What is Super Sento? >>Find Super sentosSuper Sento is huge and modern type of sento and has a variety of bathtubs in-and-outside. Unlike the tradiitional Sento in which people come with the purpose of taking a bath, Super Sento pursues to let peeople relax through taking a wide range of bathtubs, massage or spa, and dine. It is a recreation place family and couples can spend together for at least a few hours to all day long.
As mentioned, Japanese really like taking public bath, and particularly for hot spring because of its hotwater helpful for health, its country side atmoshpere and outside bathtub in which people can take a bath underneath the blue sky or stars. However, traditional Sento doesn't have these features. So Japanese had to go out to country side and stay with at least one night. The solution is to build Super Sento in downtown. People enjoy taking a bath in a wide place and several bathtubs and even outside, plus close to their house. In addition, the hot water at some Super Sento is not just a wather, but hot spring. Also, its Japanese style-looking of building, 7 days a week with long business hours typically from 9am to midnight are reasons to gain popularity from the traditional Sento.
Facility of Super SentoBathtub is the fundamental of Super Sento. There are various kinds of bathtubs, such as Jacuzzi, sauna, outdoor style, Utaseyu (hot water pouring onto your shoulders like a water fall) and so on. Some of Super Sento have around 20 kinds of bathtubs. This attributes to the quality of Super Sento. Also, almost all Super Sentos have dining space. You can eat before you take a bath, or afete taking bath, which is common for Japanese. As other facilities, massage or spa, hair salon, and bedrock bath (Gan-ban-yoku)can be seen.
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What is Gan-ban-yoku (岩盤浴)?You can often see Ganbanyoku these days. Ganbanyoku, a bedrock bath, is rather a style of taking a bath than bathtub itself. Put your towel upon mineral ore and just lay yourself on it. The warm room and warm mineral ore makes you feel like taking a real bath. It has more effect for perspiration than taking sauna. It is general to take for an hour.
How much? >>Find Super SentosAround 700-3,000 yen
Hot water of Super SentoWhen you go to Super Sento, make sure to check what the hot water is like.
Own mineral hot spring or not?If a Super Sento uses its own mineral hot spring, it means they found mineral hot spring underground before they build. Since Japan is a volcanic country, it is said you can f,ind mineral hot spring with very high possibility whereever you dig if you can dig as deep as possible. However, the problem is that it usually costs very much particularly if they need to dig (mine) several meters.
Mineral hot spring tends to be brown color or smell of sulfur. In spite of its color and smell, mineral hot spring has a lot of benefits. It is good for Nerve pain, muscle pain, arthrodynia, gastroenterological disease, hemorrhoid, excessive sensitivity to cold, fatigue and so on. These benefits varies from components of hot spring.
From somewhere elsetep?Bring hot spring from somewhere else. Because of the cost of boring, some Super Onsen bring hot spring from somewhere else by truck and boil it. However, its repetitive use of hot spring worse the quality of hot spring and as a result, the benefit of hot spring also go down.
Boil tap water?Just boil tap water. So it usually doesn't have any benefits of hot spring.
What should you bring with you when you go to Super Sento?Nothing. Shampoo and body soap are available for fee and you can borrow towels with just a few hundred yen. Very convenient, isn't it?
How to enjoy (Super) Sento >>Find Super Sentos
Step 1: Be nakedTake off all your clothes in the changing room and place them into a coin lockers. (Usually 100yen coin is required and get it back to you when you leave.) Swimming wear is not allowed. Don't be shy, nobody looks yours. Bring one hand towel with you in the bath area.
Step 2: Wash brieflyWash your body briefly with water from either shower or bathtub. You don't need to wash thouroughly unless you are too dirty. This is quite a common etiquette in Japan.
Step 3: Enjoy bathLet's enter the bath. You can start with whatever bath you like. There is no particular rule for this. Just warm yourself. Typical tempareture is around 40 to 44 Celsius. Note that if you stay in the same bathtub for a long time, you will feel dizzy. Make sure not to get your hand towel into the bathtub. Also, don't dive into the bathtub even if it is spacious. It is not a pool.
Step 4: Shed your sweatShedding your sweat at sauna makes your pore open and get body wastes out of you. You can enjoy TV in a sauna room so that you can distract yourself from the hot temparature. Even so, don't stay for a long time at sauna.
Step 5: Take a water bath.After you get heated at sauna, take a water bath so that you can close the pore through diplomatic solution.
Step 6: Wash your bodyAfter shadding your sweat, it's time to wash your body with shhampoo and body soap, which is freely available at Super Sento .
Step 7: Enjoy bath-Re-enter.Re-enter the bath and soak more. You should take as many types of bath as possible. We highly recommend you take a outdoor bathtub which makes you back to nature.
Step 8: Get out of bath areaBefore you go back to the changing room, you should take a shower. Although taking shower gets the components of hot spring away from your body, it is common to wash out before you go back. However, if you really want to keep the effect of hot spring hold, just leave without taking a shower. There is no rule on this but we believe many Japanese take a shower before they leave.
Step 9: Wipe outWipe out your body before getting back to the changing room wring the water out of your hand towel and then wipe water off you before going back to the changing room. This is also etiquette.
Step 10: After bathAfter putting your clothes on, enjoy your after-bath time. Dining, drinking, massage, sleeping etc…
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