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Tokyo 'sento' bathhouses revamped for a new era

Craft beer, yoga and vinyl records help draw younger crowds

Soaking at the Kogane-yu sento, or bathhouse, in Tokyo. 

Yoga classes and vinyl records aren’t typical features of the traditional Japanese sento (public bathhouse) but these are challenging times for the bath business and Takuya Shimbo, owner of two such Tokyo venues, is doing everything he can to keep this beloved slice of Japanese culture afloat. Shimbo, 41, is the third-generation owner of Daikoku-yu, a 71-year-old bathhouse in northern Tokyo.

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