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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:37 pm Reply with quote
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And so, much like hot springs and trips to the beach, it's something we get to see an awful lot of.
Personally I don't think we see enough, but that is just me.
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:46 pm Reply with quote
I couldn't help but be reminded of the secondary plot of NieA_7 while reading this, in which a family struggles with debt as their bathhouse loses patronage. That said, I would rather inhabit our world in which private bathing is the norm. A bathhouse, pleasant though it may be, must be seen by many as the ablutive equivalent of a laundrette.
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Yuri Fan



Joined: 19 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:49 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
Quote:
And so, much like hot springs and trips to the beach, it's something we get to see an awful lot of.
Personally I don't think we see enough, but that is just me.


And me.

I went to a sento several times last time I was in Japan. I went late, so the place was almost empty, and I felt so relaxed in the warm baths that I plan to go the same place next time I go (which is next month). I also drank a delicious drink that the owner called cider, but it was a soft drink.

It's cheap and better than the small showers in the backpackers hostel I stayed in.

Oh, and I didn't buy a towel, I rented one. I went to two sentos and in both the towels were rentals and not for sale.
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John Thacker



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:15 pm Reply with quote
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(Some bath houses have dealt with foreigners roughhousing in the baths and have decided to ban them all.) Also, some bath houses, particularly private ones, do not allow people with tattoos, especially prominent ones. This is a way of banning yakuza members without actually having to put up a sign that says "no yakuza allowed" -- a surefire way of getting yourself into trouble.


Yes, Japan has a fairly restricted idea of "public accommodation" (much more similar to that of the US 50 or 60 years ago) and thus non-discrimination laws don't really apply to most private companies. (The Toyoko Inn chain used to have a "no two men in a double (one full size bed)" policy, even if family, but doesn't anymore.) Most companies are perfectly happy to have whatever patrons, but they don't have to accept you.

Quote:
Generally, people in public baths are not shy, either about their nudity or about commenting on the bodies' of their friends. From what I've heard, this is especially true on the women's side of the bath house. But anime prefers to show their girls being shy and coquettish


Well, a lot of anime prefers the stereotypical "girl commenting on other girls' breast size, then trying to grab them" scene.

Yuri Fan wrote:
I also drank a delicious drink that the owner called cider, but it was a soft drink.


Japanese cider : American cider :: British lemonade : American lemonade
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AnimeLordLuis



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
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Location: The Borderlands of Pandora
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:15 pm Reply with quote
Personally I don't think that we get enough bath or beach scenes with girls fondling each other and comparing breast sizes and it is one of the best things about Anime. Cool
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
Posts: 529
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:28 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't mind trying out these bathouses for myself.

But those Korean ones sound really nice.
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CorneredAngel



Joined: 17 Jun 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:45 pm Reply with quote
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These are extremely similar to Korean saunas, or Jjimjjilbang, which offer various themed saunas and spa services, and have even become somewhat popular among non-Koreans in Los Angeles.


For what that's worth, Korean saunas are not exclusive to LA, either - there are at least a couple in the NYC area, and at least one in Dallas. Hell, the New York Times just wrote up the NYC-area King Spa a few days ago!
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:47 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen "Yama no Susume", but I wonder if in the scene in question the character is embarrassed because she (accidentally?) called attention to herself. It's true that most everyone in a public bath doesn't get flustered about being naked, BECAUSE everyone is naked. But for that same reason, you don't feel like everyone is staring at you (once you get over the initial "novelty" of it). But if you walk to the middle of the sento and CALL attention to yourself, then it would be different because everyone WOULD be staring at you. In that sense, I can see how someone could be in a sento and not feel embarrassed unless they did something that unintentionally got everyone staring.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:49 pm Reply with quote
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standing up in the bath, to shocked reactions


I always assumed the shocked reactions were due to the fact that most are sitting and when one stands up she puts her genitals at the face level of the sitting ones. similar to hot tub scenes where one person is sitting while other person getting in/out also puts the hip at face level.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:18 pm Reply with quote
Besides the public bath houses, many Japanese hotels have sento for guests.

PS the article didn't mention that sento usually have equal sized men's and women's sections, ie segregated by gender.
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Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:32 pm Reply with quote
I've been to some really nice bathhouse set-ups in the mountain areas of Japan. Ones that have access to hot sprint water often charge more, and like ryokans, there are varying levels of niceness. I recall one having the really hot water in huge, one person only clay vases, and I marveled at the women who could put up with that heat. Despite being used to women being nude in gym changing rooms, bathing and soaking with other women was a different experience because women did talk about each other's body. I didn't quite understand how anyone could really relax when women were sizing each other up and asking all sorts of sexual questions. I was asked a lot of the usual questions about Americans, including stereotypical questions about certain ethnic genitalia. I laugh about it now, but yeah, it was just so weird sitting with women I'd never met, talking about these things.
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WingKing



Joined: 27 Apr 2015
Posts: 471
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:51 pm Reply with quote
Awesome, my question got answered! Thanks Justin, I learned a lot and it's really appreciated.

HeeroTX wrote:
I haven't seen "Yama no Susume", but I wonder if in the scene in question the character is embarrassed because she (accidentally?) called attention to herself.


That's partly true. Calling extra attention to herself there definitely didn't help, but this character is shy and already shown to be uncomfortable with public baths (there's also a flashback to a middle school trip where she begged off going to the hotel bath with her classmates and then snuck in alone later when everyone was asleep), so her embarrassment was in-character anyway. Honoka in Love Live, who's a much more outgoing character, showed no embarrassment at all when she stood up. It's their friends having basically identical reactions to them that I was more curious about, making me wonder if that was some kind of social faux pas or just anime being anime, and I decided to ask because it was a good chance to hopefully learn more about an aspect of Japanese culture I knew almost nothing about, too.
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AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:58 pm Reply with quote
Reading the comments, it seems a lot of folks are confused an "onsen" for "sento". they are two different things. Onsens are hot springs, while a sento is a public bathhouse. While the bathing etiquette for both is very similar, the social aspect is quite different.

Frankly, I'm grateful, there are two sentos near my place in Ueno, and three more a little ways north in Arakawa that I really like. Sadly, the two in Ueno are suffering badly, and I expect them both to close in the near future. There's just not many people at them anymore, and those who are there are relatively older, like my age, seniors.

One thing I've noticed is that the number of sentos outside of Tokyo is amazing low, especially in Kansai where I spent most of my time living (till being reassigned to Kanto region two years ago). I know there are some sentos in Osaka that are labled as onsen and even have the hot spring logo, but they are not really a public bathhouse, but more like a spa.

Most Sentos that are still around, and there's still a good number of them, are really more like faux-onsens. Sure they have the However, when I think sento, I think old-school bathhouses, not the new onsen-esk style ones, but I have seen some of the fake onsens labeled with ゆ.

Oh well... I'll go back to my old man grumblings. I have a Tivo full of new anime from last night to watch.
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:37 pm Reply with quote
I was reminded of Azrael's account of public bathing in Japan and, yes, it lines up pretty well. The thing that stuck with me though, other than the animal shapes, was

Quote:
One of the popular male fantasies, aside from all the schoolgirl/french maid/tentacle nonsense (WTF is up with Japanese guys?!) is to be able to sneak over to the women’s side of the onsen, and be witness to beautiful naked women openly bathing. Maybe even washing each other, playfully splashing each other with water, frolicking about among the suds…

I’m sorry, I went away for a while there. I’m back now.

Anyway, as for the female side of the bathhouse, I came to a sobering realization. The male side is mostly dominated by shriveling, wrinkly old men. Assuming the reverse holds true, that is nothing I ever want to see.


https://gaijinchronicles.com/2006/01/12/a-bathing-gaijin/
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Afezeria



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
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Location: Malaysia, Kuantan.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:58 pm Reply with quote
I'm not a fan at all in going to a public bathouse because it would feel very embarrassing for me to ended up naked in front of so many people so, no involvement for me in this sort of activity. I'm quite desensitized by the usual fanservice moments in bathouse or the beach in any anime by now but I am not particularly bothered with that cliche because it's only in a media like anime.
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