Public Baths

After a day spent marching from temple to temple, nothing feels better than a good hot bath. Kyoto is full of sentō (public baths), ranging from small neighbourhood baths with one or two tubs to massive complexes offering saunas, mineral baths and even electric baths. The Funaoka Onsen is one of the best in Kyoto and could even double as an evening’s entertainment.

This old bath boasts outdoor bathing and a sauna, as well as some museum-quality woodcarvings in the changing room (apparently carved during Japan’s invasion of Manchuria). Bring your own bath supplies (soap, shampoo, a towel to dry yourself and another small towel for washing); if you forget, you can buy toiletries and rent towels at the front desk.

To find it, head west from Horikawa-dōri along Kuramaguchi-dōri. It’s on the left, not far past the Lawson convenience store. Look for the large rocks out the front.