japanese room for italian hotel (3)

We also supplied other construction materials for a tatami room in the spa which is mainly going to be used for massage therapy.

This is the “naguribori” floor have you ever seen it? It creates a great atmosphere and is also very pleasant to step on with bare feet. The design comes from the ancient technique of roughing out wood planks using a mattok like tool to make the planks flat and even.


If needed the floor was then smoothed out with a had plane. But of course, in this case, we chose it for its texture.

The planks are already processed with a tongue and groove matching joint for easy assembly.


We also supplied tatami finished with natural “igusa” straw. Enjoy the sweet aroma of tatami and their slow discolouration from green to light tobacco color. The inside of the tatami is not the traditional thickly packed straw but rather a sandwich of plywood and styrofoam. This is not the most authentic tatami construction but is now used in 95% of tatami rooms in Japan, including temples and heritage buildings. It does not sag over time and prevents the insurgence of mould and insects.


Here is a layout of the tatami room. There is a “correct way” for any layout, so please consult with us by providing the internal dimensions of the room (width x depth) we will make the calculations as the best size for the individual mats.

and here is a selection of the edge fabric (eri). If it was you which color would you have picked?


Finally, we also supplied the fabric to finish the closet doors. We can also supply the finished “fusuma” doors, but in this case, the client decided that they would have more flexibility to make the doors on site. I also provided some recessed handles so they can pick up the design that best matches the other elements of the room. Once the doors are coated with the silk fabric I am sure you will feel like you are in a luxurious ryokan in Kyoto!

Of course I will provide support thru email/skype for a proper choice of materials and detailing.


Fill out the form below to reach us

    sawing of massive hinoki lumber

    We have 5 tubs on the “production line” and are in the last stages of the bidding for a large supply for a hotel.
    It is going to be a hot summer…

    Luckily, we are finding beautiful lumber from our suppliers to replenish stock.

    Yesterday we spent almost the full day slicing massive hinoki lumber.
    As the market for traditional hinoki products (sushi counters etc.) is quite slump in Japan our grumpiest suppliers are slowly releasing their hidden treasures…

    repairing hinoki floor

    2 questions about hinoki flooring:
    1) will the fragrance of the wood be gone if i coat it? But how long (in general) will there be a nice fragrance from the planks? Or is it only a few days after install?

    2) As the wood is soft, it will dent easily when items drop on it. How do you get rid of the dents?

    1) If you coat the wood with urethane you would private if of the fragrance. If you use a stain-type water repellent it will not affect the fragrance. The fragrance lasts for about one year but you will feel also years later if you rub the wood or clean it with a dump cloth.

    2) if you drop something heavy it will cause a dent. (Like not only other soft woods, but I would say as every wood flooring.)
    After few years you will have several dents but it will be perceived as a natural aging. I know people with pets who actually choose on purpose soft woods because they are warmer at the touch and because the pet`s nails do not
    slip. Of course it becomes full of scratches but it does not look bad.

    Actually, you can test on one sample by dropping something heavy or something sharp.

    If it is a bedroom you will not have many chances to damage the floor.
    For your reference, there are 2 main methods to remove a scratch:

    a) if it is a deep dent, you can keep a wet towel on the damaged plank for few hours. Apply also a hot iron (to iron clothes) on the towel to make the steam penetrate the wood. This will cause the wood to swell and to push back the compressed area.

    b) use masking tape to isolate the damaged plank. Then sand it with an electric sander #80 grits until the scratch disappears, then #120 and finally #400. Otherwise ask a professional repair company. They would infill the scratch while evening the area around.

    I hope this answers your questions.

    A friend worrying about the plumbing

    Everyone asks me how much it would cost total – tub and pluming/set-up work. California is huge (size of Japan), but if the plumber who did the work for your tub is in my area, I could contact them and get a rough estimate. So when someone calls me after seeing the webpage, I could tell how much it would cost for everything. I don’t think there are many people who would just buy a tub…
    Thank you for your help. The main point is that a wooden tub does not need plumbing.
    The best way is that the builder makes a floor waterproofing sloping towards a floor drain.
    Then the ofuro is just left on the floor so that water would drain onto the floor and towards the floor drain!
    About the hot water tap is also very simple: it is wall mounted as most of acrylic and hollow bathtubs: it is not attached to the tub itself so the only thing the installer has to worry about is to install the tap high enough.

    Again, the tub is like a large bassinet receiving water from the wall and discharging onto the floor. It is that simple!

    ofuro for italian hotel (2)

    This is the second tub used in the new “fusion spa” of the  PALAZZO DI VARIGNANA RESORT & SPA near Bologna (Italy)


    It is rightfully labeled “Onsen grande” (large onsen) and rivals in size with the basins used in japanese hot springs.

    Here are the specs:

    material: knotless asnaro wood from aomori prefecture

    size: 1800x1800x H650 mm / top frame border
    option: 2 asnaro wood internal seat (fixed) W400mm
    This tub can comfortably sit 4 strangers or 6 friends/family members.


    “Panorama view” of the large internal seat. The planks would be too long and unstable if they were removable so we decided to make them fixed.


    The space between the 2 benches. When used only by one or 2 guests, it is possible to sit lengthwise in the deep area.


    accessories include an Asnaro wood floor mounted spout with internal faucet


    This is the full picture of the spout with other accessories such as hinoki wood traditional stool (300x180x200H) and Sawara wood ladles with handle (te-oke).


    ofuro for italian hotel (1)

    We received an order of 2 large ofuros + accessories and construction material (flooring, tatami, shoji doors) for a spa corner inside a large villa converted in Hotel near Bologna (Italy).

    A friend running a spa-equipment company (YOU SPA) kindly referred us to the client.

    He made the concept design for the spa area with a modern touch. I am looking forward to the pictures of the completed space!


    This is what they call “Onsen piccolo” (small … bathtub).

    It is a statuary hinoki bathtub which can fit about two sumo wrestlers!

    Here below are the specs:


    material: knotless hinoki from the Kiso Valley (Nagano prefecture), quarter sawn

    sizes: 1800x1000x H650 mm with top frame border

    option:  2 Hinoki wood internal seat (removable) W400mm


    The drain is tucked in a corner.


    The tub will be also equipped with a wall mounted hinoki spout (see photo below)


    My partner Ikeda-san is very proud of this tub and could not help posing by his new masterpiece. I said “SMILE!” but this was the maximum I could obtain from him… We have been working together 14 years now, but he is unchanged: born in the Kiso valley like all the hinoki we use, our hinoki expert Ikeda-san is made out of stainless steel!


    hisashiburi outlet tub – sold out!

    sorry, sold out!

    In japan we say “o-hisashiburi” when we meet after a long time.
    It has been more than a year we did not make tubs for the outlet corner so this naming seemed a nice fit…

    It is a straight grain hinoki tub, please find the details here below:
    L1200mm x W760mm x H725mm (external dimensions) 630mm(depth) semi-knotless (small knots on the back side) natural Hinoki wood bathtub.

    1) AB grade tub (quatersawn) : 540,000. JPY
    2) Packaging: 1400x960x930 plywood box: 39,000. JPY
    3) transportation: to be quoted (please let us know your exact address: we will provide a quotation before you purchase the tub)
    Please check the drawing here for the detailed dimensions: outlet160519

    Here are 2 features:
    * It is quite deep so you can have the hot water up to your shoulders
    * The material we used is very aromatic so even when not in use you can enjoy the nice aroma!



    Testimonial from Israel

    Dear Iacopo,
    We bought an Ofuro from you about 2 years ago and finally installed it. It is wonderful – beautifully crafted and elegant and wonderfully relaxing.
    Thank you
    E.N.S. from Israel


    hinoki products pamphlets are ready!



    Finally we gave birth to the first Bartok design pamphlet.
    Since we sell mainly outside of japan and tru the internet, until now I always procrastinated but now I will be finally able to satisfy all the requests of friends wanting to present the Bartok design tubs and accessories to trade shows, friends and clients.
    There are also several hotels catering to international clientele who asked me some presentation material in the past.

    If you need some pamphlets or want to promote the Bartok design products (contact iacopo torrini for details) let us know!

    We have been caught in the NET… (Server problems)


    Dear japan lovers community:

    As you might have noticed,

      our server was down on on 5/9 and 5/10 for about 20 hours.

    If you contacted us by email but are not receiving an answer, please contact us again.
    We have been caught in the NET…
    Also, I noticed our japanese IP address has problems with some hotmail and gmail accounts.

    If your messages are returned, please use the alternative address as below:

    By the way, the image on the top are koi-nobori (flying carps). Did you know?
    Every family displays (or used to…) this fish shaped flags in front of their house. One carp for each family member, starting from the father and mother on top and following with all the children in order of age.
    The festival culminates on 5/5, a festivity dedicated to children.
    The carp is a divine creature and brings good auspices to the kids as they may avoid obstacles and swim thru life in a cheerful way.
    Of course the mild weather and blue skies of may are even more pleasant with these colorful ornaments which move together with the wind!

    But … lets go back to work now.
    For all of you who missed us (I received 3 messages on facebook) sorry again and YES, I am looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any question/problem.
    All the Best!

    Bartok design Japan Co.
    Manager: Iacopo Torrini
    cell.: +81-90-8205-1200

    (click on the photo below to open the related blog entry)

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