Okayama City - 岡山市

Hōsen Aioi-yu

Japanese Name: 宝泉相生湯Prefecture: OkayamaCity: OkayamaAddress: 〒700-0823 岡山県岡山市北区丸の内1丁目14−7Access: 3 minutes from Kencho-Mae Station on the Okaden (streetcar) / 岡電 県庁前駅Category: SentoWebpage: https://www.optic.or.jp/SENTOO-OKAYAMA/okayama1/list.htmlPrice: Okayama Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: NoneHours: 15:00-23:00
Review:Lovely small sento off of a main street somewhat near Okayama castle. Very steamy inside with a decent selection of baths for the size and a cold water shower. Sadly, the second floor sauna is busted. I really liked the brown color scheme for the tiles.
Visit Date: September 2020

Tamachi Onsen

Japanese Name: 田町温泉City: OkayamaAddress: 岡山県岡山市北区田町2-6-1Type: SentoWebsite: https://www.optic.or.jp/SENTOO-OKAYAMA/okayama1/list.htmlPrice: Okayama Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: SundayHours: 15:00-24:30
Review:Pretty basic but enjoyable.

Tokiwa-yu

Japanese Name: ときわ湯Prefecture: OkayamaCity: OkayamaAddress: 〒700-0025 岡山県岡山市北区寿町2−1Access: 5 minutes from JR Okayama Station / JR西日本 岡山駅Category: SentoWebpage: http://www.tokiwayu13.com/Price: Okayama Prefecture Public Bathhouse Association price or cheaper (sauna, if available, may be extra)Holiday: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, ThursdayHours: 18:00-22:00
Review:This looked like a promising, station close sento, but it turned out weird. Very weird and not at all welcoming. Upon opening the door the smell of the cats was strong. There were cats roaming freely in the room and even more cats in a gigantic cage just past the entrance. It looked like this was once a beautiful sento with a snack bar, but it is now just a hoarder house. After buying a ticket from a suspiciously brand new looking vending machine, I was shown to the bath. I felt like I was walking through a family’s living room. In the corner a man was working on a large computer. In the other corner an older lady was petting a cat. Once in the changing room, I found out that the changing room was also the storage room for various electrical parts, woodworking tools and other things. It was all pretty cool stuff, but it made me question where I was. Is this actually a sento? Cables and pipes covered the walls and crisscrossed the roof. A huge projector sat on a platform above the entrance to the baths. Perhaps they did movie showings here? The bath was, thankfully, clean. Only one bath here and about 10 bathing stations. Not much. I washed off quickly and jumped in the bath to give it the full opportunity to change my mind, but that did not happen. At the same price at numerous other sento in Okayama city I would get jet baths, maybe a steam sauna, other amenities… and I would not have to walk through a family’s living room and pass a cat army to get to the changing room! One or two cats walking around the place is fine, having the family chatting around the bandai or entrance is fine, but this was just weird. It was not relaxing nor was I getting value for my money. I made up my mind to try a different sento in the city. This place is just weird. If you look at the photos on their website it looks fine, even fun, but the conditions in those photos do not represent the present reality. They are also only open 3 days a week for 4 hours a day--a total 12 hours a week. Perhaps 12 hours a week is the bare minimum to classify as a public bathhouse and receive governmental funds? The road this sento is built appears to be set up for widening. Now, I am very anti-car and not for expanding roads but this place looks like it is just there waiting to finally be destroyed to become a road and the owners just do not care anymore. Stubbornly taking a stand against progress. Kinda cool actually. There must be some imminent domain battle going on between this family and the city. I would love to know. Whatever is going on, the problem is that I wanted to go to a sento and they do not seem to care about running a sento. So, I do not seem to feel the need to recommend them in the slightest. If you find yourself in Okayama, go someplace else. However, if you think I am totally wrong about this sento, send me an email and tell me why. I would love to know. Also, if you know the story about the road widening, I would love to hear it!
Visit Date: September 2020