Have you ever seen a sento (銭湯), or public bathhouse before? Sentos used to be common among people who lived in small housing facilities that didn’t have private baths. Recently, the number of sentos has been decreasing as most Japanese residences already have bathrooms and shower rooms. Public bathhouses, therefore, are often either shut down or turned into restaurants or cafes. Because of this, people are now looking for ways to bring this culture back to life.
One of these ways is the “Silent Fes at Sento”, hosted by Silent It, which invites people to enjoy a silent disco this coming June 14th, 2017 at Hinode-yu (日の出湯) public bathhouse without disturbing their neighbors.
A silent disco is similar to a regular disco, except the people wear wireless headphones and dance together to the same music. You can’t see any speaker system in the area as the music is broadcast through a radio transmitter. The signal is then picked up by the wireless headphone receivers worn by the participants. So if you don’t wear headphones and look at these people, it would seem like they’re dancing to nothing! This kind of event is ideal in places which don’t allow past curfew noises, and they’re increasing in popularity.
Over the past few years, many companies have organized “silent” parties and events and providing wireless headphones. Japan has also incorporated this practice by holding “silent” summer music festivals. So don’t get surprised to see people dancing to the same beat without any music. If you move closer, you’ll see that they are actually wearing headphones.
Hinode-yu is an old-style public bathhouse in Tokyo (東京) where one can enjoy a dry sauna, an extra-hot bath, and a lukewarm bath to cool down. Hinode-yu was built in 1928 and has always retained its traditional atmosphere in passing times. Near the sento is a Japanese-style garden filled with Japanese charm. In order to bring people closer to the bathhouse, the “Silent Fes” event was started in January 2017 at this public bathhouse. Many attendees came to the event which contributed to its success. Because of this, another similar event will be held this coming summer on June 14th, 2017 from 7:00pm to 11:00pm at the same place.
Local DJs will play some music and you can also enjoy watching a project mapping show and disco lights. There will also be stalls selling sake and other merchandise which can contribute to the fun event. You can purchase your tickets in advance for 3000 yen, or a ticket bought at the door is 3500 yen. This includes the headphone rental and the entrance fee.
Currently the tickets are all sold out, but you can apply for a ticket if there is a cancellation. You can apply for it here (Japanese only). Remember you can also buy tickets at the door!
Why don’t you try moving to the beat of music without using loudspeakers and celebrate the Japanese sento culture? Join Silent Fes this coming summer!
Event website *Japanese only
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