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No-bath apartments win over Japan's minimalist youth

Preference for simplicity and social interaction fuel trend

Arata Noguchi's apartment in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward does not have a bath, which fits well with his desire for a simple life. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- Apartments without a bathtub or shower, reminiscent of those common in Japan from the 1950s to the '70s, are becoming popular again with young renters as public baths, gyms and other facilities where people can shower and bathe become more common.

Some people embrace a minimalist lifestyle of not owning things and are instead eager for social interaction. The appeal of no-bath apartments goes beyond lower rent: They fit well with the on-the-go lifestyles of many young people.

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