Daiko Onsen Nagoya

大幸温泉

Daiko Onsen is a rare community sento in Nagoya, located in the working class neighborhood of Daiko, near Nagoya Dome, on the north side of Nagoya Dome-mae Yada Station on the Meijo Line of the city subway.

Daiko Onsen Nagoya.

Small family-run sento have largely disappeared in Nagoya, replaced by larger, out-of-town, so-called “Super Sento” – which offer bigger and more varied baths, massages, free Wifi, slot machines and even in-house restaurants.

It came as something of a shock to discover this small, somewhat ramshackle establishment, so I decided to put its healing and cleansing powers to the test as soon as possible.

Daiko Onsen Nagoya.

The changing area looks like someone’s (untidy) living room circa 1970 with a fridge for soft drinks and beer, and a large ashtray surrounded by green sofas. Smoking in the male section seems obligatory.

Inside, the bathing area has a number of different baths and a small rotemburo in a tiny garden, just outside.

The sauna was an extra charge but starred two fully-tattooed and rather fat yakuza discussing their day. From what I could overhear, they had attended a funeral by car and were pleased they had saved on the shinkansen fare.

Daiko Onsen Nagoya.

A soccer-mad, half-Japanese, half-Danish lad, who was in Japan visiting family in the area, struck up a pleasant conversation, which we continued in the “lounge” over a beer before he was called home by his grandmother.

If you crave an authentic, “kicking it with the locals” Japan experience while in Nagoya, seek out Daiko Onsen before it is confined to sento history.

Daiko Onsen
3-15-6 Daiko, Higashi-ku
Nagoya-shi
Aichi-ken 461-0043
Tel: 052 721 7601

Admission is 420 yen for adults over junior high school age, 150 yen for junior high school students and 70 yen for infants.

Hours: 3.30pm to 12am with last entry at 11.30pm; closed Mondays.

As is usual, there is a coin laundry next door. Parking available for 11 cars.

If you are interested in discovering other public baths (sento) in Nagoya, the Aichi Prefecture Public Bathroom Association publishes a map of their locations (in Japanese): aichi1010.sakura.ne.jp

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Yunessun, le Onsen unique au Japon

Lors de votre visite au Japon, il ne faut surtout pas manquer la baignade dans un Onsen. Mais pourquoi faire dans le traditionnel quand on peut se baigner dans du vin, du café ou du saké? Dans notre série « l’insolite au Japon », on vous présente aujourd’hui le parc à thème Yunessun.  Un Onsen, c’est quoi? […]

Higashiyama Yu Onsen Kyoto

東山湯温泉

Higashiyama Yu Onsen on the north west corner of Hyakumanben in Kyoto is an old school sento (public bath house) dating back years.

Posters of Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles peel from the walls of the changing room, smoking seems de rigeur, as is a post bath beer or two. Time slows as you travel back to an earlier, lost, never to be seen again Japan.

Higashiyama Yu Onsen Kyoto.

The eclectic clientele includes spunky neighborhood ojisan as well as younger students from nearby Kyoto University. Foreigners are in abundance and welcome. On our last visit preening Italians – shaved pates, designer beards and underwear, noisy, smoky, va bene.

Inside the bathing area are all the essential sento necessities for a serious soak: steam sauna, cold plunge,  denkiburo (electric bath), herb bath, jacuzzi, several other scalding hot tubs and the piece de la resistance – a neon jet bath illuminated with color strobes.

Note, too, the excellent tile work on the edges of the baths.

Higashiyama Yu Onsen Kyoto.

Rental towels (that look as though they have polished a thousand cars) are free, so bring your own if you can. Soap, razors, shampoo can all be purchased at the entrance.

Oh, and the BGM is half-decent too with a mix of Japanese and western music to help sooth away the aches and pains. The owner was once in a blues band and worked as a music producer.

Higashiyama Yu Onsen Kyoto,

Higashiyama Yu Onsen
27 Tanaka Monzencho
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8225
Hours: 3.20pm-1am; Saturday & Sunday 3pm-1am; closed Friday
Tel: 075 781 4472
Admission: 420 yen; elementary school children 150 yen

Higashiyama Yu Onsen is across Higashi Oji street from Chionji Temple.

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Asahi-yu Public Bath Yanaka Tokyo

朝日湯

Asahi-yu in the Yanaka (Yanesen) district of Tokyo is one of Tokyo’s last few traditional public baths or sento.

Asahi-yu Public Bath Yanaka Tokyo.

The Yanaka area was home to a number of sento but they have been closing over the years or converted into other uses such as SCAI the Bathhouse that opened as a contemporary art gallery in 1993. Hatune-yu near the Annex Katsutaro Hotel has also closed fairly recently.

So if you want to experience a real neighborhood Tokyo public bath, Asahi-yu is a good place to start. The opening hours are long with some early morning opening too. This is fairly unusual in Japan with most sento opening around 5pm in the afternoon. Look out for the tile work on the walls inside which is a feature of Tokyo sento.

Asahi-yu Public Bath Yanaka Tokyo.

You can rent towels, soap and shampoo here and relax in some (very hot) baths. There is also a small sauna which is charged extra (200 yen) and an oxygen capsule. Next door is a coin laundry.

Asahi-yu
2-18-7, Yanaka, Taito-ku
Tokyo 110-0001
Tel: 03 3821 5849

Hours: weekdays 2pm-10pm; weekends 10am-10pm
Admission: Adults 460 yen; junior high school students 180 yen; infants 80 yen

Asahi-yu is a short walk from Sendagi metro station on the Chiyoda Line.

Asahi-yu Public Bath Yanaka Tokyo.

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Dôgo Yaya : le ryokan où le jus de mandarine coule au robinet

Dans le hall d’entrée du ryokan Dôgo Yaya, situé dans le quartier des sources chaudes Dôgo Onsen de la ville de Matsuyama, ce n’est pas de l’eau qui coule des robinets, mais la spécialité locale : le jus de mandarine. Takayashi Oyabu, 36 ans, est le président de la compagnie Eight One Co., basée à…