Rather than the traditional backdrop of a painted Mount Fuji, a large LED screen fills the back wall of Hisamatsuyu with abstract shapes made up of white lights and you know this is a different kind of sento. Whilst Fuji will always be a pleasant backdrop for relaxation, the more traditional sento across Tokyo tend to be a little set in their ways and have generally seen better days. Hisamatsuyu has embraced modernism however with an ultra-minimal design. The facilities are pristine; from the entrance area where a widescreen TV sits in front of white leather benches, to the baths which look straight out of a bathroom catalog.
Space is optimised with a large shower area set against three indoor baths lining the middle wall. The largest and warmest of which offers various jacuzzis and electric baths. On either side of this are cooler temperature baths, one at a very comfortable 38 degrees whilst the other is 17 degrees allowing you to quickly shock your body temperature down. A quick dip in this cold water bath and you’ll be ready for another relaxing stretch in the hotter waters.
The main attraction here though is the outdoor, carbonated spring which pumps natural waters from below the earth. This sets Hisamatsuyu apart from the majority of sento which are generally just public baths. The outside area is again pristine and various plants set among the black rocks add to the power of the natural waters whilst ambient music creates an atmosphere of serene tranquility.
Despite the presence of natural hot spring waters, entrance to Hisamatsuyu is 460 yen, the standard sento price across Tokyo and at an additional charge of 400 yen, you can make use of the sauna. Massage options are also available on request. As it is sento prices, remember to bring your own shampoo, conditioner and soap as well as a towel as these aren’t included in the price.
Hisamatsuyu is a short walk away from Sakuradai station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line (one stop down from Nerima and about 10 minutes from Ikebukuro). The ultra-modern facility is well worth a visit!
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