An American tourist has taken to YouTube to share the inside stories of a Japanese bath house he visited and his encounter with its owner.
“I think we all get so caught up in what’s going on around us and what we’re going to do and where we’re heading, and we forget how important our relationships are,” says owner Takashi Ohkubo.
Ohkube, a 39-year-old American who lives in Tokyo, opened his bathhouse Hidden Cam on March 16, 2017, in the old city’s old district of Chiba.
Hidden Cam is a large, two-story bathhouse that features Japanese-style furniture, a Japanese-made mirror and a “shaded” entrance.
Hidden Camera also offers a variety of rooms with a view, from a terrace to a bed-and-breakfast in the basement.
A Japanese-themed theme park in Japan opened in December 2017, but the bathhouse’s popularity has been growing rapidly.
The hotel room service is free and the Japanese restaurant in the lobby is popular with Japanese diners.
A hotel employee even has a room with a Japanese theme.
Hidden Video’s Ohkoba tells the story of his experiences at the Japanese bathhouses, as well as the many reasons why they appeal to him.
“We have a Japanese clientele, a lot of them come to us, and they want to experience Japanese culture,” he says.
“And they have a lot to say about their experience in Japan.”
Ohkuba also explains why the owners of some Japanese bath houses don’t want to let visitors in.
“They’re very sensitive to their customers, and it’s a lot more difficult for them to be more accommodating,” he explains.
“So if they don’t like that, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
He also explains the difference between a Japanese and an American bathhouse.
“It depends on the type of bathhouse,” he adds.
“There are different kinds of bathhouses.”
The Japanese-owned bathhouses are known for their large windows that provide a view into the surrounding neighborhood, and are the same size as most American bathhouses.
Some owners also have a separate room for customers with disabilities.
But many American bath houses are smaller, smaller rooms with views of the city and are generally less popular among tourists.
But they have been popular with locals for years.
“People think that American bath-houses are a lot cooler, and more relaxed, and have nicer bathrooms, and so on,” Ohkabu says.
Some Japanese bath-house owners have complained about the increased popularity of American-style bathhouses and also have complained that they have no room to expand.
Ohokubo has noticed that American-styled bathhouses in Tokyo are growing quickly.
“Japanese-style, American-looking bathhouses have grown in popularity in the past five years,” he writes.
“Most Japanese-styles are small and have limited views, but this trend is happening even more rapidly.”
He adds that American visitors are often too embarrassed to enter Japanese bathrooms.
“This has become a problem because of the stigma attached to Japanese bath rooms,” he notes.
The owner of a nearby American-themed bathhouse recently told a local newspaper that the owners “wanted to sell out” and that it was difficult to keep the place open, according to a local television station.
“American-style baths are not as popular in Japan as American-friendly baths are in America,” Ohokuba says.
In his video, Ohkobo also talks about his experiences in other Japanese bath homes, including a large Japanese bath home in Japan’s capital city, Tokyo.
“In a Japanese place, there’s a certain atmosphere,” he comments.
“You can see it all around you, the Japanese and the American.
And then the American is in a different room, the American’s a different size and there’s nothing to see.”
In a video posted to YouTube in April 2018, Ohokabo shares a video from the Japanese-inspired bath house Hidden Cam.
“Here in Tokyo there are a bunch of bath houses with their own personalities, but most of them are in the same way,” he tells the camera.
“Like, the shower room is just a small room that’s just one wall and a shower.
It’s not really a place to go.
It might be the same one for one person or the same for another.
And there are very few of them, and I think they’re all very good.”
The owner says that while he likes to visit American-based bathhouses he also has a lot in common with his Japanese friends.
“One of my favorite things about Japan is that we’re so close.
When I go to Tokyo, I can always find a place with a similar vibe and atmosphere, so it’s really a great place