Its tiled roof and imposing entrance immediately distinguish this classic north Tokyo bathhouse from your average neighbourhood sento. In business since 1916, Teikoku-yu boasts one of the most beautiful buildings of any traditional bathhouse in the capital – the high ceiling, lush garden with its koi carp, and powerful Mount Fuji mural are all worth a closer look. The last of said highlights was painted by the late Toshimitsu Hayakawa, a renowned master of sento murals whose work can only be viewed at a handful of Tokyo bathhouses these days. Teikoku-yu's staff go to great lengths to preserve this masterpiece, working together with art conservators to make sure its surface isn't put under too much stress. This is far from the cleanest or most comfortable sento in the area, but it deserves a visit for its historical value alone.
3-22-3 Higashi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku
|Opening hours:||3pm-12midnight / closed Mon|
|Transport:||Mikawashima Station (Joban line)|