News

Bringing water to the desert

Airport shuttle bus all to myself
A limousine bus to myself!

This weekend I will be at The Hotel Show at the Dubai Trade Center bringing some much-needed ? onsen water to the desert! As I mentioned in my last post I am jumping all in to explore the b2b side of things. Orders have been increasing from hotels, bars, restaurants and spas so I thought I should come to answer all the questions about japanese ofuro in person.

You might know that our area of Japan was hit by a super-typhoon (tropical storm) a couple of weeks ago. So many flights were cancelled after the bridge to the airport was damaged as well as some flooding of the airport. It is happy for me that the shuttle bus was empty and I could enjoy a beautiful sunset as I take off from Osaka, Kansai Airport. The airport is only just resuming flights so I am very lucky.

See you on the other side! Come and say hi if you are at the Hotel Show too.

sunset over Osaka Bay
Sunset over Osaka Bay

“moon shaped tub” crowdfunding campaign

I spoke about this project with some friends back in january.

They have been contacting me regularly for updates.

I finally squeezed in the 3-4 days necessary to prepare the material and launch it online….

ladies and gentlemen, the crowdfunding campaign for a new generation of hinoki bathtubs is alive!

https://igg.me/at/moon-shaped-bathub

tsukiburo-banner640wide  They are curvy and sexy, they are cutting edge, they are hand-made. Here is the beginning of the new “KAKEHASHI” collection!

House for sale in Osaka

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A japanese friend is selling his house in southern Osaka and since it is equipped with a nice hinoki bathtub, I decided to call it out here, in case somebody in interested.

It is remote that users of this site may be considering purchasing of real estate in Japan, but who knows! Also note that this is not a heritage building but a full featured 3 story family house with 2 cars garage.

asking price: 42.8 million yen

year built: 2001, december

structure: timber (post and beam)

floor area: 148.22m² (3 story, 4LDK)

land area: 166.81m²

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You can find more information and photos here:

http://win-jyuken.jp/?post_type=fudo&p=4272&shu=1202&ros=592&eki=6508&ken=00&sik=0&kalc=0&kahc=0&kalb=0&kahb=0&hof=0&tik=0&mel=0&meh=0

new prices for the bath accessories

I would like to call your attention on 2 changes in our lineup of japanese bathroom accessories:

1) the design of the ladle (small bucket with handle) was updated with the use of a braided wire.
This gives more stability even if it makes the look different from the large bucket which still has the flat copper bands. On the other hand, the new ladle coordinates with the round foot bath.oke-hi2

2) there will be few adjustments (prices increases) in the accessories due to the cost increase of the stools and new pricing categories of the EMS Japan post service.
Please find the new prices below.
170601-hinoki-bath-accessories-pricelist
This new price list will be effective from june,1 2017 so if you are ready to buy some accessories, I recommend to place the order by 5/31.
The shopping cart will be updated with the new prices on 6/1 at 0:00 JST

rural kabuki in Kobe

Today I went to the gorgeous Minatogawa Shrine in Kobe.
The building was rebuilt in reinforced concrete as many other examples thru-out the country but the balance, its setting in the green in the center of Kobe always gives me a sensation of wellbeing. Incidentally, here is where I got married, 15 years ago… but this is a different story…

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This time I was not a normal visitor: I came to participate to a casual festival as a … Kabuki actor!
Actually I have been impersonating the character “Nango Rikimaru” from the play “Shiranami go nin otoko” for over 18 years!
It all started when I visited a traditional festival and forgot on the ground my note-book.
It was promptly returned to me and one year later I was recruited to be on stage!

Nouson-kabuki (rural kabuki) is a standard (or maybe I should use the past tense) of local festivals and the amateur actors (in the past mostly peasants) were dressing up and making up their face to entertain the community.

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The five characters are thieves that are surrounded by the police and are giving their testaments before the final fight. Some of them had noble origins, some of them are played as onna gata (with an effeminate makeup). Nango is a rough pirate hiding on ships and popping out all at the sudden and threatening the crew with his shining sword. He is not repented and showing off his red underwear he draws his…umbrella preparing to sell his life dearly!

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nemophila blooming

Roses are red violets are blue, sugar is sweet…
I studied this short poem as 1st grade junior high student in Torino some 33 years ago: what a flash back!
But this is just to say that flowers in japan are not only sakura.
A friend went to maihama seaside park in ibaraki prefecture (north of tokyo) and sent me some shots. I did not know it so I felt I had to share it with you! I am enclosing here some photos.
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moon gazing

moonAre you a moon-watcher?

Today it is matsu-yoi-no-tsuki.

Did you know it?

The day before the full moon is a special day because … we can look forward to seeing the full moon the next day!

In japan (before the advent of TV…) japanese were big fan of enjoying the change of seasons and natural processes. See below: (more…)

sakura!

after a long winter, finally the sakura are blossoming here and there!

The weather has been bad in kansai area, especially on weekends, so here are some pictures that a friend sent me from Tokyo.

april 2nd:
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tsubomi: beginning of blossom with prominence of florets

april 5th:
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mankai: full blossom. This is actually a photo of one of my favorite hanami spots: the Meguro-gawa.

april 7th:
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chiri-sakura: gorgeous. the trees are still completely white but many petals are falling on the ground. The perfect symbol for the ephemerality of beauty. The peak is also the beginning of the end.

For those of you interested, you can find all you wanted to know on sakura blossoms viewing and real time forecasts on this site:
http://sakura.weathermap.jp/en.php
MG_Tokyo
details are in japanese only. Here is a collection of graphs relative to the Tokyo area:
http://sakura.weathermap.jp/area.php?city=Tokyo
If you still not have enough of sakura viewing you can migrate north little by little and enjoy the peak of cherry blossom viewing everyday!

If you are not yet in Japan, do not be sad: if you go to Hokkaido you will still be able to catch up with the cherry blossom as late as up to the mid of may!

hinoki aroma cards shipped!

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A big thank you again to all who supported us for the hinoki aroma cards crowdfunding campaign.
This is to confirm that I shipped all the items pledged by small-package (airfreight).
There is no tracking code but you should receive the items by 3/31 at the latest. If you do not receive it, please contact me at japanbartokdesign.com

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From now on the [hinoki aroma cards] are also available for purchase!
Please check in the shop. The cards are already finished with essential oil but the aroma may fade overtime. If you want to “recharge” them, remember to purchase separately the essential oil of your choice.

original hinoki aroma cards!

I am about 20days late on the original schedule but I have good news!

The hinoki aroma cards are ready and I am planning to prepare the shipments over the weekend and send early next week.

After that I will also add the actual pictures in the shop page.
But before that, I want to present here an outstanding original design and superb result:
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The client is going to use the cards for a friend`s wedding.
I thought it is a great idea and it may give an inspiration to other people!
Thanking the Ms. D who kindly agreed to show the photo in this blog, I am glad to introduce here the activity of her 2 daughters.
With “Musical traces“, they bring music in the community with classical concerts in local libraries, hospitals and private homes.
Check out their youtube channel.
Not only listening to the skillfully played music is mind soothing, but seeing that the performers are mostly children is heart warming and really inspiring!

This reference is not strictly ofuro-related but I am so glad to have such wonderful clients that I cannot help wanting to let the world know about it!

Enjoy the weekend and look for the musical traces…

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