How is a Japanese ofuro different from a regular bathtub?

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Soaking in a bathtub every evening is part of the way of life for many Japanese. Japanese bathrooms are built so that there is a separate area for washing hair and body before entering into a warm bath to soak and relax. And because the bath water is not used of cleansing, the tub doesn’t have to be refilled for every member of the family.
The Japanese are also masters of efficiently using space. And of course they apply this skill to their bathtubs as well. Ofuro tubs are shorter in length than regular western tubs but they also have greater depth, which means one can soak in a sitting position with warm water up to their shoulders. Many ofuros come with built in benches so that you can sit in a comfortable position and enjoy your bath. In addition the smaller size not only tends to use less water but the reduced surface area keeps the water warm longer.

japanese style ofuro.gifJapanese Style Ofuro

western style bath.gifWestern Style Bath

best of both bath.gifFRP Ofuro

Although traditional Japanese ofuros are made out of hinoki wood, a more affordable alternative is an FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) tub. The size of these tubs tend to fall between traditional Japanese tubs and western style tubs. FRP Ofuros and are easy to maintain, but most importantly they don’t have to be built into your bathroom, rather just placed on the floor, like a large bucket.
A FRP ofuro tub is a good solution for those living in rented houses or for those having a dispute in your home about having a shower or a bathtub… the compact size of the Japanese tub allows room for both!