Tokyo bath house offers naked lectures to customers

The Hinodeyu public bath in Tokyo is offering classes on comedy and gaming as it tries to revive the dying tradition of communal bathing.

TOKYO (REUTERS) - It's not your average setting for a lesson in Chinese chess.

But that's precisely what the owners of this public bath house in Tokyo are going for, as they try to revive an age-old tradition. 

In decades gone by, bath house culture was common in Japan. 

Men would get naked and enjoy a relaxing wallow in each other's company. But in more modern times it's a dying culture. 

The Sunrise Bath House used to welcome 500 customers a day. 

Now, it's using lessons - across a range of topics - as a way of breaking down barriers and getting young people into the tubs. 

"In principle anyone can be the teacher or the student. I believe people are all very equal when they get naked and ignore their status. They become open-minded and can freely ask questions," said Yuichi Tamura, manager of Hinodeyu public bath. 

Anyone can attend the monthly lessons, and at around four dollars a head, you'll hardly need a student loan. 

Although exactly what you'll be taught can vary from month to month, depending on the availability of teachers willing to get their clothes off in the name of education and brotherly bonding.