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.


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

goodbye Kenji


Yesterday I participated to the memorial service for my wife`s grandmother.
I asked the Buddhist monk and everybody also to pray for Kenji Goto, the japanese journalist murdered by the ISIL in Syria.
Of course I am deeply sorry for the sad epilogue of the story and I feel very sympathetic to his mother, wife and young baby.
But even more, I am sad that the violence and the superstition hit (and maybe this is not by chance) not just an innocent but a symbol of tolerance and progressivism.

Kenji in the video message that left as a testament, conveys very well his passion for his mission as a reporter as well as his dedication for Syria and its people.
I strongly hope that his sacrifice will not become the excuse for new violence and revenges.
I propose to honor his death as well as his message of peace, of forgiveness, of mutual understanding.
I am Kenji.

Addendum: Sorry for borrowing this public space for a private meditation but I really think that Kenji`s blood is very precious and would like to do all I can to ensure his sacrifice was not in vain.
“If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.”
These are words from the New Testament but this is the bottomline of what what Kenji spoke about.
And every courageous man of any religion should think and act this way.

we run out of Asnaro…

Just a quick note to say that we do not have good asnaro wood on stock at the moment.
We are embarassed, but we received so many orders in the last 3 months that we run out of stock.

We will try to look for a good supply but the lumber we trust and can recommend is the one cut is Aomori-prefecture (there are restrictions about the number of trees that can be cut).
Since for a bathtub a uniformly and well dried wood is important, we make it dry naturally (no kiln dry) for 12months.

This means probably that we will not be able to make asnaro bathtubs until the end of the year… But I will keep you posted.

Of course, you are welcome to use hinoki of which we have a good stock.

Bye for now!

givers gain!

We are receiving many orders of a single bottle of legendary hinoki aroma oil (extracted from 250+ years old trees) so we decided to upgrade the package.
Of course no extra charge.


Hinoki aroma oil not only makes an original gift, it is a multi-layered piece of culture and becomes unforgettable as it anchors to the memory of the receiver with the power of the five senses.
If you do not own a japanese bath, this essential oil is perfect to enjoy the relaxation and energetic charge of hinoki wood and share these sensations with the people you care about.
Shop page is here –> legendary hinoki aroma oil gift pack

the optimal depth of an ofuro

Hi, I have been admiring the products in your website.
I have one question:
-When I measure my partner’s body, from her seat to just-above shoulder height measures 24″. Including a small seat in the tub (say, 8″H), brings the interior dimension of the tub to 32″H. It seems that in order for her to soak without slouching her posture, the depth of the water would have to be at least 32″H. Therefore I imagine the exterior measurement (including feet or supporting slats) would bring the tub to around 34″H. Yet the deepest (standard) tub I see in your listings measures 690mm H, which is about 27 inches.
Can you please explain why the depth is as you have listed, and not greater, per the above situation. My partner is about 5′-6″, so she is about average height.
Thank you.
I will look forward to your reply.

Usually, the full immersion “up to the shoulders” bath is done sitting on the bottom of the tub (so to say, without seat)
Actually traditional japanese bathtubs do not have a seat.
The seat is used for a “half body bath”, for reading while in the tub or to get a pause from the full depth bath (when you feel too hot)
To have the full bath, you can sit in the tub on the opposite side of the seat . Alternatively, you can remove the seat plank.

Also consider that when you relax in the tub, rather than keeping a 90 degrees sitting posture, it is easier to slide a little forward until the feet touch the other side. (This is also why the tub should be not too long) In this case the shoulder line lowers a few inches.

We can make extra deep tubs (some examples in the custom tubs section), but the disadvantage are:
– increased specs to contain the extra water pressure (and therefore increased cost)
– you will need some steps to climb to enter and egress easily (or recess the tub in the floor)
– you will need more hot water each time.

weight of ofuro and floor heating

Hi, I read that you need 2-3 people to lift the tub. Can you give me some idea of the approximate weight?
The other point I’m worried about is the dryness …my bathroom has both underfloor heating and heated towel rail!!

Please note:
Gross weght: 130 kg (including plywood box)
Net weight: 90 kg (tub only)
(NOTE: this is in case of L1400mm x W750mm x H700mm tub)

Heating in the bathroom can damage your tub.
This can be solved by keeping water in the tub at all times (during the heating season).
Cover the tub to avoid condensation and mold in the bathroom.
The tub may get some stain also, but the hydro-repellent treatment we apply makes it easy to clean.
We cannot make a clear statement for your situation (recommend or not recommend): you have to consider the options and the risk involved.

japanese ryokan for sale


Shizuka ryokan, the iconic japanese ryokan in Australia (near Melbourne) is now on sale!
I almost made up my mind and decided to leave Kobe and move to Australia`s “Spa country” to manage the ryokan while continuing my business on the internet!
Unfortunately I have kids going to school and my wife said no…
So I decided to spread the voice here. Anybody interested?


The property consists of 1.4 hectares of residential zoned land, dotted with local pine trees and featuring landscaped Japanese gardens and stone pathways
The ryokan building with 6 spa guestrooms and a massage treatment room (all with ensuites and courtyard gardens), large lounge and dining space, internal zen stone garden, commercial kitchen, sunny deck, office, reception, laundry, staff accommodation (comprising 2 ensuite bedrooms and lounge / dining room) etc.


Of course there is plenty of room for new extensions and in this case I think that a couple of Bartok design hinoki bathtubs would be just like the icing on the cake…!
The business is well rooted with a “manicured” website, top rankings in trip advisor and prestigious awards from the Australian tourism association.
It has been featured on the Australian and the Japanese television and is patronized by famous Australian personalities.

If interested, contact Peter at the email available at the bottom right of this page:

large truck for a compact tub

This tub is being taken to the packaging company.
We loaded it on the forklift and took it outside…
But could not help it to smile when we saw the 10T truck that come to pick up the tub…
I am sure the ofuro felt like a prince ☆!

finally arrived

We shipped a tub in Canada and it was delayed for over one week because of port workers strike. We were worried and felt sorry for the client but he kindly sent us a picture with the pallet safely arrived.

We never received a claim until now for damage occurred during shipping and from what I can see of the outside of the crate, I hope also in this case the tub will be OK.
Pay attention when opening the crate and do not forger to remove all screws before opening the lid!


I can enjoy the weekend now 🙂

adjustable seat hinoki tub

This gorgeous tub was commissioned by an upstate NY architect for his client.
The design process went along for few months and at some point the client also considered using some shoji screens for the project.


Here are some details:

– japanese Knotless hinoki wood bathtub w/ L-joints (thick planks)
– sizes: L1375mm x W750mm x H686mm (int. dim.) – 615 mm deep
– natural oil apron, small dowels @ joints. Iron brand at front top-right
– Hinoki wood internal seat D400mm with additional set of guides
– Hinoki wood traditional cover 870x210x18 (7pcs)
– Hinoki wood bench 609 x 450 x 648H
– Sawara wood ladle with handle (180D 290H)
– Sawara large bucket (225D 120H)
– Asnaro minimalist stool (330 x 220 x 300H)
– Hygrometer (complimentary)


As mentioned in the title, this is our first “removable seat” with the opportunity to be positioned lower or higher.


We supplied also a normal bath stool together with a higher custom bench which can be used for entering the tub from a sitting position. Very convenient for users of wheelchairs.

With this order we can confirm the recent trend in shipping fees: airfreight is cheaper than ocean freight in more and more occasions. On the top, time consuming Importer Security Filing is not necessary for airfreight so keep it in mind if you plan to purchase a bathtub from Japan…

my carpenter scolded me because the top picture is too cramped and the nice front and proportions of the tub cannot be seen…
He is right. This tub deserves a clean head shot. Enjoy!


About Bartok Design

Bartok Design is based in Japan and exports hinoki ofuro (Japanese wooden bathtubs) all over the world. We sell directly from maker to end-user, and have delivered over 300 units since 2003.



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Iacopo Torrini in Kobe, 兵庫県, JP on Houzz

© 2019 Bartok design Co.

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