Yep one of these scenes is not like the other. When Ume no Yu bathhouse closed some time ago, a sign by the entrance suggested this would only be temporary.
So much for that. The plug has been pulled. If Plum Springs is to flow again, it’s not in this world. But who’s to say it won’t happen. If anything can resurface in a parallel universe, it’s the classical, fantastical, neighbourhood sento.
You were lucky last April, one of the boarded-up windows was not entirely sealed. At least you got a final look in, a brush with the magic. Then yesterday you find all that remains in this mortal world is this sort of shrine (burial cairn?) of old tiles. A mark of respect?
A new sign on the now-vacant lot advises the next building will be a 10-storey condominium. Part of something called, somewhat ominously, the Kuramae 4-chome Project. Where no doubt everyone is forever blowing bubbles.