Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Senjyu no yu (千寿の湯)




Senjyu no yu (千寿の湯)is a newish looking super-sento off a major route in Sakai city, southeast of Osaka with easy access from Hatsushiba station (初芝)on the Nankai Koya line.

Price: 600-700円

Included: Body soap, Shampoo/Rinse, Hair dryers.
Towels are for sale from a vending machine in the changing room: 120円

Baths:
Shower, footbath, sented bath, nice wooden ofuro, typical Jet baths, cold water bath, dry sauna, wet Sauna, outdoor bath with some Jets, and hard pressure waterfall like bath that you sit under which I don’t know what to call yet. They also have an air dry room that was a new experience for me.

Food:
There is a ticket style kitchen in the lobby

Lobby:
Two TV’s, a tatami sitting area, massage chairs, massage service, smoking room (the entire onsen is non-smoking), gacha-gacha.

How-to:
Lock your shoes using a 100円 coin (it is returned when you get your shoes back). Buy an entrance ticket from the vending machine, present the ticket and the key from the shoe locker to the check in person who will give you a locker key. Enter the baths. Enjoy!

Review:
As a newer super-sentos go they sometimes they leave me with a strange un-friendly feeling, this one was the opposite. The staff and clientele all seemed very nice. I did get a few curious looks as this part of Sakai doesn’t seem like many gaijin lived there. The baths are great, very clean, and in good working order as are the washing areas. The room is wide with a high cealing and good air. The outdoor area also offers a great view of the sky and many different seating places in, and out of the water, with many natural plants. Two odd thing about the baths is the cold bath is situated so that its hard to ladle water over yourself with out stooping over, and outside there is a simulated electronic bird chirping noise that I found distracting.

Rating:
3.5/5

Links:
Senjyu no yu home page
Supersentou. com review

Photos:
IMG 7398

IMG 7402

4 comments:

Hannah is GofeetGo said...

so david was the plan to bathe, eat and drink right up until you start teaching classes? are you doing kindergarten, what's the deal with your school/living situation? salary etc.

I wish the chinese sentoes weren't off limits to women, unless they work as "masseuses."

Sounds like good times.

sleepytako said...

I dont think China has the geothermal glory that Japan is blessed with. Sadly bathhouses in other contries are used as fronts for prostution. Now dont get me wrong, fronts for prostution is fine my all means I of all people shouldn't be knocking that, but when the front makes a perfectly fine for the family kind of experence as a bathhouse I get angry. Gay bathhouses are fine, but in America lets try to serperate the two. In China also. One last thing is that being naked in public is a healthy humble experence that I wish more Americans had. Learning how to be naked helps one, given the right mindset, become a better lover, friend, and spouse. Of course its not just that, because if it were true Japanese marrages wouldn't be such a joke.

Hannah is GofeetGo said...

About this:
"Sadly bathhouses in other contries are used as fronts for prostution. Now dont get me wrong, fronts for prostution is fine my all means I of all people shouldn't be knocking that.."

Haha..Maybe you know what I m about to say...Think we've talked about this before...

David, I don't think prostitution is inherently wrong, at least the variety of "Progressive" prostitution that is persued of the prostitutes free will, and ensures that the women/man are safe and protected by basic rights, as would be hopefully be ensured by legitimizing the industry (in the states) and providing standards for employee rights. But I wouldn't be so blaise about it in the context of developing countries, especially the way the industry usually is/can be here in Asia (for that matter, in most of the world, outside of the "West").

In the States, maybe we can argue a case of sexual liberation and empowerment whatever, on the part of women/men in the industry, but it's my strong opinion that these ideological claims are moot (and embarrasing) when applied to prostitution the way most of the world knows it: as the most base, sometimes only, "employment" option for women/ or children who have little (or zero!) power in their society. Children/women can be violently forced into it/sold into it. Rigid, inesacaple caste systems exist for prostitutes and their children which contributes (i.e. India, thinking of the incredible film "Children of the Brothels"). The stigma of prostituion is dibilitating and inescapable. And it is the added spiritual tradgedy of many poor countries that while it can be an inevitable fact of desperate poverty, at the same time it may undermine, unravel, the cultural/religous values on which that society might overwise uphold given a sustaining standard of living, that is if they could choose to uphold values without giving up a means to attain food and shelter. (Do I sound like a rightwinger yet...)

I know you have a knowledge of all of this. And I am not suggesting that your comment condones a front for prostitution of the type just mentioned, but I do find it interesting that you conflate the idea of prostitution with that variety we find at home (in maybe, or maybe not Nevada...). I think my meaning is, and ( yeah! I haven't said this in a while) it is a product of privledge to view prostituion in such ways. We can be relaxed amongst ourselves (those from U.S. or Europe, etc), but oustide our own cultural frame of reference, we stand to re-evaluate the way we speak of such things.

(I'm waiting on a call from an apartment realtor, so I can't leave the house, thus the long-windedness...)

But seriously, what are your thoughts? Do you still feel the same ways you have always felt since you have been abroad?

written with wuv,
Hannah

sleepytako said...

Let me reiterate my initial point that I find a non-sexual bathhouse a healthy addition to any community that can help foster communities and families alike.

On to your comments. I find prostitution in the US in comparison to Japan to be much, much more degrading and dangerous. While the sheer number of cases of those trafficked into the US for prostitution with out their knowledge or consent might be higher, or lower, in Japan, the fact that the industry itself is less of a crime here seems to me that it can be treated in a better manner given a good group of NPO/NGOs, local, and national governments. In the US the prostution/human trafficking lobby has a much more difficult path to follow.

In Japan there are many options in the pink market and most of them are legal, and even the illegal stuff has a hint of legality in it. As a person who has engaged in this market, I don’t want anything to do with the parts of it that unfairly treat their workers. Some men don’t care or don’t understand how the workers get to where they are and this poses a problem. While most of these comments refer to shops using foreign girls, some shops with Japanese girls could also be guilty. These men can be educated about the treatment of girls in these shops and decide after that to choose not to go to them, although some men might get sick pleasure out of knowing. They, I would guess are the minority even in Japan. Shops could be better policed locally, using a network of NPOs to help do the investigative work. And finally, immigration could play a role in and out of the country by trying to let in only those workers who know the activity they will be engaged in--although this might be near impossible.

Coming from a discussion and lecture I had in a class with a human rights worker in Osaka, many of the girls who might be deemed as victims of human trafficking by the UN are not so, although they might lie to enter the country and to their parents they are well aware of what jobs they are performing. They would be unduly hurt by some over-zealous human rights laws, if passed.

In Japan, working in the pink industry is safe, discrete as one wants it to be, and engaged in many people happily, in all ages. Sadly, there are women, some from outside Japan, some Japanese who are forced into the industry by economic pressures, spouses, or other reasons I cannot think of, but for every one of those women there must be ten who are happily working. Why go to the hassle of basically enslaving someone in public when you can get a willing worker?

In China, well that’s an entirely different story. Would I act the same way there as I do here? Probably not.