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Japanese Manner 101: How to Enjoy SENTO


SENTO makes Your Trip Special


Sento is a type of Japanese public bath where customers pay for entrance.

Although not all Japanese people go there everyday in the present, it is still popular for people from adults to children. Since all the people have to take their closes off, it is little bit embarrassing for foreign people to try SENTO. Also, it is hard for foreign tourists to understand the manners of SENTO if they just visit one time.

However, if you can just clear these two obstacles, you will have great experience there. You can be really refreshed by being in a huge bathtub! Furthermore, through your experience in SENTO, you can learn true Japanese culture that only Japanse people know.

In this article, we will have a quick lesson of Manners in SENTO. After reading this, let’s step into SENTO in Kyoto.



Manner for SENTO① -entrance-



First, in all SENTO in JAPAN, you have to take off your shoes. Each customer has to keep your own shoes by using shoes box at the entrance.

Attention !  This shoes case is only for  shoes so you don’t have to put your belongings into this box. There is another box where you can keep your stuffs.



At the counter you have to pay for entrance. Almost all SENTO only charges less than 500JPY so it is really good price. However, some SENTO charges extra fee for sauna. If you don’t bring your own towel and shampoo you can buy or rent at this counter. Some SENTO offers free towels and shampoo so you should check if you can get them.



Then go into the bath room but please pay attention to entrance ! Male bath room (often has a blue sign)and Female bath room (often has a  red sign) have different entrances. In most case, SENTO only displays in  Japanese so it is better to  recognize which  them by color.


Manner for SENTO② -locker room-



At the locker room, you have to take off all your clothes. In some SENTO, they have basket instead of locker. In that case, put your wallet, passport, smartphone, watch and other valuable items into special locker.



You can only bring hand towel, body-soap, and shampoo into bath room. Other items, such as bottle water and books are not allowed to bring in. Camera and Video are are also prohibited. Please understand that SENTO is a public space so we have such rule.


Manner for SENTO③ -bath room-


When you take into bathtub, we have couple of manners as follows.

①Please wash your body before taking into bathtub to keep the bathtub clean .

You have to pour hot water on yourself or it is better to wash your body first.

② Don’t steep hand towel in bath tub.

You have to keep your hand towel outside of bathtub.

③Remove moisture on your body before going back to locker.

After taking bath, make sure to remove wetness so that water will not drop on the floor.




Manners in SENTO are not complicated.

Even though we have couple of rules to memorize, they have one idea in common: “Always be careful not to bother people around you.”

These idea and manners are part of Japanese culture.

If only you don’t become shy to be naked, you can have great experience in SENTO.

Have a great time in SENTO !!




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