In the past, every neighborhood in Tokyo had one or more public baths (sento). Over the last decade, however, this number has decreased. Recently, public baths have started becoming popular again. The larger ones now offer relaxation, dining and entertainment under one roof. The smaller ones allow people to get a feel of the old days. Onsen water does not surface naturally in Tokyo but modern pumping and boring technologies have made it possible to get naturally heated water anywhere—you only must go deep enough. Because of this, several large bath complexes with hot spring water have mushroomed all over central Tokyo.
Large Bath Complexes
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
This large bath is a few minutes’ walk from the Telecom Center Station. It is a hot spring theme park, opened in 2003. The atmosphere here replicates the Edo Period. It offers various kinds of both outdoor and indoor baths. On top of that, you can enjoy overnight stays, games, massage, restaurants and other entertainment.
LaQua is a well-known relaxation oasis located a short distance from Tokyo Dome. It was also opened in 2003. It features beauty and massage services, relaxation space, saunas and hot spring tools. The hot spring water in this bath is pumped from more than one kilometer deep.
Niwa no Yu
This hot spring bath complex is in northwest Tokyo, close to Toshimaen Station. In this oasis, you will enjoy massage, relaxation areas, saunas, an indoor pool, different hot spring pools, a big Japanese garden and several dining options. The hot spring water in this bath is from 1400+ meters underground.
Small Bath Houses
This sento has been there since 1949. It is an atmospheric bath located a few minutes from the Tokyo Skytree. This gender-separated public bathhouse features outdoor baths characterized by high walls. The interior has wooden flooring (changing area) and a tiled mural (bath area). They do not offer communal shampoo and body soap, but they rent out small and large towels.
This public bath is in Asakusa, not far from Asakusa Station. It has quite the history. Locals love to spend time there so visitors can mingle with them. Overlooking the main baths is a mural of Mount Fuji. This sento also features a roofed outdoor bath. There are simple amenity kits for sale and towels for rent. They provide communal shampoo and soap too.
You can find this bath in Kagurazaka, close to the JR Iidabashi Station. It was opened in 1954 and since then to date, water is heated using burning wood. The decorations here are classic and almost vintage. There are towels for rent, both large and small. Shampoo, soap, and amenity kits are not provided.
Minami Aoyama Shimizu-yu
This public bath is in a quiet place near the Omotesando Station. You will enjoy relaxing background music and several baths to choose from. They do not offer shampoo and soap, but you can buy amenity kits and rent towels.