1. You’ll Be Naked
1. No Clothes Allowed
A mural fills a wall at Mikoku-yu onsen, or hot spring bath, in Sumida ward, Tokyo. Sento are bathhouses that use regular water while onsen use natural hot spring water. Japan is proud of its bathing traditions. These are washing stations in the Mitake-yu sento, or public bath, in Minami Urawa, Saitama prefecture, Japan. This is a changing room in Unsuisen sento, or public bath, in Tokyo, Japan. For many Westerners, though, the fact that these traditions involve being naked with strangers is awkward at best, even though men and women bathe separately. I suggested a different town that had an attraction I wanted to see, and thought I was off the hook.
2. They May Not Let You in With Tattoos
Public baths originated from a communal need for cleanliness at a time when most people did not have access to private bathing facilities. The term "public" is not completely accurate, as some types of public baths are restricted depending on membership, gender, religious affiliation, or other reasons. As societies have changed, the need for public baths has reduced: dwellings now have their own private bathroom.