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adoption of temple, tea house and australian ryokan

Dear friends,

Recently I am receiving and sharing some information that are not directly related with the wooden bathtubs. I believe it is important to save historical buildings even if minor (or actually even more because they are minor…)
To me, a basic “machi-ya” old house conveys more emotions and sense of space than tens of monumental temples or shiny revamped castles to satisfy the “shutter chance” that makes the tourists happy…

But, I am not here to make polemics. I feel that I am in the position of bridging the “fading” traditional japan with the japanese lovers worldwide and I am committed to fulfill this duty.
I just uncovered the tip of an iceberg and I think that there is a lot that can be done in terms of saving old buildings and thus (hopefully … some day…) stimulating a new sense of value among the japanese.

But I am aware that not all of the fans of japanese baths are also interested in this heritage-buildings-salvage project.
So I decided to build a new site for this purpose.
I need some time, maybe 30-45 days but I will split the 2 projects, promise.
So if you are not interested, do not quit reading this, bear with me one more month.
Will you, please?

Let me then give now a short update about the projects as today (+ there is a new entry!):

1) salvage of the Osaka temple (transfer): the buddhist priest is elderly and very conservative. He is worried that any movement around the building now could ruin his negotiation to sell the land to a developer specialized in rental apartment buildings.
But I am in touch thru a very sensitive real estate agent and as soon as the situation clears I will prepare a survey and an estimate of the cost to dismantle the wooden structure with roof tiles, doors, fixtures and acessories. Once I have an idea of the sizes and the volumes I will also provide an estimate of the shipping cost.
I cannot set a certain date but It will be as soon as possible.


2) salvage of the Teahouse near Enoshima: our action and especially the sharing on facebook (done by my the owners` relative) produced a positive action!
They decided to remove the property from the market for now.
(I think they are considering some offers by restaurants interested in renting the property and continuing the tea-house business).
I cannot say yet it is safe, and will keep an eye on the situation, but it seems the emergency is settled at the moment!


3) Well, there is another adoption project on the table. I already presented back in january the case of an australian friend who owns the prestigious “Shizuka Ryokan” in Victoria – Australia and is looking for a buyer.

http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/0-blog_news/japanese_ryokan_for_sale.php
Peter and his wife want to move back close to elderly relatives and are offering the keys to this amazing business!
Get the buildings, the trees, the kangaroos and all the clients and achievements for AUS 1,750,000
The deal he was working on got stuck at the end and the property is again on the market!
Contact Peter at info**at**shizuka.com.au (of course substitute the **at**) for more details.

Again, I will keep in touch and I wish you a relaxing weekend!

Best//

iacopo torrini

mail for any question/problem to: japan**at**bartokdesign.com

HINOKI BATHTUB FOR GENEVE

Here below are the specs of the tub:

material: natural Japanese Knotless Hinoki cypress bathtub
sizes: L1450mm x W850mm x H640mm (ext. dim.) 550mm (depth)
note: stainless steel bands. Iron brand at top. Drain socket.
option: Hinoki wood internal seat W400mm
accessories:
– Hinoki wood traditional cover 870x207x18 (7pcs)
– Sawara wood ladle with handle (180D 290H)
– Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)
– Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)
– Hygrometer
– Hinoki Special Reserve Oil (10ml.)
– Hinoki Essential Oil – 70 years old (10ml.)
– Packaging: 1650x1050x840 plywood box

– Hinoki planks (AB grade) for floor grate panel w/hydrorepellent
L2700mm x W93mm x t15mm with anti-warping slits
Packaging: 2800x130x220 cardboard x 2 c/s

Adopt a traditional building with tea rooms! (4 options)

As you know, I am taking action to find an alternative location for a wooden structure temple in Osaka. The site is being developed and the building will be demolished unless it is transferred before then.
This story was spotted by a japanese woman who is trying to save the stunning beautiful japanese house of a relative near Enoshima (Tokyo area).

ryokan01

The relative is elderly and cannot maintain the house anymore. It is about 479 sq.mt. of land in a prestigious residential area in Fujisawa (near Yokohama) so the price is quite high (about 140-150 million yen.)
In japan land has value while the building is totally devaluated after 25-30 years.
The problem is that it is difficult to get a return on the investment so the only thing that real estate agencies can propose is to demolish the building and garden and split the lot in commercially viable lots of 150 sq.mt. which can be easily sold at a high price.

ryokan02

The building is 1 story high and a floor area of about 87 sq.mt. It was built 90 years ago and has been used as a school for tea ceremony for the past 20 years. It was built with selected materials and is in pristine conditions every nook and corner. It consists of 3 tea rooms.

ryokan03

USAGE:

Option 1)
Of course it would be great if somebody is interested to buy it and use for tea ceremony, ikebana class or other traditional japanese art.
It is 4 Km (15 minutes by car) from Enoshima and the area will be flooded with tourists in view of the olympic games.

Option 2)
It can be used as a restaurant but not as a hotel (local regulations.)

Option 3)
It can be used as a residence by a real japan lover (but note it has no car-park and bathroom/shower so some work is needed)

Option 4)
If there is no buyer and they decide to demolish the building, I am looking for somebody interested in adopting it. The building can be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere.
As soon as we have more information about the temple project, I will be able to provide an estimate about the cost.

Please let me know if you are interested or know anybody who might…

All the Best//

iacopo torrini

increase of price for airfreight shipments

his is just a brief note about air shipping fares from Japan (I assume it is a generalized market adjustment worldwide).
All the forwarders we work with gave us the notice that the airfreight basic charges will increase 20% after december 1st. 2015.
Usually the fares go up before Christmas but 20% is a notable increase!

Again, it is a recurring pattern that the fares decrease after the holiday season is over but never go completely back to normal.
If you are considering purchasing a Bartok bath (especially kadomaru type) I recommend to finalize and order before 11/15.

I take this opportunity to announce that the Bartok design homepage is undergoing a renovation process and in december it will have an easier to use shop and booking section which will hopefully ease the matching between different clients shipping to similar locations and therefore allow considerable savings in the shipping charges.
Of course I will keep you updated on the progress.

Have a nice day// Sayonara~

More pics and floor plan of the Jo-Sho-Ji temple

The response to my previous mailing about the salvage of a wooden structure temple in Osaka was just overwhelming.
I am confident we will be able to find the right match for the structure and I will keep you posted with the progress of the transactions, site surveys and schedule.

Actually at the moment the keys of the hon-do (the main pavillion) are now in the hands of the Buddhist authority which is considering the application for the secularization of the building. The monk cannot let us inside in this phase, so the real estate agent passed me few more detailed pictures of the structure from the outside.

temple01

The temple name is Jo-Sho-ji.
Here below is the street view of the site.

https://www.google.co.jp/maps/@34.6815783,135.4487177,3a,75y,9.19h,83.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sb7s0eoASaHsImXUR1wCQoQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=ja

Here below is a site plan showing the external dimensions (excluding the projection of the roof). The area highlighted in light blue is the hon-do (main hall)

SCHEDULE (tentative):

* 2015/11
Within the end of november I am planning to make a survey inside the building and ask a specialized company an estimate of the cost for dismantling the structure in such a way it can be rebuild without damage. I am planning to enquire Kongo-gumi which is specialized in the construction and maintenance of religious architecture since year 578 A.D. !!

As said earlier, the cost of the building itself, including the accessories is free of charge.
* 2015/12
Following, I will evaluate the cost of loading on containers, customs issues and shipping cost. I should be able to have clear data by the end of december.
* 2016/1
A couple of weeks should be enough to evaluate the feasibility of the project and the most suitable “foster family”.
* 2016/2
Time to carefully dismantle the structure as the D-day for the demolition is set for the end of the month.

Please refer to this blog for updates and additional details.

All the Best//

iacopo torrini

construction of sushi counter

update: see the pictures of the completed counter here:
http://www.bartokdesign.com/7-custom_ofuro/sushi-counter-for-hk.php

We are now building 2 hinoki wood counters. They will sit on top a marble counter and will have a stainless steel cladding towards the kitchen.
The substructure of the counter consists of blocks of AB and B grade hinoki laminated together.

We are now building 2 hinoki wood counters. They will sit on top a marble counter and will have a stainless steel cladding towards the kitchen.
The substructure of the counter consists of blocks of AB and B grade hinoki laminated together.

The corners are round so after laminating the necessary width, we used a jigsaw and trimmer to shape them.

Finally, we will apply a 7mm veneer on the top and front and a 3mm veneer on the curved corners, for this reason there is an indent in the base.

We were lucky to find a very beautiful lumber, quarter sawn (with straight grain) more than 7m long. We will use this for the surface layer. Even if the counter is divided in sections for transportation and assembly, the wood grain will naturally flow on the counter once completed.

Update about the project of transferring the temple:

This makes me think that there is a great potential in acting as a bridge between the “shining new building addict” Japanese and the community of the japan-lovers worldwide.
It looks like a win-win situation.

There are hundreds of kura (storage house), kaoku (house) , minka (country house) and even theatre stages, ryokans, bathhouses that are being wiped away everyday.
If there is anything I can do to match the right building with the right owner, I will do it!

Here below is some of the feedback I received:


Dear Iacopo,

Not a crazy idea at all!! I think it’s a great idea. Please can you let me know dismantling and shipping charges to UK and I have a storage place here.
Also I want to use the tub now so can this also be shipped Asap!
I am going to use much more Japanese things in our projects in the UK and Europe.
Best Wishes


Hi Iacopo,

I must say you sure have a way to attract my interest !!
Well, as I might have told you I live in a house with approximately 11,000 square meters of land around it and therefore plenty of room, I think, for the temple.
Also, Cairns has a permanent population of about 3,500 Japanese who, I would think, they would be entusiastic to knwo that there is an progonal temple in their city.
Could you please tell me more Iacopo? Any idea how much it will cost to dismantle it and the sort of volume/weight of material it will generate to transport it to Australia. If I have that kind of information I will be able to start getting some quotes and some idea of the cost of transporting it to Cairns.
Further, I guess I will need to know how to reassemble it once here.
Depending on the expense involved I might try to engage the local Japanese community to ee whether they are able contribute to the project somehow.
I am really quite excited about this idea!
By the way, Iacopo, my invitation to you and your family to visit Cairns is still open ended! If Zeno wants to come to Cairns to study some English at my school he is always most welcome!
Cheers


Hello from France,
Your message as just reached us and we care about your project…as you said “teleporting” would have a smell of unthinkable ! We could dare…

Do you have floor plans and other pictures of the inside of the Temple house ?
We could be interested to find a new location in the other country of the biggest European Natural forest and Ocean coast near Bordeaux and Biarritz in France ( South West ).
We are looking forward to understand what is the inside shape and craftsmanship pieces with other pictures ?Do you have technical pre study about the process of transplantation with an architect ? Any idea about the cost involved ?
Let’s talk about it ?
Have a nice day.
With our best regards.
Cordiales salutations.


I wish we had the space!
It makes our hearts sing for Japan…
Thanks for showing me


Hello and thank you for your message regarding the temple. I own a large land in ***** in the north of France. I would love to make a special place for people to come and create/compose/write/meditate… Can you send me more details? Idea of costs? There is just 20km from my place one of the largest ports in France, Le Havre…. container ships arriving everyday from all over the world. I look forward to hearing from you
warm regards


Dear Iacopo,
Have you had any responses yet?
I have been wondering about some of my colleagues who may have large amounts of land attached to their properties out of London.
Also, I will forward to my contacts in the Oriental Studies Department at Oxford University- maybe the university would be interested.
I believe we could make this happen.
Kind regards,


Torrini, Wow. We should have just gotten the temple and not built the house. I’m not sure how our neighbors would take to it though.
We will be getting back to you on our Japanese room shortly. Thanks.


Hello
I am very interested. Can you tell me what is the cost and what are the dimensions?
I live in Arizona USA and I have just the perfect place
Thanks


Great iacopo,
We are looking forward to this project. I am sure we can make this happen.
We have the right people and space to rebuild and keep the temple in honor.
Thank you again and hope to talk to you later.
Warm regards,


Then, there are many courtesy messages and many people interested in the artifacts and parts of the building.
I think I will give priority to the projects which would reconstruct the building in its integrity.

There is even a friend asking the cost of the land with the temple on it.
Is he planning to move to japan? I will check with him in private…

Anyway, keep tuned. I will post here additional information and updates.
Sayonara!

Bring home a japanese temple!

I have to admit, I LOVE that we live in a day and age where we can think of the unthinkable.
Have you ever considered teleporting a japanese temple in your backyard and using it to surprise your friends invited for a genuine tea ceremony?

It sounds crazy? Actually it is.
But you can, and it is free.
Feel free to read here below for more details.

A japanese temple looking for a caring home.

I was having a coffee with a real estate company I am working with and heard that this temple , located in Osaka is going to be destroyed in february 2016.
The buddhist priest does not have heirs or apprentices and could convince the community that there is no future for the temple.
Since his family is owning the land, he is going to tear the building down, sell the land and use the proceeds for his retirement.

This is the external gate. The temple was rebuild after the WWII so it is not ancient but as every temple in japan uses premium handcrafted material.
The fact that it is relatively recent also means that the construction materials are still in very good conditions.
If we cannot save this site, how about rebuilding the temple somewhere else?

Alternatively, I also think it would make sense to reuse the material for other scopes. There are many statues in pristine conditions.
“hongawara type” roof shingles, doors, shelves, “ranma” carvings, tatami mats, shoji screens, framing material etc.
Japanese timber frame buildings can be dismantled and reassembled without major disruption.

I think we should give the good example and show to the japanese how much the traditional culture and historic heritage are precious.

What do you think? Do you need the temple? It is free!
Of course there will be costs involved in dismantling the materials and shipping them in a container.
But I think that it can be a unique chance to enter in possession of a precious artifact.
I am sharing this information just in case it may match you or your aquaintances schedule and plans.

My hope is that the action of a foreigner “adopting an historical building” may trigger a shift towards a different set of mind in Japan.
Please let me know if you want more information. We have to act quickly as the demolition date has already been set (february 2016).

Contact me at japan@bartokdesign.com for any question.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!

iacopo


UPDATE 10/20

We had an overwhelming feedback!
Thanks everybody for the prompt and kind reply.
I will get in touch with the real estate company and get more information.
I am planning to get back to you before the end of october.

All the Best//

HINOKI TUB FOR JAPANESE SPEAKER

When we receved an email from Australia in spotless japanese we were so surprised!
The mistery was cleared as we were told he studied and worked in Tokyo for a few years in his youth.

I imagine that the aroma of hinoki must bring back powerful memories and dejavues!

The client even come to visit our workshop,then after about one year he finalized the details of the order with a tight correspondance in japanese.
(My carpenter was galvanized at the fact he could answer back easily without translation so I think he indulged in corresponding even more than strictly necessary…)

Here below are the specs of the tub:

material: natural Japanese Knotless Hinoki bathtub (quartersawn)
Sizes: L1100mm x W700mm x H761mm (ext. dim.) 661mm (deep)
Note: wooden dowels, coppper apron, iron brand at short side, top left
accessories:
– Hinoki wood lid (2 pcs)
– Hinoki wood traditional stool
– Asnaro wood floor mounted spout type E
– Complimentary hygrometer

SMALL TUB FOR SHOWER

Model/material: japanese Knotless Sawara cypress wood bathtub
Sizes: L850mm x W630mm x 740mm (630mm deep)
Note: stainless steel wire bands. Iron brand at front top-right

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