The traditional Japanese onsen is a bathing experience in the geothermic pools of mineral-rich natural waters of the earth. For the less discerning, or those too busy to make the journey to a reputable onsen, the sento - or "public bath" - is the best alternative. As you might imagine, Tokyo possesses the best such indoor facility in the guise of the Finlando sauna in Kabuki-Cho.
Although sentos do not feature the ambience of a truly picturesque outdoor onsen, they make up for it in a perspiration-inducing array of hot pools, cold plunges, saunas, massage rooms and the counter-intuitive pleasures of underwater electrocution. When you're done, shave and preen yourself with complimentary toiletries, collapse in a massage chair, and order a bottle of Ebisu beer before you pass out. Incidentally, staying all night is allowed, what better reason to miss your last train out of Shinjuku...
Open 24 hours. In the Humax Pavilion 1 basement, underneath the Liquid Room in Kabuki-cho, 5 mins' walk from Shinjuku Station (03-3209-9196)
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