Public bath !
In Japan, you still find many public baths.
They usually look like ordinary houses, very humble and discreet but if you look for them you can see them.
Public baths are different from onset, their hot spring cousin in the sense that they are using normal water and they are open to everyone wishing to clean of the rust of the day for 410 yen.
Usually, they are open from 4 p.m. until late night. They can provide you with a rent-towel and soap. No big deal.
So, when you see one, you can decide to have try. Whatever the time and your next agenda. It will make you feel relaxed!
This is the how-to:
you enter your side of the bath (ok, it is not always easy to know which part is women and which part is man but try to understand the color as usually, pink and read are for women), pay your fee to the gate keeper. Usually a smiling old men/women. Take your shoes off and get inside.
You change yourself quietly (nobody cares about you so it is OK), put your stuff in a box and off you go.
Take a shower before getting into the bath. Once you are clean, you need to go into the hot water and feel your muscle relax! In winter, it warms you up. In summer, it washes away your sweat. This is nearly therapy!
The ideal is to jump into the cold bath too but you need a strong heart to do it.
What is fun in public bath, is that you can talk with your bathing neighbors and you get to learn a lot of things to do, to eat, to visit...
public bath is a community gathering place around here so if you feel like discovering another kind of Japan, the one of many different kind of people gathering together for a daily ceremonial!