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remodeling in France

At the end of march we received a mail from a nice French couple.
They are planning a complete remodeling of their house and would like to use a japanese wooden bath for their bathroom.
At first they choose an oval tub so they could place it diagonally and enjoy the view out of the window.
They planned to use a duckboard for the floor, then they adjusted the plan and accessories a couple of times before going back to the original idea.
We could feel their excitement, worries and a lot of passion for their home renovation project.
Here are some pictures of the tub and accessories:

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The tub is made in Sawara wood AB grade (quarter sawn).
Option: stainless steel metal straps
Dimensions are: L930mm x W630mm x H740mm (ext. dim.)
The tub is equipped with a cover split in two halves.
A shot from the back with the spout ready to pour steamy water inside the tub…

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And here is a picture of the interior with the fixed seat

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Fixed exchange rate for you~!

After years of bullish strong yen, the japanese bills weakened some 30% against the dollar and euro in a span of few months.
one yen was buying you about 75 yen in autumn 2012 but climbed up to 102.31 yen on 5/15 (My wife` birthday…).

In the past 2 weeks, the yen is slowly recovering some positions and returned under the 100 units bar. As today, one dollar is worth about 98 yen.

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But at Bartok design, one dollar is still worth 102.31.
Until 6/15.
Did you miss the chance to confirm your order and see the dollar is slipping again?
No reason to regret, we extend the highest exchange rate of the past 4 years until june 15.

We strongly recommend you to take advantage of the“102.31 yen campaign”before also this chance is gone…

abenomics…

As you know, the new japanese Prime Minister, entered in charge last december has enacted agressive financial and fiscal measures with the purpose of pumping some fresh blood in the ailing japanese economy.
One of the first targets was the strong yen, a formidable obstacle to the japanese exports for the past 4-5 years. With an increase in public spending and monetary easing, the target was reached, maybe even too abruptly.
This alone does not change the outlook of japanese economy but is an element of hope and of course a concrete boost for exporters such as Bartok design Japan.
We are glad that our clients can buy our products with a 30-35% discount!

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But there is a downside.
Like putting fire to a pile of paper, the response to a massive economic stimulus is immediate, the flames are high and the temperature is rising. But how long is it going to last? In any case, for the time being construction materials costs are rising rapidly. Compared to 6 months ago steel is +15%, concrete is 7%up and concrete forms are up over 20% up. Wood for carpentry increased some 5% but selected and rare wood (like hinoki) is rising more rapidly and is not rare to stumble into no-common-sense requests.
Public spending tends to boost cost of high grade materials and hinoki is used in historical building renovations, hot springs, conference centers, hotels etc.
We have our stock but will have to face the situation of more costly material sooner or later.
From the mid of june, we will have to apply a cost increase of about 10% and our quotation will have a strict 15 days validity.
I am addressing this notice especially to those who requested a quotation and are now evaluating the option of using one of our baths,
Sorry, our quotations until 2013/5/31 have a 1 month validity and cannot be extended further. No exception. Thank you in advance for your kind understanding.
Even our costs are increasing, the weak yen will still make our products more accessible and this is good news for all the japanese bath lovers in the world…!
All the Best//
iacopo torrini

Reference from France

Good Morning Iacopo
The tub has arrived at our home last Friday. We have unpacked it just to see and smell it…and repacked it because our bathroom will be available only in a couple of months !
The tub is beautiful – we are very happy to have it …it will be hard to wait before we can use it !
Thanks again for everything
Best regards
G & B

Dream-ofuro for Australia

How to describe this ofuro? It is roomy and well proportioned. The top frame “kamachi” gives it a sturdy, solid look. it is really the platonic archetype of a dream-bath.
As Australians may imagine, it is not easy to import a wooden tub in the country because of the strict customs regulations and required inspections.
But our forwarder knows the procedures, and we provided the required certifications so everything went thru smoothly.

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The tub is made in Hinoki wood AB grade (quarter sawn)
Option: slanted back.
Dimensions are: L1485mm x W880mm x H680mm (ext. dim.) 600mm(deep)
Finishing: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right
Here are other shots of the front side and candid interior!

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wabisabi featured on Tokyo TV

Wabisabi Culture (a japanese style ryokan and meditation center in central Italy) and their large Bartok design ofuro have been featured on Tokyo TV!
The ofuro footage starts at around 2:20 on the video below:

Squarish tub for Canada

At first, the client contacted us directly, then his very professional and constructive builder took the baton and we worked out with them the installation and shipping issues.
The current legislation in Canada does not allow private parties to import goods.
The consignee needs to be a corporation.

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The tub is made in Hinoki wood AB grade (quarter sawn)
We were asked to build it with squared corners, so we used thicker planks (43mm) as per our “sharp corners option”. This also allowed us to skip the top frame border which would be otherwise required for a tub which width exceeds 750mm.

Dimensions are: L1207mm x W953mm x H699mm (ext. dim.) 584mm(deep)
Finishing: natural oil apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right
The tub is equipped with a wood step stool 660 x 254 x H305mm in coordinated Hinoki wood.

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perfect timing to buy an ofuro

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In case you did not notice it, the dollar and euro are gaining value over the yen.
Today, one dollar buys you almost 91 yen, it was 78 yen/dollar six months ago.
In few words, if you purchase a japanese bathtub now you can save about 20% compared to the price you would have payed in summer 2012.
Is the yen weakness going to last? We do not know, anyway the boost of exports and the planned increase of the sales tax (from 5% to 8% in 2014 and 10% in 2015) create the premises for demand increase which can boost the economy and generate a flow of capitals towards the japanese stock market.

Is the yen going back to 78 yen per dollar? Again nobody can say it, but it is likely that it is going to stabilize to a medial value for the months to come.
If you are planning to buy an ofuro, this may be the chance you were waiting for…!

tomato salad

Do you know the ingredients for a good tomato salad?
Of course tomatoes. Then dressing?
Or layer with mozzarella cheese and top with oil and oregano?
You can also enjoy tomatoes with onion and tuna, or garlic and feta cheese.
But we have our own favorite recipe: cut tomatoes.

Did you know that italians call tomatoes “pomodoro”, literally golden pommel.
It is often used as a symbol of the energy of the sun, which makes it grow, shining and red.
We invite you to try to enjoy these simple, sincere tomatoes “nature”: with an oriental touch.

How does it work?

  1. Find some medium size cherry tomato, not too ripe and not too green.
  2. Then cut them on a hinoki wood cutting board.
  3. Let it on the board for few minutes, so the tomato can absorb the delicate forest scent of the hinoki wood
  4. Add few granes of marine salt

ENJOY!

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