THE MINERS BATH HOUSE 2017 – Miyamae bath house, Yubari, Hokkaido, Japan
Miyamae bath house is a public bath that was originally built for mine workers and their families living in the nearby apartment complexes called “Tanju（炭住)” around 1970, when people didn’t have private baths. It is the oldest mining bath house that still remains in this area in its original state.
It used to be a place where different generations came together and talked about their everyday lives. Nowadays only few (mainly old) people come here for bathing, as the local government is stimulating people to move to new apartment complexes with private baths.
This bath house will likely close its doors within a few years, once everyone has moved to their new house.
Photography: Mariko Kuwahara