Sento and I

I had my first experience with sento a few years ago, while I was in Tokyo for a year as an exchange student.

My friend offered me to take me to the public bath after class. As I am very curious and liked my previous experience with onsen I decided to try. The first time being naked in front of the other ladies and my friend was a little bit embarrassing but I was excited by this new place after 5 minutes I totally forgot about it. With my friend it became a ritual : every week during a year we went to the same sento, this precious time was our beauty, relaxation and girls ‘talk moment. We were bringing hair mask, body and face scrubs etc., it was like our customized spa.

After that I left Japan for a few years, and came back four years ago to work in a Japanese company.

At that time, I felt I very exhausted and stressed by the new environment and I remember Japanese public bath. I started to look for one near my house and the second I entered in I got overwhelmed by the warm feeling and memories from a few years ago. I felt I was ‘back’.

Since that moment I started again to go to the sento every week. As luck would have it, my new home is only a six minute walk from the sento I used to go to during my university, days. Luckily the sento owner remembered me. It is very enjoyable after a workday to relax in the sento, taking care of myself, chatting with the old ladies and sometimes watching TV in the sauna. After the bath, I often sit at the entrance sofa, and drink a beer while talking with the owner. As I learned a lot about the sento, I started to look around more and more and discovered that every sento was unique and has its own atmosphere, design and its charm. I want to share and mke discover the precious and beautiful culture of sento and help it not to disappear.

Contact: [email protected]


Picture by:


My beautiful  logo designed by Ayumi Asada and Julien Cabrera


This post is also available in: Japanese

  • guest

    Hi Stephanie,

    great article !——-but could you PLEASE tell me the significance of the “letter” for ” YU” among the photos? “YU” is somehow my favourite hragana “letter’, so I am just puzzled and intrigued !!!
    Thanks for the fascinating feature !………angus.

    • Hello Angus!
      Yu means hot water 😉 indeed it is a charming and conforting character.

  • Isao Tokuhashi

    Hello, I’m Isao Tokuhashi, a founder of the online interview magazine called “My Eyes Tokyo” ( My friend, a cafe owner, told me about you and she came up with an idea of holding a public talk session with you at her cafe. There’s a sento in front of the cafe, so the event attendees would be able to enjoy both an event and sento. I’ll really appreciate it if you contact me if you interested in this idea. Thank you very much!

    • Hello Isao san
      Thank you for your message and interest. Can we talk by email? It would be easier ^^
      [email protected]

  • Isao Tokuhashi

    Thank you for the reply, Stéphanie san! I’ll send a mail to your mail address later. よろしくお願いいたします。