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Since my family‘s modest travel plans were nixed by the country’s extended fourth state of emergency (or rather, our righteous resolve to abide by it), we had ample opportunity to explore our new neighborhood over the summer holidays. We ended up spending a lot of time at our local sentō (public bath).

With a history dating back to the Nara Period (710-94) in Japan, when only priests and, later, sick people were allowed to enjoy them, sentō may not be as popular as they once were, but they’re still an important part of communal life in Japan.

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