There are some interesting Japanese words used specifically to describe a features of a public bath. Find out what all these words mean.
foot bath ・ 足 (あし, ashi) means foot, 湯 (ゆ, yu) means hot water
Foot baths can be found in areas with natural hot springs. Often they are located outside public baths and are free to use for anyone. You will need to bring your own towel.
counter ・ 番 (ばん, ban) means turn, 台 (だい, dai) means stand or counter
A bandai is the traditional entrance to a sentō. In between the entrance doors to the onna-yu and otoko-yu is where you find the bandai. This is the counter where the bath attendant sits whom you pay when entering.
electric bath ・ 電気 (でんき, denki) means electricity, 風呂 (ふろ, furo) means bath
A current runs between electrodes on opposite ends of the bath. When you sit in between the electrodes your muscles will tighten. When you get out your muscles will relax again. This flexing of the muscles is believed to be benificial for the bloodflow. It is recommended to not put your heart directly between the electrodes.
counter ・ フロント (ふろんと, furonto) means counter or frontdesk
While older, smaller public baths have a bandai located in between the entrance doors to the onna-yu and otoko-yu, modern bath houses have a frontdesk in the entrance hall before the entrance to the respective baths.
cold bath ・ 水 (みず, ban) means water, 風呂 (ぶろ, buro) means bath
Water in Japanese always stands for cold water. There is a different word for warm or hot water. A water bath thus is a cold bath.
outside bath ・ 露天 (ろてん, roten) means open air, 風呂 (ふろ, furo) means bath
Many bath houses have outside bathing areas where you can breath fresh air while your body soaks in the hot water.