About Sento Culture

Unlike onsen hot springs or spas, in Japan a sento is visited daily and serves as a gathering place where neighbors can socialize openly and face-to-face. (In Japanese this is called hadaka no tsukiai, or “naked socializing.”) The local sento is where children traditionally learn about Japanese bathing etiquette and how to be respectful of others in a real-world environment. Visiting a sento can also be like stepping back in time, with traditional architecture and beautiful murals on the bath walls depicting classic Japanese subjects like Mount Fuji.