One of Tokyo’s oldest wooden bath-houses will close its doors this month, and there are concerns that the 88-year old building could soon be demolished.
The Tsuki-no-Yu bath-house was built in 1927 in a ‘hafu’ curved gable style, which is often seen on temples and shrines. Mr. Yamada, the 70-year old owner, said his father purchased the bath-house in 1933 from its former owner.
Mr. Yamada had considered closing the bath-house for some time due to a shrinking customer base, but was convinced by some loyal customers to keep it open for a few days each week. The decision to finally close the bath-house was made after the ageing building eventually became too difficult to maintain. The building is currently surrounded with scaffolding in an attempt to prop up the structure following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The chimney and roof tiles suffered some damage in the earthquake.
A local group made up of architects and architecture fans held an open-day at the bath-house on May 3 and 5, in an effort to seek new uses for the building. 230 people visited the property.
A later article in the Yomiuri Shimbun indicated that the building may be torn down and replaced with apartments.
*Update: The building has since been demolished.
The Tokyo Shimbun, May 2, 2015.
The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2015.
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