Around 10 minutes by car from Shizuoka Station is a nondescript, three-story building, that you may be surprised to hear is considered a sauna mecca by fans of the Fennoscandian heat rooms.

Once primarily catering to a middle-aged, male clientele — many of the tattooed yakuza variety — Sauna Shikiji has seen the number of younger customers soar over the past several years as hitting the hot box became a fad, stoked by celebrities and trend-conscious women calling themselves “saunners” fervently embracing the activity for its purported health benefits.

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