Blog

order and payment 1

Can you ship to the United States? How long does it take?

Yes, we do ship to the US and to many other countries worldwide. In most of the cases we use air freight. Once the order is confirmed with a deposit, we start to custom build your bathtub. We guarantee the delivery to your home in 6~8 weeks from confirmed order. Shipping is done in a sturdy wood box and it contains the bathtub unit already in one piece for troublefree installation.

equipment 4

Do you only make ofuro, or do you also provide disinfection systems, recirculation pumps, and everything I need for a commercial ofuro?

To be honest, building a tub is more similar to naval carpentry than a normal plumber job. We do not supply any machine or pump equipment of any sort.
I recommend to find locally a pump and cartridge filter. If you replace the water every 3 days or so, you might skip the filter. About the disinfection: do not use chlorine.
Ozone seems to be popular, personally I would recommend a salt chlorinator. Please ask a pool equipment dealer near you. I had a client who used ‘Aquapure’ in a small pool and was very satisfied. It is a product available in the US. See: http://www.jandy.com/html/products/chlorinegenerators/aquapure_faqs.php

equipment 3

Your site recommends ‘pure warm water’ Is a high salt content okay? My image is the salt pools I sat in at Spa LaQua. I am thinking of Israel Dead Sea Salts, or another healthy salt.

There isn`t any direct problem about using salty water in a hinoki bath as long as:
1) once tub is emptied, it should be generously washed with normal water to avoid oxidation and staining
2) we will use stainless screws and plates, so no problem.

Anyway we do not have experience of this and do not know what it will happen in the long span. It may be OK, I do not know. You would have to try at your risk. I feel that salty water would at least alter the aroma and therapeutical properties of hinoki, but this might be just our prejudice.

equipment 2

Do we need to adapt the diameter/length of the fittings? We are planning to use a circulation pump.

You have to think of the hinoki tub as a large basinet. It is simply set on the floor and not connected with any piping (a part for the case of a pump). The faucet is wall mounted and the water flows into the tub. Often the drain is not even connected with any fitting: the water flows out from the bottom towards a floor-drain.
For the pump fittings: you can let us know the exact location of the outlet and inlet so we can prepare the openings.
Actually, opening the drain hole (of the right size, in the right location) on site is the probably best option as the tub is made of solid wood and opening the hole is very easy.
We do not have availability of fittings with diameter/threading matching the connections of your pump. You should request the pump manufacturer fittings at least 3" long. (the tub wall is 42mm thick). In the worst case, you should be able to have fittings custom made in your country.

equipment 1

I would like my bath tub equipped with a circulating pump.

Sorry, we cannot supply from Japan heating / filtering / circulation pumps or whirpool systems. Maintenance or replacement of parts would be too troublesome and expensive. You should find one locally and send us the pump specs so we can modify the bath-tub as required. Please note anyway that in most cases a pump is uneconomical and unpratical for private use.

durability 3

I am looking at your rectangular ofuro.
What is the life span? I am concerned that due to its rectangular shape, over time, the water pressure might cause leaking at the seams.

The life span depends very much on the site conditions and care in using it.

A wood tub is built to last 30 years and over of daily use: anyway the average life span is about 10-15 years.

The problems are not caused by water pressure, as we dimension carefully the thickness of the planks and the joints are extremely solid.
If the ofuro is wider than 800mm we use a top beam frame construction.
The causes of aging come from humidity level. If it is too high, it can create stains or mold. If the room is to dry, the wood might crack. Of course cracks can be repaired, but the esthetics is compromised and after 10-15 years many decide to replace the tub.
Keep in mind anyway that ofuros in commercial spas or hotels in japan thus are heavily used, have a long life span because are well mantained.
If you check periodically an hygrometer and keep the habit of quickly wiping the tub after every use with a towel, your tub will be strong and even more splendid after 30 years.

Here to the right is the side board (against the wall) of a 15 years old tub we just replaced in a hotel. Considering that it could not be accessed for cleaning, it is still in good condition after all this time!

durability 2

I live in a dry and hot climate. Will my japanese hinoki bath tub suffer damage from this conditions?

The japanese hinoki is a very tough wood. It is compact, stable, hard, insect and mold resistant. It does not crack in conditions where other woods crack and does not mold when all woods usually rot.
But it is still a natural material and it is always better to avoid extreme conditions. It is ok if you use it at least once a week.
If you leave your house for a long period follow one of these direction:
1) fill your hinoki tub with 5″ of water and leave uncovered.

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2) leave a basinet containing water inside and cover the tub with its lid.

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3) Wrap the exposed sides and top of the tub with clear poliethilen film. Close gaps with tape.
Avoid direct permanent sunlight exposure, expecially when not used. If you keep it always full, you might want to empty it once or twice a week and let it dry for 12 hours.

durability 1

Does knotty hinoki last as long as the smooth one?

The knotty and smooth wood have almost the same performance. Should they were to be tested in a laboratory, you will find out that the straight cut hinoki is maybe 10% more resistant than the knotty one. But this is rather an academic problem. You will avoid anyway putting the hinoki in extreme conditions and will enjoy it for 20 or 30 years.

It should add that the knotty hinoki is slightly (again, about 10%) more aromatic than the straight one as knots tend to be rich in resin.

wood quality 2

Are your bath tubs made in Cypress Hinoki wood? Are they made in Japan?

Yes. All our Hinoki comes from the Kiso Valley (Nagano prefecture, Japan): the most precious hinoki production area. Since the 1950`s all tree cutting is done in respect to the environmental sustainability and is subject to strict rules.
Yes. all our bath tubs are handmade in Japan by our skilled "toyo" (master carpenter) using traditional techniques.

wood quality 1

Hinoki the same wood as Port Orford Cedar?

No. Can you say that a filet mignon is the same of T-bone steak? Port Orford Cedar, also known as Yellow Cedar, is an appreciated North american wood used for construction and sidings. Anyway, Hinoki (or cypress hinoki) has higher rot resistance and more pleasant grain and color. Moreover, the soft aroma of the Hinoki wood is much more pleasant than the strong smell of the Port Orford Cedar, expecially when warm water is poured on it. For this reason, we may suggest the use of Orford Port Cedar for the wall paneling of the bathroom, but we do not recommend to have a bath tub or the floor duck boards built with this wood.

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