these are common in Kyoto, where the house bath is so darn small!
be sure to know which is the word for men and woman BEFORE entering.
Pretty awesome place, especially in COLD winter Kyoto.
BEWARE of the electrified bath-yes it has a very noticeable current running through it!
Here I was in the Gion neighbourhood of Kyoto-very old and known for being an area of pimps and gangsters. I was still surprised upon entering to see a man with full body tattoo!
In Japan you will not be allowed into hotsprings or baths if you have tattoos, mostly because it scares people since only gangsters have tattoos(y a k u z a )
But this is a y a k u z a neighbourhood so he's allowed. funny thing is, I was still intimidated but he was nice and chummy in the sauna, asking about the difference between American and Japanese girls. It wasn't until later that I connected his question with the possibility of him being a pimp.
Oh, and his photo isn't clear because taking a photo in a bathhouse or hotspring is actually a crime and taking this guy's photo could be quite potentially fatal as well.
Another note on tattoos in Japan is that the artist traditionally owns your skin so when you die he puts it on the wall!