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.
May 3, 2021
We are in lockdown once more in Kansai and elsewhere across Japan. That means some supersento and other bathing facilities are doing temporary closures [臨時休業] or have changed there hours. Sento, being public health facilities, might be open. Other places, in particular municipally run bathhouses, may have restrictions to residents of the town or area. It is best to check the data provided here with references like Google Maps and, when possible, call ahead to confirm operating hours.
Also, there are a few other manners to be considered during this pandemic. Please wear masks as much as possible in the lobbies, entrances and changing rooms out of respect to the other bathers. As much a possible please do not speak while in the baths and unmasked. Mokuyoku [黙浴] is the new word termed for having a silent bath. The word is made from moku [黙] commonly used in mokutō [黙とう] meaning "a moment of silence" and yoku [浴] meaning bath which is commonly found in nyuyoku [入浴], to take a bath. You will probably see posters promoting this habit posted around your local sento. Lastly, many sauna and steam sauna have posted occupancy limits to ensure distancing. Please abide by these guidelines.
New Reviews Added
Three baths in Osaka city and my first two for Nishinari ward and my first--which is also the only--sento in Nishi ward. In Nishinari, Miyako is lovely well designed sento while Shichifuku was a little beat up here and there but both were friendly and enjoyable. Kikusui in Nishi-ku had a bit of a horder aesthetic, a weird wall separating the cold water and main bath plus a ton of political posters.
Almost, almost done visiting all the operating sento in Amagasaki city. Heiwa-yu had a lovely lady working the bandai who told me about the history of the area plus the cleanest sento toilet I have ever experienced--and most of them are really clean mind you!
In Western Hyogo prefecture I visited a few places in Himeji, Shisō and Tatsuno cities. Yutarin is a city run bathhouse with a natural hot spring way, way away from the main center of the expansive Himeji city. This was a quality facility with a decent spring and a local produce market attached. Yoi Onsen in Shiso was a bit of a disappointment after wanting to go there for a while now. That said, I would happily go again if I was in the area. Another outlet of the Akane no Yu chain in Tatsuno was a fine, if somewhat smallish, supersento with one of the best steam baths I have been in. Lastly, was the Fureai no Yu is one of the two municipally run bath houses in the city. Simple but useful facility for the area. Note: This one is closed to people from outside of the city for the time being.
Total Reviews Online: 602
Lastly I have made a Twitter and Instagram for this site. The Instagram will be posts of sento as I visit them while the Twitter will have more sento related items and some fun polls. I plan on really starting on these once the state of emergency is lifted.