There is a public bathhouse called Takamatsuyu along the main street near Meguro Station. This photo is the entrance to the bathhouse. It seemed to be open for business. However, it was still before dinner time, so I didn't see anyone going in and out of the bathhouse. Most people would come here after dinner and before going to bed. If I go through the curtain now, I may have the big bathtub all to myself.
In spite of the fact that the ancient Romans were so fond of baths, there is no equivalent to the Japanese public baths in Europe today. The only ones that exist are therapeutic springs.
That's why modern Westerners seem to find the Japanese public baths and the hammams of Muslim cultures so cross-cultural. Although it is said that the Roman Empire, with its immense wealth and power, was able to run public bathhouses, or that the spread of Christianity made it unacceptable for men and women to show each other their skin, the idea of soaking in hot water must not have had much appeal to them in the first place.
A Turkish bath or Hammam (Turkish: hamam, Arabic: حمّام, romanized: ḥammām) is a place of public bathing associated with the Islamic world. It is a prominent feature in the culture of the Ottoman Empire, as well as other regions and historical periods of the Muslim world. A variation on it as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era, and then spread through the British Empire and Western Europe. The buildings are similar to Roman thermae. Unlike Russian saunas (banya), which use steam, Turkish baths focus on water.
September 2, 2016
SIGMA DP2 MERRILL
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