During the Edo period, the sento (public bathhouse) was a popular place to unwind, as well as get yourself clean.
The number of sentos is decreasing as many people now have access to private baths, but they still play an important role as a place for relaxation.
Sentos come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them only charge 470 yen for entrance.
Traditionally, tattoos weren’t allowed at sentos, but some of them have started welcoming inked patrons due to the increase in foreign visitors to Japan.
Read through our picks of top sento spots in Tokyo and grab the opportunity to experience a new adventure!
Located five minutes on foot from Ikejiri-Ohashi Station, Bunka Yokusen (文化浴泉) 's dimly-lit, stylish entrance invites anyone who needs a quick dose of relaxation.
This tattoo-friendly, modern-style sento features mosaic walls and a one-of-a-kind mural of Mt. Fuji in round frames.
Another notable feature is its pure white nanobubble bath, which cleanses your skin and pores with silky bubbles.
Sundays 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 3:30 pm to 1:00 am
Other days 3:30 pm to 1:00 am (No fixed holidays)
A mere two-minute walk from Gakugei-Daigaku Station takes you to a tattoo-friendly Chiyono-yu (千代の湯), a community-based sento that was renovated in 2010.
The wood-carved Benzaiten Buddha sculpture in the entrance and majestic Mt. Fuji murals in the bath area will catch any first-timer's eyes.
Their soft water bath and carbonated bath are both popular attractions, designed to rejuvenate your skin and promote good blood circulation.
3:30 pm to 1:00 am (Closed on Mondays)
You might be surprised to find a relaxing tattoo-friendly sento Kohmeisen (光明泉) with an open-air rooftop bath in Nakameguro, one of the hippest neighborhoods in Tokyo.
Access to the rooftop bath alternates weekly between men and women.
The indoor bath areas feature graffiti-style Mt. Fuji murals, as well as highly-concentrated carbonated baths that will gently wrap your weary body and rejuvenate your skin.
3:00 pm to 1:00 am (Open every day unless announced)
Even in the heart of fashionable Omotesando, you can treat yourself to a good soak at Shimizu-yu (清水湯).
This bathhouse is equipped with saunas, carbonated baths, and silky micro-bubble baths, all of which attract runners from Meiji Jingu Gaien park who stop here for a dose of relaxation.
The facility provides a variety of toiletries for a small fee, so sento beginners can easily step in.
Those who have tattoo can not enter Shimiu-yu
Weekdays 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
Weekends and Holidays 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm (Closed on Fridays)
Those with a soft spot for Japanese art and design will appreciate this tattoo-friendly Fukuno-yu (ふくの湯).
Themed around good fortune, the bathhouse's aesthetics are held together by Japanese mythological characters, the Seven Lucky Gods, and Feng Shui-inspired interior design.
Fukuno-yu also features artificial radium baths, which help to boost your metabolism.
Weekdays 11:00 am to 12:00 am
Weekends and holidays 8:00 am to 12:00 am (Open 7 days a week)
Beloved by locals since the 1930s, this tatoo-friendly Takara-yu (タカラ湯) in Kitasenju is a long-established facility that’s famed for its well-kept Japanese garden adjacent to the resting area.
After a good soak, you can relax here while admiring the seasonal flowers and gorgeous koi fish in the pond.
The bathhouse is also equipped with various baths, including electrotherapy baths (denkiburo), bubble baths, and herb baths.
3:00 pm to 11:30 pm (Closed on Fridays)
If you want to squeeze in a quick soak at an authentic sento during your Tokyo trip, then this tattoo-friendly Konparu-yu (金春湯) is a good choice.
First opened in 1863, this historic Ginza bathhouse preserves old-fashioned Japanese aesthetics in its interior design.
The inner bath areas feature delicate murals created using Kutani porcelain tiles, depicting carps, flowers and birds that will entertain you throughout your relaxing bath time.
2:00 pm to 10:00 pm (Closed on Sundays and national holidays)
A tattoo-friendly Tatsumi-yu (辰巳湯) is a three-minute walk from Kiyosumishirakawa Station, in one of Toky’s emerging coffee towns.
This old-school public bathhouse is equipped with a semi-outdoor bath facing its inner courtyard, allowing patrons to feel the cool breeze drifting in from the outside.
The inner bath areas feature tasteful mosaic tile murals of Mt. Fuji and Nihonbashi bridge.
3:00 pm to 12:00 am
(open at 1:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and closed on Mondays)
Situated near Honjo-azumabashi Station, this tattoo-friendly Mikoku-yu (御谷湯) opened in the 1940s but underwent extensive renovations in 2015.
There are four types of baths with varying temperatures, as well as medicinal herb baths and coffee-colored natural springs that have been popular for decades.
Owing to its proximity to Tokyo Sky Tree, patrons can admire this iconic skyscraper from the semi-outdoor bath on the 5th floor.
3:30 pm to 2:00 am (Closed on Mondays)
With classy jazz music playing in the background, Minato-yu (湊湯) near Hatchobori Station invites everyone, from locals to savvy sento fans and curious tourists.
The bathhouse is built with luxurious black granite, which sets the tone for a relaxing space.
Apart from saunas, there are jacuzzi baths, silky micro-bubble baths, and electrotherapy baths, all of which feature soft water that is gentle on the skin.
Those with tattoo can not enter Minato-yu
3:00 pm to 12:30 am (Closed on Saturdays)READ MORE
- Visiting a Sento
- Public Baths
- Visiting Japan with Tattoos: Manners/Etiquette
- Need to Know