Jakarta, TOPNews Indonesia —
Bathing in onsen it is definitely a must-do tourist activity when visiting Japan. But don’t get into the wrong bath, because apart from onsen, there are also sento.
What is the difference between onsen (温泉) and sento (銭湯)? The water.
While an onsen serves for the relaxing pleasures and health benefits of bathing in nutrient-rich water, a sento is a bathhouse that caters to everyday hygiene needs and is more practical.
Most sentos, which are usually located in the city center, use tap water or a well.
Then onsen, which are usually located on or near a volcano, contain various minerals and must meet the standards set by law.
However, sento operators often add bath salts or artificial powders, various herbs, milk or even sake to the water to enhance the bathing effect.
While the onsen entrance fee is around 1,000 yen per person – or more depending on the facilities and location – admission to the sento ranges from 350 to 470 yen, a price determined by the local government.
Sento entrance fee is cheaper so locals can use it for daily bathing.
Sento originally functioned as a bathing place for people who did not have one at home.
But currently, 98 percent of sento users are those who also own a home with a bath, according to the Tokyo Sento Association. Okinawa Stripes. The reason for their arrival was definitely to reminisce and socialize.
The number of Sento grew significantly in the postwar era when the population exploded.
Cities became denser, houses became smaller, and many families bathed in sento because not all homes had bathtubs.
One of the sento in Japan. (iStockphoto/NicolasMcComber)
During its heyday in the mid-1960s, statistics show that there were more than 20,000 centos throughout the Land of the Rising Sun.
Currently there are less than 5,000, with perhaps 500-600 remaining in Tokyo.
Although bathing in a sento is cheaper than an onsen, sometimes visitors need to bring their own shampoo and bath soap.
Now there is also a bathhouse that combines the concepts of onsen and sento, which is called “super sento”.
The on-site facilities offer a variety of baths, saunas, and other services, but still don’t use natural water like onsens can.
Sento is usually not 4pm to 11pm. But there are also those that operate since the morning.
If you want to enjoy a Japanese-style wellness tour, please come to the onsen. But if you want to enjoy the local wisdom of the people, please come to sento.
Tips for visiting Japanese baths
Whether in an onsen, sento, or super sento, visitors must understand the etiquette applied.
Foreign tourists are usually hesitant about visiting Japanese baths due to privacy concerns, but many places have separate areas for women and men.
Quoting Cool JP, here are some quick tips when visiting onsen, sento, and super sento in Japan:
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8 Tips for Visiting Onsen and Sento, Baths in Japan
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