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work in progress on round tubs

We are now working on an order of 8 tubs for an Hong Kong restaurant.
The first lot of 4 will be shipped in july and the second lot in august.

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I wonder if the customers will enjoy the hot water while eating? Or will take a bath while enjoying the landscape after the meal? I will keep you posted.
I am sure it will be a highly successful formula as the “japanese style” is really rocking in Hong Kong as well as Singapore.

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Shipping matching service (beta version)

Last month a client was enthusiastic at the idea of purchasing a japanese bathtub.
Unfortunately, the shipping cost quotation came as a cold shower.
For a small size tub, the shipping cost can be close to the actual cost of the tub itself…
She asked if there was a way to lower the cost.
Actually, we charge only about 5,000-9,000 JPY for processing fees, the rest is pure cost, as we receive it from the shipping company.
After years of comparative bidding, we selected the best providers. Some are very specialized for some areas (eg. Australia), some are more competitive for air, some others for ocean shipping and so on.
We usually request a couple of quotations and submit the cheapest.
Anyway, let`s go back to the conversation with the client I mentioned here above.
I told her that the only way would be to consolidate a couple of shippings. I asked – as a joke – if she did not have a friend willing to order an ofuro at the same time…
Well, we were talking on the phone and I was almost dazzled at the light bulb she had!
A friend of hers from California was also planning to buy an ofuro! This could be a great chance!
Unfortunately, there is no big saving if the destinations are far and would involve separate landing locations…
Sorry about that.
But after hanging up, I had my own light-bulb: how about opening up our schedule to the clients so that they can find another japanese lover with a matching schedule?
This is why I am now writing this page.
I will test a new method (beta version) using a third party scheduling service.
If it works I will find a long term solution.
Please access the calendar here.
1) Choose the service according to your area.
2) Choose the preferred date on the calendar.
3) Fill in your address. (Phone no. is not required)
If we find another person with similar schedule we will contact both to verify if there is flexibility and try to ship the 2,3 or more ofuro all at once!
This could make you save big bucks!
Please let me know any comment or advice here below.

Ando Tadao house … for sale!

Well, this may seem a little out of topic compared to the other posts of this blog.
But I realize most of you reading this blog love japanese design and minimalist aesthetics, (of course, besides japanese bathtubs…!)
Well, I heard of a 1984 house designed by Ando Tadao which is for sale and I`d like to share with you this juicy information. I am noticing that many residents of Singapore and Honk Kong are eagerly purchasing real estate in Japan: I would be honored if this post helped you finding the house of your dreams!

My friend Rica is married with an Englishman and lives in Kobe.
She is a real estate broker and deals with rentals as well as with residential and investment properties for sale. She just advertised this new gem:

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It is a compact size private residence located in a beautiful area famous for its well preserved natural environment, on the hillside of Nishinomiya
The property consists of a 2 story house + basement (4BR) with a total floor area of 207.20 sqm and insists on a generous lot (for japanese standards) of 440.95 sqm
It is located in the green Megamiyama (Nishinomiya city) with easy access to both Osaka and Kobe.
The asking price is 78,500,000 JPY. For more information, check directly Rica`s homepage
One final note. The only problem with this property is… that it is not equipped with a hinoki ofuro…
The good news is that we can provide one for you, to match perfectly the size and style of the house ^^!

ando-tadao-stonefloor.jpg Enjoy your weekend!

Wow

Wow! WOW! wOw! woW!
I cannot help dedicating a twin entry to this beautiful tub installed in Canada.
Please check also the client`s comments in the testimonials section.
I thanked again the client for his kindness and generosity.
He replied saying: “Please feel free to use the photos and our comments although we would prefer to remain anonymous. We hope the photos help to inspire other potential customers to order your fine tubs.”
He is dedicating the pictures to all the japanese lovers` community, so here are more pictures!

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testing the tub

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This is the photo of the tub we shipped to Vancouver being installed.
For me being used to cramped japanese residences with small rooms and “virtual” gardens it is always a nice surprise to see the generosity of space of an american home…
Also it is always a fresh surprise for me to see the same tub that I saw last month in the hands of our carpenter Wada-san while he was drinking tea… The tub is now in a completely different reality, surrounded by smiling westerner`s faces…
There is maybe a positive side to globalization, where people living 10000 miles away from Japan can put in our homes a real Japanese bathtub, made by hand by an experienced (and sometimes a little grumpy) japanese craftsman!

kitchens and baths magazine

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Just a brief note to say that Bartok design Japan has been featured on an american specialized magazine.
There is just a short article in the “free standing baths” sections, but if you have the chance to grab a copy, do not miss it out!

Comments about Anke`s book

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Here below are some comments I received to my newsletter introducing Anke`s book last saturday:


1) Dear Iacopo, I am very interested. Best! T.


2) Dear Iacopo,
Thank you for passing on the information about Anke’s book. I would like to buy two copies of the book.
One for my mother for her 73rd birthday in April. She has visited Japan a few times and we have travelled together as she does not speak Japanese. She adores Japan, I think this would be a lovely gift.
And one for my parents in law who visited us in Japan once and still refer to it as the best holiday/cultural experience of their lifetime!
Thanks again,
J


3) Hi Iacopo
This is an excellent idea to share this book with us !
I would be very happy to see it and more than that, I would like to offer it to a young couple, just married, who are planning a wedding trip to Japan. I’m quite sure they will love it !
I would then be grateful if you could forward my mail to Anke
We still enjoy a lot the bath tub !
With best regards
B.


4) Hello
Many thanks for this information.
I would love to order a copy of this beautiful book from Anke.
Please forward her my details.
Best wishes,
F.


5) Beautiful!
Thank you for sharing, iacopo
Would like to see a few more pages/spreads.
With regards from Italy
g


6) Hello, thank you for reviewing this book.
I would love to contact Anke to buy a copy.
Thank you
B.


7) I would be very interested in purchasing a copy of Anke’s book. Do you think she would sign them if we asked her very nicely?
With best wishes,
M.


comment from Anke)
Dear Iacopo.
Seven incoming E-mails from Bartok design Japan – entirely unexpected – entirely surprising.
When I opend it with my sumi-E on top, your book review and a picture of the Tottori -Sakyu section, I can hardly describe my feelings – dumpfounded – humble – excited – appreciative – happy.
I do accept your work gratefully and like to thank you very much for your enthusiastic , very kind , moving and touching description. It was just overwhelming – even to read the spontaneous answers of your clients together with a book order.
Like you said “we all share the passion for the japanese aesthetics, the profound naturality, the addictive simplicity of the japanese traditional culture”, we are obviously soul – mates.
Not like friends and acquaintances who didn’t appreciate it that much I think (lack of understanding shown for my interests or for Japan in general). Well, human frailities like envy may play a part too, since I just do what I like to do and mind and body have not reached my biological age.
With pleasure I am going to send your customers an E- mail, ask for their addresses , send them a book and just hope they will like it.
Thank you again
Anke


Reply from Iacopo)
Dear Anke:
You are welcome.
When I sent my greeting card last Christmas to previous customers and received many kind answers, I had the realization I can be the binding agent for a wonderful community of people who share the same passion.
I feel my mission is to connect these friends, like a bridge connects the two sides of a river.
I am glad I could connect to you some alike minds who are interested in your work. At the same time, by reviewing your book I know I gave many people a smile and this is even more important for me! (forgive my sincerity…)
All the Best//
iacopo


8) Good morning Sir
I would like to order 3 copies of this book.
Thank you for this email and for sharing your gift.
J.


9) Joli message de Iacopo…
qui ne pense pas qu’à ses baignoires…
J’aime beaucoup…

sumi-e from a friend

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Earth, Water, Fire and Wind – By Anke Dabs

I received a book from Anke, a german architect who is building a new house and is planning to install one of our ofuros.
I like to think to my clients as a community of friends. We all share the passion for the japanese aesthetics, the profound naturality, the addictive simplicity of the japanese traditional culture.
But this present from Anke is just more than normal book, more than you would expect to receive from a stranger to which you are linked just by a common interest for japanese hot springs and bathing rituals.
The book is very powerful. It is the diary of a solo trip she made to japan on her 70th birthday.
There are some artistic b/w snapshots and the commenting prose (in german and english) is dry, minimal and conveys vivid images.
“Yohaku no bi” is not only very poetic and energizing, it contains a mine of information for the seekers of the authentic japan.
She picks and describe some fine ryokans and onsens out of the paths of the normal japan tourist and many of them were the set of the novels of famous XXth century japanese writers who shared the same spaces, the same experiences and projected them in their works.
Of course they are well known places but her selection, her descriptions and the fact Anke entangles her travel experiences with the stories of black and white fiction protagonists gives the reader the thrill of an elegant time-trip.
I also would like climb Mt. Haguro, listening to the sound of my steps and savoring in my mind the verses of Matsuo Basho from his 1689 travel diary: “oku no hosomichi” (the narrow road to the interior)
But I would be selfish to keep this little treasure for myself.
Of course you are welcome to follow Anke`s path and enjoy her recommended aesthetic meditation spots.
This is why I decided to share with you this book.
If you are interested please send me an E-mail and I will forward it to Anke (I do not want to publish it here as it may become the target of spam). It’s printed at book on demands, so she can order more books, even one by one. Price is 17.00€ + 4,00€ postage.

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Anke comments:
When I did the book, I didn’t think of selling it or that somebody I don’t know might be interested. I did it because I really liked to do it and thought it might be a nice Christmas present for friends and acquaintances and people who are interested in Japan.

one more lot of asnaro

Yes, we got another stock of beautiful asnaro-hiba wood.
We can build about 8 tubs now.
If you are looking at the picture and wondering, yes: the massive “7692” is one piece!

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new stock of Asnaro

Well, we begged all the lumberyards in our network and could finally obtain a nice lot of high quality asnaro wood.

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It should be enough for 3-4 tubs depending on the size.
If you are planning to choose asnaro, I recommend to hurry up…

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