hydroterapy and overflow

I just had a meeting with the water filtration/circulation technician.
1. Do you recommend to install hydrotherapy jets with 6-persons hinoki tub?
2. How do you suggest we deal with the overflow?

1)As you know, japanese onsen are usually not equipped with jets.
Often there are some shallow “bed type” jacuzzi tubs for individual use.
Some people may feel that japanese bathing has a precise ritual and aesthetics and does need the bubbles. Others may appreciate the jets as an upgraded and more luxurious japanese tub.
This choice depends on your clientele and on the services that you offer in your establishment.
If you decide to use jets, there is no incompatibility with wooden tubs. Anyway we would recommend you to ship us the nozzles so we can seamlessly embed them in the locations as per your instructions.
Many small air outlets on the bottom of the tub (air-blower) are not recommended as they weaken the structure of the tub.
2) Overflow: of course the whole floor will be waterproof and with a floor drain.
I suggest 3 options:
a) to have a gutter 10mm deep x 100mm wide all around the tub with a floor drain inside
b) to provide the tub with a top overflow cut and direct the water towards a side of the tub equipped with a floor drain
(see example here:
c) to insert the tub into a recessed floor area equipped with the drain. The water can be recessed just 10cm to cover the bottom apron or can be recessed up to the top border, it depends on your layout.
(see example here:

air and water jets for ofuro

We are an architectural firm in New York City and currently working on a project for a client in Connecticut. The client likes your hinoki tubs. Are these tubs only available as soaking tubs, or is it possible to build them with air or water jets?

Thank you for your interest in our hinoki products.
The tubs are made in japan using the traditional Edo carpentry technique.
They can be converted to jacuzzis but we cannot supply this equipment from here.
It is better and cheaper to do it on site (all the best spa equipment is american, such as Pentair, Waterways, Hayward, Jandy etc.)
In this way there is no problem for maintenance/replacement parts. Please try to contact a local pool/spa equipment supplier and ask for their advice.

Basically our tubs are made in solid wood and is very easy to open holes anywhere is needed to apply the jets.

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

lead time and bubbles

Hello, I am designing a showroom for *** that opens 8/11, but
would need to have the tub here in New York by mid-July. What is you
lead time? We are creating a Spa lifestyle and need to simulate it like
it actually works. We will put water in it and need it to bubble. Please
let me know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!
We need about 3 weeks for production and 1wk for shipping with ocean
freight so the timeframe is very tight.
Please let me know the sizes you are looking at and we will provide a
quotation and drawing for your reference.
About the bubbles, we cannot supply equipment because of the difficulty
to provide assistance, spare parts etc.
We recommend to use spa equipment available in the US (Waterways,
Hayward, Jandy, Pentair, Certkin etc!)
Check with a spa equipment company what they recommend for a tub with 1
1/2″ thick bottom. Of course the wood thickness can be partially reduced
on the back if needed (with a trimmer, around the blower noozle socket)

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

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.


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.


leaving water in the tub?

I am an architect in NYC.
I have a project on Long Island for which your tub could be a great feature.
I have one concern that I wonder if you could please address so I can decide if we should move ahead and get into the details.
I have heard that traditionally these types of tubs are meant to be left with water in them. This would make sense for a wood vessel made of separate pieces of wood (such as a wooden boat). I did not see any reference to leaving water in your tubs. I would like to know from you: what is the tradition and recommended maintenance routine for your tubs?

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs.
There are some precautions to be taken when installing a wooden bathub.
The main point is to maintain a balanced relative humidity between 40 and 60%, which is by the way also an optimal environment for pianos, antique furniture, and of course human beings!

For this reason you should avoid elements that can dehydrate the wood:
– floor heating under the tub
– heating elements in the bathroom in general
– central air conditioning
(most types include a humidity control battery)
– expose the tub to direct sun radiation
– leaving the tub unused for an extended period of time

Good practice is:
– use the tub at least 3 times a week. This routine restores the optimal wood humidity.
(Also, while the tub is full of water, you can use heating and AC or expose the tub to direct sun radiation

Acceptable practice is:
– leave some water inside the tub and cover it.
This should be done in case the tub is left unused for one week or more.
Anyway you should still not use heating or AC as the humidity of the wood of the external side of the tub will differ from the humidity inside and may cause the wood to warp.
Since leaving water inside the tub may cause stains and originate a water-line, we recommend to leave a bassinet with water inside and place it inside the tub. If the tub is covered, the humidity will be trapped inside and will be enough to keep the wood hydrated.

I hope this answered your question.

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

about pop-up bathtub drains

Hi Iacopo,
Would it be possible to place the pop-up outlet (or any outlet for that
matter) to the centre but along the side of the tub?

Please note:
1) We cannot install pop-up drain fittings.
Basically, there are no standard fittings for a thick bottom plank such as a wooden bath.
Even if we were to modify a socket and adapt it, we could not be responsible for mechanical problems, spare parts etc. so we prefer to stick to a rubber plug type.
If you prefer, we also have a spherical shape available.

2) Yes, we can place the drain on one side, please note that we recommend an offset of 55mm from the internal wall face.
On the other hand, if you are planning to attach the drain to the plumbing using an elbow, the “feet” under the tub will interfere with it. If you let us know the direction in which the elbow will be pointing, we will calculate the offset and place the drain accordingly.

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:


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!

sassy tub for Singapore

This was a very rapid and smooth order.
It took exactly 29 days from the first information request to the submission of the complete ofuro pictures. To be precise, 15 days for the quotation, modifications, details fine tuning, confirmation and 14 days for the production!


It is a neat and stilish knotless bathtub with the following specifications:
material: japanese knotless asnaro wood rectangular bathtub – T joints
sizes: L1000mm x W700mm x H700mm (590mm deep)
details: natural oil apron, wooden dowels @ joints. Iron brand at front right
options: overflow top cut, ball-type drain plug


Here in the picture below, you can see the in action our smart and sassy “ball type rubber plug”. It comes for few extra bucks but it is worth it, especially for a tub with elegant proportions such as this one!


tub on a platform for london

This project took about one month from initial inquiry to shipping.
On the other hand the communication back and forth was very efficient considering that at least 50 mails (considering question and replies) were exchanged to fine tune the order.
The site has a drain pipe sticking out of the floor, so the client considered building a duckboard to raise the floor and use it as a base for the tub.
In the end we decided to send the material and have the local carpenter building the deck. This way the dimensions can be customized to perfectly match the site, at the same time as the spare lumber can fit inside the tub during the transportation, we could drastically cut on the shipping cost.


And here are the specs of the tub:
– Material: straight hinoki, AB grade
– Size: 1100L x 700W x 720mm H
– Top frame: plank edge, T joint @ corners
– Details: wooden dowels, copper apron
– Overflow: western style drain + vinyl hose


Actually, at some point the client planned to use a western style overflow.
Since western style tubs are made with an acryl or frp shell about 6mm thick, an adapter is needed in case it is applied to a wooden tub with a wall thickness of 33mm or more.
The client seemed to find a solution but it did not give enough guarantees so we opted for our japanese overflow. It comes with a flexible pipe so it can easily adapt to the site condition.


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