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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…)

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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.

paradise is not for humans only

The resort chain “Caro Foresta” put special efforts in targeting clients with pets.
Of course dogs are allowed in the resort, are pampered with a broad choice of delicious menus and are babysitted so that the owners can fully enjoy their vacation.
But yes, since the resort in Nasu is in a hot spring area, why the best friend of man shouldn`t enjoy the hot water also?
There it is: they offer hinoki outdoor baths (rotenburo) for the joy of your dog.

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I can see the smile on their face!

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

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:

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…!

happy new year!

From the land of the rising sun, we could see the beginning of 2013 before most of the other countries. And, despite the uncertainty of this period, we had the clear impression that it will be a DELICIOUS new year!

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We would like to participate our warmest wishes to all our japan loving friends all over the world!

cutting planks

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A block of quarter-sawn lumber is split in planks for making a bathtub. The thichness is 45mm: once it is planed it will be 42mm finished.

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hinoki ofuro in the fuji TV morning news

a beautiful japanese ofuro. Who`s taking a bath here?
and, what is the cameraman doing with my hinoki bathtubs … ?

Last week I was interviewed for fuji television, the media coverage of the “new wave of the japanese bathing culture” is rising … and there I am in the spotlight again :) !

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they filmed in high vision the grain of our beautiful kiso valley hinoki.
Ikeda san was not so happy about entereing in the ofuro together…
But the hinoki fragrance made him relax almost instantly

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The VTR will be broadcasted on 4/25 in the morning news on Fuji television (national programming) and will also contain an interview with a client from L.A.
I will keep you posted!

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