Japanese public bathhouses, also called sento. From the outside, some of them look like Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. Inside, they have many features that help to create a space for retreat and relaxation. More than just a place to wash the body, bathhouses have long served as a social forum for the local community. This time on Japanology Plus, we'll explore the wonderful world of bathhouses with our guest Machida Shinobu, a sento expert. In Plus One: bathhouse etiquettes for beginners.
Why do bathhouses (in Tokyo) look like temples? When did public bathhouses become divided into a male and a female side, and why?