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15 years with you!!

Hi everybody~
Here is a brief update on the recent developments @ Bartok.
I have been designing, producing and shipping japanese ofuro bathtubs worldwide since 2003.
(about 500 ofuros sent to 49 countries and counting!).
Recently, B2B projects (hotels, spas and other commercial uses) have been increasing to about half of the yearly sales.
Yet, I have never participated to a specialized trade show – with the exception of a brief visit to the Spa & Beauty Exhibition in Paris in 2013.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Bartok design, I decided to be present at not one…
not two…
actually three! specialized trade shows before the end of the year.
Here are the dates: it will be wonderful to meet you if you happen to be around (who knows, life can be unpredictable…)
(1)
I will be in Dubai for the Hotel show from 9/16 morning until 9/18 afternoon (plane leaving at 17:00) I will also have to go to Abu Dhabi for a meeting so I think I will have to postpone to the next occasion that camel tour in the desert you are about to recommend me…!
(2)
I will also visit the ISPA in Phoenix (AZ) from 9/24 – 26 (arriving on 23 evening and departing on 27 morning). Do they have camels in Arizona?
(3)
Finally, I will exhibit at the Hotelier Summit Asia in Jakarta on 12/5 and 6.
Exciting! I have never been to Indonesia!
I hope to see you there … and if we miss eachother I promise that I will bring back a suitcase full of presents in terms of new ideas and products that can enhance your bathing experience and japanese style wellbeing.
Of course I will be delighted if you will write me to share any advice you may have about Dubai or Phoenix.
For the chat about Jakarta I will catch up again with you later in october or november.
Please contact me by email at japan@bartokdesign.com
Thank you in advance for your help!
All the Best//
Bartok design Japan Co.
iacopo torrini

pocket onsen ‘GYO’ campaign ending tomorrow!

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I should have written this earlier, but life is busy also in this part of the world…
Tomorrow the indiegogo campaign is closing (the project is founded! thanks everybody!)
If you are considering to purchase a “GYO” for yourself or to give as a present, this is the last chance.

After the campaign is finished, I will add the GYO to the Bartok shop but the price will include a profit margin. I was considering 1.5 times (which is still very reasonable). For instance, the basic set with young trees oil will become 45 USD instead of 30 USD.
On the other hand, the cost does not really take into account the time for packaging, labeling etc. so I might set higher prices.
Also, 2 operators are interested in distributing the pocket onsen (maybe OEM) so I will have to protect their prices. In brief, I am now considering to set retail prices to about 210% of the production costs (which is still very reasonable!)
pocket onsen GYO – young trees → 6,000 JPY including shipping (now 30 USD + shipping)

pocket onsen GYO – special reserve → 9,000 JPY including shipping (now 50 USD + shipping)

pocket onsen GYO –  compare set → 12,000 JPY including shipping (now 65 USD + shipping)

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ofuro resistance and longevity

I am interested in a custom size Ofuro wooden bathtub for the refurbishment of my bathroom in Amsterdam, however I would like to check whether this will be the right solution.

I have read somewhere that the wood dries out and may crack if the Ofuro is not used regularly. Is this correct and if yes, how often at a minimum do you recommend that the Ofuro should be used / filled with water?

The second question is, provided that the Ofuro is taken care of properly, how many years does it typically last before it needs to be replaced?

Thank you very much and kind regards

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!

First question:
We use only hinoki wood from the Kiso Valley – Nagano prefecture (or Asnaro wood from Aomori prefecture) from old growth forests.
Lumber 300+ years old dried with natural ventilation is very stable and will not warp/buckle/crack unless in extreme conditions.
Wood is still a natural material so you understand that it cannot compared with steel or acrylic.

To prevent cracking we ask to respect 3 conditions:
1) do not use heating or air conditioning in the bathroom while the tub is empty (or if you do take some precautions-> see below*)
2) use the tub regularly, at least 2 times a week. Daily use is preferred. (if you are away for extended periods, take some precautions-> see below*)
3) we supply a complimentary hygrometer. Keep an eye on it. (if the relative humidity is below 50%, take some precautions-> see below*)

*) keep some water in the tub and cover it. Alternatively, place a bucket with some water inside in the tub and cover it.
**) if you use the tub daily, you do not need to worry about point 3)

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Second question:
If properly maintained a wooden tub can last 30 years or more.
In hotels or ryokans (japanese inns), bathtubs are replaced every 10-15 years.
Japanese climate is extremely humid, therefore in our experience tubs installed in Europe do not face some of the problems typical of wooden bathtubs (insurgence of black spots, stains.)

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at you disposal for any question/problem.

squealing kids from Singapore!

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Dear Bartok design,

In the chaos of shifting, I forgot to update and say that we have received the bathtub and the children are enjoying it extremely well. Especially my littlest who squeals in joy every time we tell her she can go in the bath.

Regards,
S. from Singapore (more…)

Reference from Portland

I received a brief comment together with 3 hefty photos!
Enjoy here below, enjoy!! (I particularly liked the black matte spout and faucets.)

Dear iacopo,
Here are photos of bathroom including view from tub!

Best,

M. from Portland – Oregon

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outlet tub with bench – sold out –

sorry, sold out!

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The sawara wood bathtubs trend continues with another fine grain tub made with the gentle orange cypress.
See the previous outlet tubs on the explanation why sawara is a trend.

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earthquake in Osaka

For all of you who heard the news of the earthquake in Osaka and kindly thought of us: WE ARE OK.
I also received several messages thru Facebook and Whatsapp: thank you for your caring!

Osaka was the most shaken with a magnitudo of 6. Kobe experienced a magnitudo 4 to 5, according to the area.
The awaji fault (which caused some 4000 casualties in 1995) seems not to be affected this time.

Here are some of the photos that friends from Osaka circulated.
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pocket onsen ‘GYO’ on indiegogo

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Well, ‘GYO’ is actually a development of the ‘pocket onsen’ that was launched in fall 2014.

We have been shipping worldwide over 350 pocket onsens and we are running out of the boxes and fabric pouches that were produced for the campaign. So it is time to create an enhanced version of the original item.

The original ‘pocket onsen’ was a kind of “side dish” to the production of special reserve essential oil. The pocket onsen was the tool to enjoy the world`s first aroma oil obtained from old growth hinoki (250+ years!) and there was an accent on supplying the user with typically traditional japanese artifacts such as a kimono fabric pouch and a lightweight wood box with iron brand. The items could be used also separately (as a jewel box etc.) and maybe this also secured the long term success to the project. https://igg.me/at/pocket-onsen

On the other end, the ‘GYO’ aims at bringing back the product to its essence. The idea is that by adding aromatic wood orbs to your bathtub, you can enjoy the same feeling as entering a real hinoki japanese bathtub.
Find more details at: igg.me/at/onsen-gyo

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The pocket onsen ‘GYO’ kits are available both with the “young trees hinoki oil” and with the “special reserve hinoki oil”.
There is also a ‘conoisseur perk’ with both essential oils variations so you can try the difference.

Secure your ‘GYO’ today at this link: igg.me/at/onsen-gyo

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Open the tight wooden box, draw out the hinoki orbs and apply few drops of hinoki essential oil. Once you drop them in hot water you will feel as you have been tele-ported into a japanese onsen (hot spring)!

The video explains how to use the hinoki wood orbs and how to store them after use.

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exclusive land in kyoto for sale!

A friend (land surveyor) offered me this exclusive information that I have the pleasure to share with the Bartok design community.

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If you have been to Kyoto, you probably know Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka: the picturesque area that leads to the Kyo-mizu-dera temple.
A pedestrian area, made of slopes and stairs is filled with shops and cafes and is flocked with tourists 365 days a year.
It is in this area, on a site also accessible by car there is a property available for sale! (110.98 m2 land with 188 m2 building)

At present a timber frame western style 2 story house + basement (built in 1984) occupies the lot.
Unfortunately the building is not a nice traditional japanese house but the location is extremely rare and valuable.

Considering that this type of properties are not available on the public real estate market, this is a unique opportunity for somebody wanting a second house in Japan.

Most of the neighboring buildings are used as high-end Air BnB and are always fully booked so it can be used as a profitable investment when not occupied. Of course it can be remodeled japanese style or can be rebuilt (being an architect I can help here…)

The total floor area is about 188 m2 and the asking price (land + building) is 200 million yen (about USD 1.8 million)

For any inquiries, please contact me by email -> japan@bartokdesign.com
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hinoki shower floor gratings!

Duckboards Master BR 1“Hi!
The duckboards arrived and are gorgeous!   Plus, they smell delicious!   See some iPad pics below.  
We wondered what the little black pads are for.  Also, the 4 extra pieces of wood?
Thanks again!”

J.A. from Manhattan

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