Photo from travel.stackexchange.com
I never imagined that I will actually experience stripping naked in front of people of the same gender in order to take a bath and freshen myself up. Yes, in Japanese bath houses, you will need to remove each and every piece of clothing you are wearing in order to enter the bath. Individual baskets in shelves are provided for you to put your clothes and all your other stuff in. You will also see a shoe shelf upon entering the bath place so make sure to remove your shoes or sandals before stepping on the elevated platform covered in tatami mats, pick them up by hand and place them in the shoe shelf. Neat, isn't it?
Photo from teawithbuzz.wordpress.com
Public bath houses or "sento" in Japanese are not unusual in Japan. They are present in traditional inns called "ryokan", as well as dormitories and some traditional hotels and rest houses. Prior to my trip, I honestly expected a private bath room like all those fancy bath tubs you see in hotels. But I was caught off-guard when I discovered that the dormitory I'd be staying in has no such thing as a "private" bath room. So if you think you are safe, think again.
Photo from deepjapan.org