testimonial from Portland

Hello from Portland Oregon!

I wanted to write a quick note to thank you. We absolutely LOVE our bath. Attached are some pictures of the final install. We use it every day. With the cedar lid the bath stays hot all night long! It’s amazing, just like Japanese Onsen! 

Thank you!

Comment from iacopo:
Dear B., this is absolutely amazing! It is people like you that give meaning to our work! Even if in the near future all the traditional tubs in Japan will be replaced by plastic, and the new generations will not even know what a wooden bathtub is, your bathroom will remain to witness that a more meaningful, happy, and harmonious lifestyle is possible.
Congratulations, stunning beautiful project!
And…do not forget to enjoy the hot water!


Not just hanko

I stumbled upon a fabulous hanko shop in Osaka, just steps from the moth of Osaka castle.
Of course, I love traditional craftsmen and their ateliers, the air filled with history and the romantic scent of a lost world.

But this time it is different and it is even more uplifting.
Mr. Mitamura established this atelier some 30 years ago and although he has the skill of a sculptor, he calls himself “hanko designer”.
The reason his seals (made in wood, horn or marble) are so beautiful is not just because of his manual ability and mastery of the chisels.


choose? the drain socket

Thank you Iacopo,
We are interested in proceeding!
Which drain plug would you recommend?

For the drain plug, we only have one type (chrome plated socket with rubber plug/ball chain)
It all depends on your site conditions and plumbing method you choose.

If you want to connect to a drain pipe we can provide a female/female flange (long type)

If you want to discharge directly on the floor and have all the bathoom area (or part of it) waterproofed and with a floor drain (japanese style) then the short type is recommended.

Finally, if you want to use other drain sockets (brass color, black color, popup plug etc.) you can ask your plumber to replace it. It is a 5 minutes job, just be aware that wood is thicker than acryl or castiron so most of the socket on the market do not fit or need to be adapted. Not a big deal but just something that has to be kept in mind.

tub capacity & Rinnai hot water heaters

We were initially looking at the size of a large standard tub and note its dimensions of 1.8m x 1m x .616m. However, these measurements seem to be the exterior dimensions and thus we can’t really tell the interior volume of the tub, and how many liters/gallons it would take to fill the tub.
We are are also unsure of the volume of the tub for this one as well. 471mm may be a bit too shallow for us but we also don’t want to have it too high given the amount of water it takes to fill the tub. Given volume of hot water issues, do you also work with clients that use a hot water pump/ heater to save water and heating costs?

Please note that we can do any size (of course it has to fit in a container…) so you do not need to be bound by the photos on the HP.

To calculate the capacity in liters you can use the formula: L-70mm x W-70mm x internal depth.

For instance, the 1.8m x 1m x .616m will be about 1m3 = 1000 liters = 264 gallons

For the water heater, you should check with your plumber. I am aware that a Japanese maker (Rinnai) is increasing its presence in the US market.

They offer gas-powered instant/unlimited output hot water heaters (so no problem with the capacity) with a built-in water recirculation function.
I recommend contacting them directly for more information.

ofuro in freezing weather

Hello- I am a landscape architect in NY city. I have a client that wants a Japanese soaking tub on his roof deck. I love your work. What product and sizing will work in the NY environment with hot summers and freezing winter?

As you can imagine, an ofuro used outdoors ages more quickly that an ofuro used indoors.

Of course if it is installed properly and used regularly it will not crack, but it will show some stains and some discoloration after some years.

As per described in our maintenance pack: (

1) you should avoid direct sunlight exposure – especially when the tub is empty –

This can be obtained with awnings etc. and you mentioned the location can be shaded easily.

2) another potential problem comes from the freezing temperatures. Once the air temperature freezes, the relative humidity also drops. There are 3 days to avoid dehydration of the ofuro in these conditions:

a) lift up and move the ofuro in a penthouse or similar during the winter

b) use a spa thermal cover

c) keep water inside the ofuro at all times during the cold season (at temperature above 5 deg. centigrade)

Being wood a natural material, there are no 100% valid rules, it is mostly a matter of keeping balanced conditions.

A common way to proceed is that you let me know the sizes/image of the ofuro you are looking for so we can provide a quotation/drawing and we can start from there for modifications/alternative quotations as necessary.

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

With Best regards,

iacopo torrini

bank fees

Dear Mr. Torrini,
The invoice is well received.
The bank transfer fee was the only aspect we weren’t accustomed with. I suppose that is the cost of receiving a wire from the US?
Please clarify.

About the wire transfer fee: all our prices are net so we are asking the clients to bear the bank transfer fees.

Anyway, most people do not have experience with international wires and are not able to instruct their emitting bank to use the conditions: “PAY IN FULL”.

As a result, we receive the amount curtailed.

For us any method that enables us to receive the net amount is fine.

– if you use a bank account within Japan please reduce the amount by 6500 JPY

– if you instruct your bank to “PAY IN FULL” please reduce the amount by 6500 JPY

– if you pay with all bank transfer fees born by the receiver please leave the 6500 JPY in.

Thank you and Best regards,


Wabi sabi – outlet tub – SOLD OUT

(sorry, sold out…)

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature (from Wikipedia)

This ofuro has been infused with love by our carpenter. But even the best can make a mistake sometimes (if you want to call it a mistake).

It happened to this beautiful ofuro.
…What do you mean? …Where is the mistake?
Actually, I am sure that nobody would be able to spot it even examining it from close by.
But, there is a small mistake in the sizes. The backrest is slanted but is also slightly tilted as there is a 15mm difference on the bottom comparing the front and the back.
Of course, we guarantee that this irregularity does not affect in any way the structural stability or water tightness. Also aesthetically it is difficult to spot, as the top rim joint is symmetrical. See the drawing extract below.

But this cloud definitely has a silver lining: If you choose this wabi-sabi outlet tub, you will also receive a special BONUS!
★ BONUS: order this outlet tub and receive as a present a Japanese bathroom accessories set C! (you can choose any stool you want, traditional, traditional large or minimalist)


(almost) invisible dowels

I saw in a picture on your site that there is no joint shown, but in your details information page the only two options shown are: round joint or copper plates is that something I have to custom request?

Of course in the case of the standard round dowels, we use the same wood of the ofuro but depending on the angle, they may look more evident.
Round dowels are the standard detail and there is no additional cost.

In case you prefer to show as little as possible the joints, we can also make square dowels (option):
a) additional cost of square dowels: @15,000/face x 2= 30,000. JPY    

In this case, the wood grain and inlay edges are in the same direction so it is less evident (see enclosed photos)

for a complete reference, let me also include here the cost in case of using the copper plates:
b) additional cost of copper plate: @10,000/face x 2= 20,000. JPY :

lovely books

A former client/ now (and forever) friend sent me her new book featuring 87 pages of photos + poetic comments of her last trip to Japan.
I always enjoy her way of seeing things: sophisticated and friendly at the same time.
But this time the present is double as her daughter (also architect) sent me her first book.


Information package

1)Production and shipping time:
All our tubs are made in Japan by a skilled 4th generation craftsman. The standard production queue is about 15days . For the shipping and delivery consider + 30 days (ocean freight) or + 10 days (airfreight) for most world locations.

2) Payment contitions:
Invoices and payments will be Japanese Yen. This is to avoid overcharges to our clients due to currency exchange fluctuation risk. A prepayment of 50% of the custom items will be needed before starting production. Once the products are ready, we will send pictures for verification/approval and will require the payment of the reminder before proceeding with shipment. A Bank wire transfer is the most common option. Credit cards are accepted (thru Paypal). Checks are not available. For larger orders a Letter of Credit can be taken into consideration.

3) Shipping cost:
we will need the exact shipping address to be able to obtain the quote from our forwarder (Naigai Forwarding Co.)
We use DDU (Delivered, Duties Unpaid) conditions unless the client requires a different arrangement. Cost varies greatly according to size, country, delivery location. You are welcome to use your local forwarder for the shipment.

4)Installation recommendation:
In case of humid climates, we recommend to leave enough room under the tub to allow air circulation (about 10cm).
For dry climates, avoid direct sunlight exposure and abrupt temperature changes – especially when the tub is empty.

5)Maintenance recommendation:
Please refer also to the FAQ on our homepage and the “Japanese ofuro maintenance tips” notes.
Provide a satisfactory ventilation for the bathroom (natural air circulation with cross ventilation is the best), anyway avoid use of air conditioning in the bathroom, especially when it is empty and not in use. A A/C can dry up the natural humidity of the wood in a matter of few days…!
As soap, detergents and dirt are responsible for the insurgence of mold and fungi, we recommend not to use soap inside the tub, and to wipe it after use with a soft sponge or towel.
Unless otherwise specified, we apply one layer of “Kihada Ichiban” which is an hydrorepellent treatment, based on the nanotechnology. It does not create a coat, it actually penetrates inside offering lasting protection whithout occluding the pores of wood.

6) Installation: the tub should sit on 4 concrete blocks or bricks placed at the perimeter (corners) of the tub. Supports are not needed in the center. This detail allows for air circulation under the tub while preserving the wood from prolonged direct exposure to water.

7) Recommended sanitary fixtures:
Water fixtures can be installed on the wall (directing the water into the tub), on the floor (long hook type), on the tub ledge or thru a spout. In the first two cases, you do not need any interaction with the tubs and can choose the taps freely (Philip Stark design taps for instance are a common choice). In the 3rd case (on tub ledge) the issue
is similar to the first two as you can open a hole where needed in top ledge as it is all solid wood. In case you consider using of a wooden spout, please let me know and I will explain you the options.

8) Certifications:
We can provide declarations stating the origin and quality of the wood.
If you need an official “certificate of origin” from the japanese chamber of commerce or a “phytosanitary certificate” from third party laboratory it may be available at a cost.

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