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ofuro with ledges for a japan-lover

This tub was attentively designed by the owner. He has been in Japan several times and supplied us with pictures and videos to explain the image he wanted to achieve.
We were also glad to help him finding some door hardware he is planning to import from japan.
For japanese interiors fans, let me also recommend you to visit the site of Sugatsune USA, (http://www.sugatsune.com) the american branch of the largest japanese construction hardware maker.

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The tub is in attentively selected straight grain hinoki. It will be installed raised on blocks to allow cleaning under the tub with a slim type mop. The gap will be hidden by the sunoko grating in front, which will also act as a low step to facilitate entering the tub.

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The tub will have built in ledges on the sides. We supplied the material, slightly longer than the room dimension so it can be cut to size on site.

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The tub was ordered with a spherical type drain plug (which confirms the clients` passion for details!)

Here are the specs:
material: japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Hinoki wood bathtub
sizes: L1370mm x W750mm x H690mm (ext. dim.) 580mm(deep)
design: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right

accessories:
Hinoki wood “Sunoko” floor grate panel,
laminated panels in hinoki wood for ledges
Kouya-maki stool (300x170x200H)
Sawara wood  large bucket(230D 120H)

wainscoting planks for NY

A client who ordered a wooden tub and accessories from us decided to use our hinoki wainscoting for finishing the walls of his workplace.

The quality required was knotless in 19mm thickness.
The standard is 15mm, so we custom made the order
65 planks L3700mm x W100mm x t19mm

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Plank cut. 1 face is AB grade (without noticeable knots.) Origin: Mie Pref.
I am looking forward to seeing the pictures of the completed job!

Best day spa worldwide!

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Well, we are excited!
A spa in Singapore for which we supplied 4 tubs last year just won the “2014 Day Luxury Spa Award!”
Therefore Ikeda spa is not only the best in Singapore (as everybody already knew…) but the BEST IN THE WORLD!
My partner mr. Ikeda is twice as proud as (this is by chance…) the awarded establishment has his name…

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Here are 2 shots (credits: www.ikedaspa.com )
If you go to Singapore don`t miss this chance of trying out the Bartok design tubs!
(Can we also say they are the best in the world?)

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hinoki heaven in california

This order was coordinated by the owners` architects.
We discussed several options, sizes and details.
In a couple of occasions the owner asked some more time to consider the details but the project went on smoothly.
The architect was also very cooperative in taking care of the ISF filing.
Recently, a new regulation has been implemented for ocean freight imports. The importer (the client) has to fill a Importer Security Filing and submit it before the merchandise is boarded in Tokyo port.

The procedure is quite simple but of course it is a headache for every first-timer. Our forwarder`s clumsy english complicated things in the beginning but the client always positive attitude allowed us to literally jump over all the obstacles!

As you can see our tub this time is a minimalist box, L1500mm x W800mm x H640mm (ext. dim.) 530mm(deep) with a L-shape corner (no top frame) This detail required 47mm thick planks @ walls. The material of course is japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Hinoki wood.
and the tub has a copper apron, and wooden dowels details for the corner joint.

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We also shipped accessories such as our 100ml Asnaro-Hiba Oil, a Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)and Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)

This time the local carpenter is going to build a duckboard on site so we send matching material.
The floor planks are readied with anti-warping slits on the back and a full penetration hydro repellent treatment. Planks are knotless L2000mm x W100mm x t15mm while the sleepers are in B grade, L2000mm x 45mm x45mm

If I close my eyes, I can already see the tub surrounded by the floor grating and filled with steamy water!

hinokitiol powder

Hinokitiol is used as a component for soaps, scalp treatments, skin acne treatments.
Chemically, it is tropolone and is extracted from hiba oil with a laborious ultrasonication process which takes about 6 months.

Hiba oil has a yield of about 2% (it takes 50 Kg of wood to obtain 100g of oil)
Hinokitiol content inside the oil is about 1% so it takes 5000Kg of wood to obtain 100g of pure crystallized hinokitiol)
We sell hinokitiol powder in 1g bottles:

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In the picture below is 1g of hinokitiol powder.

Hinokitiol has a natural bactericidal action and can prevent skin scaling, dandruff, acne or atopic dermatitis (eczema).
It can be used as a treatment for skin diseases.

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(Asnaro)-Hiba tree has a high concentration of hinokitiol (also known as Thujopsene) which has very powerful antiseptic properties. J. Antimicrob. Chemother.-2003-Arima-113-22.pdf

Hiba oil has a very strong forest scent, reminescent of cedarwood, maybe too intense for many people, especially ladies.
Also, even though allergic reactions are very rare, concentrate application of hiba oil directly on skin may cause a temporary rush and itching.

On the other hand, the hiba oil has a natural content of hinokitiol (about 2%) which makes it an asset when used against skin infections or for food preservation.

For this reason, we extracted pure hinokitiol (powder) and add it to hinoki oil which has a more gentle and widely appreciated aroma.
Please refer to our page about enriched hinoki oil

Please contact us for more details and bulk purchase options.


We are now testing this product with about 100 dermatologists and aromatherapists around the globe and will be glad to provide a sample upon request.
(Sorry, the program was completed as of august 2014)

shop page →

instant onsen experience

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Please check our shop pages for purchasing hinoki oil.
CONCEPT:
Onsen is the japanese hot spring. Bathing in a Japanese wooden tub is a life changing experience.
It is relaxing and stimulating at the same time, stress relieving, it even alleviates skin and respiratory problems. Are you dreaming of owning a Japanese bathtub but do not have the space or the money?
We recommend you to try few drops of hinoki wood essential oil in your acrylic or porcelain enamel coated bathtub.
It is not the same thing but it is close enough to the feeling of soaking in a real onsen, additionally you can enjoy the same curative effects!
MODE OF USE:
1) healthy bath:. add 3-5 drops to hot water before bathing.
1″) alternatively, pour few drops on hinoki balls (sold separately) and place them in the hot water.
2) aromatherapy: use with your preferred diffuser.
3) disinfectant: dissolve 10 drops in a liter of water to wash hands or a scar.
4) skin treatment: It may be applied directly on skin. We recommend to try first in a small area and verify any allergic reaction. Stop direct application and consult with your doctor in case of allergic reaction.
CAUTION:
◆DO NOT DRINK
◆AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES
◆KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN


HINOKI WOOD BALLS
We also offer hinoki wood balls which have aromatic properties.
If you place them in hot water, you will enjoy even more the delicate aroma.
They are also very light-weighted and warm and it is very pleasant to grasp them and hold in the hand for relaxation/rehabilitation. The size is 44mm (baby safe as they cannot be swallowed) and the package consists of 3 balls in a kimono fabric pouch. We have 4 colors available. The pouches are fully reversible so you can actually choose between 8 colors.
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If you want to experience an aromatic bath, you would need at least 10 to 20 balls…
For this reason we recommend to combine the use of aroma balls and aroma oil.
We created a kit called “pocket onsen” which consists of a pouch with the aroma orbs and one bottle of aroma oil, nicely packaged in a wooden box.
Please find more information in the section about aroma oils.
USAGE: just place few drops of hinoki oil on the wooden balls and put in the water. You will feel like you are in some ancient japanese bathhouse enjoying your bath ritual!

Personality of the hiba cypress

It is called Hiba cypress or “arborvitae”, and refuses to co-exist with other trees.
Hiba is a tree native of Japan, additionally we can say that about 80% of the hiba trees are located in Japan, in the Aomori prefecture. Forests have an average age of 200-250 years, it is a tree that grows over the years slowly tempered by the harsh wind and snow of the northern japanese region. Together with hinoki and sugi pine, hiba is one of the three large trees of Japan and as a building material it is considered “first class” for its resistance to rot.

(above is a photo of 1000 year old hiba wood from the Sarugamori forest on the northern tip of aomori prefecture.)

Hiba is used in construction and together with hinoki it has the honor of being preferred for the construction of shinto shrines.
Hiba hard to rot quality is surprising compared to other trees: we can often find in the mountains leftovers of wood logged 100 years ago and the heatwood is in perfect conditions, it even maintains its fresh fragrance! Hiba is used in history many buildings Including Hirosaki Castle, this is also proves its resistance to rot in the humid japanese weather.

The reason of its resilience is its high content of hinokitiol (also known as Thujopsene).
This natural chemical compound in the family of terpenes and was first isolated in Taiwan hinoki: this is the reason for the name.
Actually, it is contained in very small amount in Taiwan hinoki, and even less in Japanese hinoki.
The plants that contain high value of hinokitiol (about 2% of the weight of the heartwood) are the Japanese Hiba cedar (Thujopsis dolabrata) and the Canary Islands Juniper (Juniperus cedrus)

hiba cedarwood oil specifications

We are now adding to our line-up of product the hinoki wood aroma oil.
This blog entry is to provide the same level of information for the stonger “hiba oil”

There is a saying: “in a house made of hiba, mosquitos do not come for 3 years”.
Here are some detailed information about the tree also known as Arborvitae (tree of life):


Botanical Name: Thujopsis dolabrata

Synonyms: Thuja dolobrata, Thuja, Hiba, Aomori Hiba, Asnaro, Arborvitae.

Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress Family)

Plant Part: wood (no bark or leaves).
Actually we extract the oil from wood chips and construction material scraps of Aomori Hiba tree. This means that the wood is all from the core of the plant (it does not contain sapwood). Another statement we can make is that this is a 100% ecological material. No single tree has been cut to produce the oil.

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation.

Neutral oils: Thujopsene, Cedrol, U-idrol

Acid oils: Cuparene, Terpinen, β-Doraburin, Carvacrol, i- rosin acid

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Thujopsene
(β-thujaplicin or hinokitiol)
Cedrol Cuparene Terpinen

Origin: Japan (Aomori prefecture)

Oil Color: yellow liquid.

Consistency: Thin


Strength of Aroma: Strong

Scent: Hiba Wood Essential Oil has a strong woody scent reminiscent of Cedarwood. It is different from Port Orford cedar and american conifers as its content of pinene is low.

Blends well with: Bergamont, Boronia, Clary Sage, Cypress, Calamus, Cassie, Frankincense, Jasmine, Juniper, Labdanum, Mimosa, Neroli, Rosewood, Rosemary, Vetiver, etc.

Emotional description: spicy, musky, woody, oriental and mysterious.
People who liked Hiba wood aroma also liked Hinoki, Shalimar, Obsession, Opium or Ciara.


Cautions: Generally hypoallergenic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing.
* Toxic when ingested.
* When using directly on skin or scalp, try first on a small portion of your skin to see if any reaction develops. If you experience skin irritation, burning, itching or any other symptom, you might be experiencing an allergic reaction. Discontinue use until a doctor can perform a screen.
* Pets: Avoid using hiba-oil (or any cedar extract product) as a flea treatment for cats, which are particularly susceptible to plant-oil poisoning. About dogs: verify the usability and dosage with your veterinary.
* Avoid use during pregnancy.

hinoki aroma bath products

Is there anything more soothing and relaxing than soaking in a hot tub?

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Actually yes. I think that all of you who experienced a wooden japanese bathtub will agree with us.

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For all of you who never tried and wand to try how it feels, there is good news.
We developed a line of hinoki aroma oils to use in the tub.
Take a look at our shop pages for more information.

wedge shaped tub for singapore

We received an information request for this tub on the last day of the year.
The construction work on the apartment was still in progress so the manufacture was scheduled for may. It ends up that the work is ahead of schedule so the production should be anticipated. Luckily, for a shipment to Singapore of a small sized tub, airplane is cheaper than sea-freight so we could cope smoothly with the change of schedule.

The tub is compact and has a slanted side (the flat side will be positioned against the wall)

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Specifications are as follows:
material: japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Hinoki wood bathtub
size: dim L1000mm x W700mm x H730mm (ext. dim.) 620mm(deep)
design: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right
option: slanted back
accessories: Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)

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Here is a picture of the inside. No matter how compact, the soft touch of wood will give you the feeling of a roomy and comfortable space.

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