Yao city has a strong public bath association it seems and there are two sento near JR Yao station. On the way home from a hike New Sakae popped up in a search and I am glad it did. Super small but well appointed with anyone would want.
Ten sento in Osaka city added in this update in Nishinari, Minato, Ikuno, Jōtō, and Miyakojima wards. So many great places and a few so-so ones. It is hard to choose but Momo no Yu in Miyakojima-ku was the best due to its brilliant steam sauna with it's 1970's orange fixture.
Changes and closures: The baths under the Kyoto tower have closed. Not too surprised about that. In Fukuchiyama, Hokkori-kan has been closed but it seems temporary. I hope so as this was a lovely rural place. Lastly, Gengabashi in Ikuno-ku, Osaka is closed for good it seems. All is not lost, however, as there is talk about repurposing the historically registered building.