I was told that sawara has poor durability compared to hinoki and kouyamaki is better durability,… can you clarify? which is better for longevity and mold resistance and cracking?
Hinoki contains more aromatic oil than sawara so in a test environment it can be said that it is more resistant… Anyway the secret to have a long lasting ofuro is love and care. Like a nice pair of leather shoes: it is smart to prevent problems with a constant even if easy maintenance. In case you need to repair a problem it will be costly and time consuming and you will never be able to restore the original condition 100%. It does not matter too much which type of wood you use. Just avoid contact with soap and dry condition. And ventilate well to avoid mold. It is that simple.