Admission ¥470, (shampoo & soap free)
- 3 Chome-25-1 Koenji-Minami, Suginami, Tokyo
- Distance from Station:
- 7 minutes on foot from Tokyo Metro Shin-Koenji Station, 11 minutes on foot from JR Koenji Station
- 03-3312-0449 (Japanese only)
- 3:30pm – 1:00am, Closed Mondays
A Real Tokyo Experience: Bathing with the Locals
[updated June 2020]
What sets Benten-yu apart from other public bathhouses is that this sento is family run and has essentially remained unchanged since its establishment in 1929. So you can expect to feel like you are going back in time when you walk through its doors, however, various services and amenities are keeping up with the times, such as the free wi-fi. The entrance fee is set at 470 yen and shampoo and soap are available to use. On Sundays they offer a medicinal bath with a pleasant aroma.
Just like all sento, the men’s bathing area and women’s bathing area are separate, each with their own changing rooms. You will find some vintage décor in each room, like the vintage weigh scale on the men’s side and the vintage hair dryer on the women’s side, which you can still use. Just be sure to follow the manners of Japanese bath etiquette. See our “How To Use the Sento” manga for more information.
Sento only exist because in the old days most people didn’t have baths in their homes, so going to the sento was necessary. Nowadays, however, it has become more of a place to relax and unwind, kind of like an inner-city onsen hot spring. The atmosphere may be completely different from onsen, but this is still a great truly Japanese experience. You may be shy at first to be naked in front of so many people, however once you get past that initial hesitation you will be able to relax and enjoy the experience. Since sento are no longer a necessity, they are rapidly disappearing. However, Koenji being a place of vintage and nostalgia still has its fair share, so take advantage while you still can. Benten-yu is a friendly and cozy option for sure.
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HOW TO USE THE SENTO PUBLIC BATH
This Manga Guide Tells You About Manners and Customs for Japanese Public Baths
IN THE AREA: