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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

Thujopsene Cedrol.jpg Cuparene terpinen
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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outdoor tub for the west coast

This project went thru a very smooth process. It took about 2 weeks for deciding the options, 2 weeks for construction and 4 weeks for shipping and delivery.
The client went thru our website carefully and indicated a custom tub close to her image.
The tub is to be used outside so we recommended a thermal cover (to be purchased locally).
During the winter the cold temperature results in a lower relative humidity.
If the tub is winterized we would recommend to wrap the tub with a cellophane sheet before covering it, to prevent the humidity loss.

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The tub is in asnaro wood.
Sizes are L1400mm x W900mm x H680mm (ext. dim.) 600mm(deep)
It is equipped with a Asnaro wood traditional cover 920x233x18 (6pcs)

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The ofuro has an internal removable seat and was supplied without installing the drain socket. Once the exact location has been determined, the local contractor will drill a hole in the solid wood and apply the drain socket we supplied.

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japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Asnaro wood bathtub

fast track tub for the UK

We received a kind and neat mail contact on 12/2, which we promptly replied.
On 12/10 the details were defined and we received the pre-payment.
The tub was completed on 12/24, the client requested a small modification to the chain holding the rubber plug and we shipped it on 12/27.
This order was really a sprinter, rapid and efficient!

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But this tub is not only quick, it is a sleek Asnaro AB grade (quartersawn) wooden bathtub. sizes are:
L900mm x W700mm x H750mm (ext. dim.) 617mm(deep).
The bottom apron is finished with natural oil and the joints are capped with wooden dowels.
There is an internal seat in matching asnaro wood.

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Finally, here is a picture of the interior with the removable bench. The drain is hardly visible because it is hidden under the seat.
We can say this tub was a sprinter, but I am sure that the owner will slow down and fully enjoy the relaxing time with the hot water up to the shoulders!

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buy a japanese bathtub before it is too late!

Dear Japan lovers:
As you might know, the japanese sales tax is increasing starting 2014/4/1 (from 5% to 8%).
If your tub purchase is finalized after 4/1, we will have to update the price (increase of 3%).
(Unfortunately it is not an april fool…)

salestax

If you confirm your interest, we recommend to take advantage of the old price until the end of march and confirm your order.
Thank you for your kind understanding.

Pick up your tub in Long Beach

The client first considered a tub from our outlet corner, in the end he opted for a custom tub. The process was very efficient and the we carried on the communication mainly by email. Here below is the well proportioned and functional asnaro bathtub.

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Here are some of the initial questions which I am sharing hoping that can be of common interest:
Q1) Does it have an internal seat? If there is currently no internal seat, could one be added out of the same material? What about a cover? I like the traditional cover–could this also be constructed out of the same wood and included? Can a step bench and stool also be constructed out of the same or matching material?

A1) We can provide the accessories in matching asnaro wood, anyway be advised that it will not be exactly the same color/grain.
tub, internal seat= asnaro plank cut
step bench, stool= asnaro quarter sawn cut

Q2) I also read on your web site that the tub should rest on some blocks. Our bathroom is tiled–can the tub sit directly on the tile or does it need some sort of block. If so, what kind of material should the block be made of?

A2) About the installation: if the floor is tiled, you do not need the blocks.
Anyway it depends on how you are going to do the plumbing connection.
If you are placing the tub on top of a floor drain, you can just do easily, as you would place a bottle on a funnel.
If you want to connect the drain to the plumbing with a joint, you need some space under the tub to tighten the nut.

Q3) Can a shower be installed right next to one of your wooden tubs, thus causing the tub to get wet daily during showers or should a divider be placed between the shower area and the wooden soaking tub that serves to keep water from regularly hitting the tub?

A3) There is no problem in having the shower by the tub. This is the standard layout in japanese bathrooms.
If some soap is reaching the tub, just be sure to rinse it after the shower.

Q4) What is the life expectancy of one of your wooden soaking tubs–is it about 10 years or ____ ?

A4) The lifespan of a wooden bathtub is about 10 years but if it is maintained properly it can last 20 or 30 years.

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The tub has a overflow cut on the short side to redirect the oferflow towards the drain.

material: japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Asnaro wood bathtub
sizes: L1358mm x W806mm x H736mm (ext. dim.) 600mm(deep)
options: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right

accessories: Asnaro wood removable internal seat W400mm
Asnaro wood traditional cover 826x226x18 (6pcs)
Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)
Sawara wood  large bucket(230D 120H)

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(The internal seat is removable)

The client lives close to Long Beach so we opted to an ocean freight to LA port and he will take care of the pick up in person.
For us every tub has a story, like an individual. Also we hear often that wooden tubs are treated like a family member and sitted like a pet when the owner is away for a long period. But it does not happen often that the new owner goes to welcome it upon arrival…
I think the tub will be very comfortable with its new family and I am sure it will make everybody happy…!

tub installed in France

Our home work is progressing well now and the bathroom was delivered last week – The tub is now installed and we enjoyed the first bath lest week – It i great indeed !
B. from France
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ofuro for a long chat

This ofuro has a barrel type construction and 2 removable banches, so it is possible to sit inside, with the hot water to your shoulders and have a relaxing chat with your partner.

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Tub information:
Sawara cypress wood AB grade (quarter sawn) oval tub
dimensions: L1500mm x W750mm x H800mm (ext. dim.) 666mm deep
The tub is equipped with a cover split in two halves ans a step/bench to make it easy to enter and exit the ofuro.

Here is a photo of the inside of the tub. The seats are both removable.

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