Enjoy blue skies and pink sakuras in 2022!

a beautyful sunny and blue sky on the Jirinkongou karesansui!
Stunning photos received from the Wabi Sabi Ryokan in S. Ginesio (Sibillini mountains) – Italy
Address: Via Papa Giovanni XXIII, 62026 San Ginesio MC, Italy
Phone: +39 335 396 025

finally, almost a miracle of nature: sakura blossoming in winter! Only at Wabi Sabi!!

from a former hinoki-oil-addicted client…!

Dear Iacopo,
here are all of the photos that I promised from unpacking to moving it into the small en-suite to placing it into the shower pan. It all worked out really well and I’m very happy with it! It is such an integral part of my overall self-care. I’m so glad I found you guys!!
By the way, the bench and seat are teak which I like but of course, in no way compares to the Hinoki!

T from the U.S.A.

let`s think brighter in 2022!

How are you? I trust you are enjoying a serene holiday season.
I wish you a very happy year-end, in the warmth of your family, and a shining beginning of the New Year. \(^o^)/
2021 has been a challenging one.
But “challenges” have always been part of our lives and always will be: as the hatred examinations when we were in school, every challenge helps us to improve and become stronger and wiser.

The trick is to maintain a positive attitude and remember that “thoughts create reality”: even in this long Covid parentheses, I trust you will treasure the positive facets of this situation and continue to keep an eye towards a brighter future and what we can do on a daily basis to make it happen.

I am wondering when we will be able to break free from the compulsory habit to wear a mask all the time.


handmade cutting boards

A nice couple come to our workshop in Yotsukaido (near Narita airport) to see the timber that will be used for their ofuro project and our Mr. Ikeda surprised them with expressly made hinoki cutting boards.

What a treat!

First, the planks are roughly planed by machine

then, the edges are rectified

both sides are made smooth and silky with a fine electric plane

then the corners are mitered

and finally the iron brand is applied. Just few seconds, Ikeda-san!

strong as a castle gate – outlet tub – SOLD OUT

(sorry, sold out…)

This is a real Christmas present!
The client who bought exaclty 2 years ago was not able to import it because of the Covid situation and decided to put it on the market again!
Extra rare! We haven`t been able to make knotty tubs for the past 2 years!
First came first serve basis!

We just completed a large roten-buro (outdoor bath) for a hot spring in Hakone. As we had to use long pieces of lumber, we had some left overs: we picked up the best parts – heartwood only – and made this “hearty” ofuro for the outlet corner. We had several inquiries in the past month for knotty hinoki tubs but did not have any nice material on stock.
If you were looking for this type of ofuro you should act quickly because I am not sure when we will have another lot of such generous knotty hinoki.

This ofuro is simple and solid like the gate of a Japanese castle.
The length and width are very comfortable for 1 or 2 people and the 45mm plank thickness (compared to the normal 33mm) makes a bold statement. We usually use “beefy” planks when the clients require a large ofuro but want to avoid the top edge reinforcing frame. An option worth 1,200-1,500 USD alone!
Last but not least, the pattern of the knots as you can see is very well balanced on both sides. A bolder accent in the center (like a constellation) on one side and a more subtle harmony of knots on the other side. We applied the copper apron on both sides so you are free to choose how to orient it.

I am realizing that my writing ability today is overwhelmed by the multiple outstanding features. It is like trying to use all my muscles to push through the inexpugnable castle gate. I think this ofuro even more than the others cannot be explained with rational means. It definitely belongs to the realm of the emotions, with its stronger than average hinoki aroma (due to the knots), the thick walls and the organic pattern of the wood grain.
Yes, I am sure that absorbing this primitive strength from the fibers of this tree will provide the owner the power to break through the sturdiest castle gate!
(oh- I think I went a little too far…)


ventilation and A/C

you’re saying natural air circulation is needed, and A/C can dry up the natural humidity of the wood in few days.
Unfortunately, the master bathroom where your tub is supposed to be located has no natural air ventilation.
It only has A/C. Do you think we are still okay with buying your asunaro tub?
Please let me know what can be the possible issue.

In your case, it is very spacious compared to most bathrooms. Also considering the air volume of the room, the air conditioning should not be a threat for the ofuro but is important that the air stream coming from the AC unit is not pointing directly towards the ofuro.

About the ventilation, air extraction fans tend to exhaust the air near the suction area while the dump air may stagnate under the tub or in narrow gaps.

This is the reason we recommend natural ventilation: because the air moves and forces the humidity out of its “hiding places” and into the exhaust.

A very efficient surrogate of windows is to place a fan or air-circulator on the floor directing the airflow towards the bottom of the ofuro for about 30 minutes after the bath.

It may not be needed because of the NY weather or the good functioning of the exhaust system, but the owner can keep in mind this option and implement it in case the need arises.

max size without top frame

Thank you so much for the response to our inquiry.
I will send more information and drawings shortly.
In the meantime, how wide can we go without the thickened top piece?
Originally, we had drawn a 3′-0″ x 5′-0″ tub. I would like to keep the size as close as possible but without the thickened top piece. At this size, how deep do you recommend that we make the tub?

I can provide some options to make the ofuro with a simple plank edge (without the need for the top frame border reinforcing):

1) using the 33mm thick planks: the limit is the S5 size:
S-5)  1300x750x640H (550mm internal): 540,000 JPY

2) increase the thickness of the planks to 42mm. In this case the border is not needed but there is a cost increase.
1500x750x630 (550mm internal) Hinoki tub : 950,0000. JPY

3) making the tub with your preferred size (5’x3′) and depth around 530mm is possible but we would have to further increment the thickness of the planks to t=50mm
1520x910x610 (530mm internal) : 1,220,000. JPY

Please note that the cost of packaging and shipping depends on the size you choose so it is not included in the quotation at the moment.

Please let me know of any problems or questions.

advice about size

Hello, I am interested in ordering an ofuro tub. I believe the 1100×700 will work best, but would like to get your advice. Thank you.

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!

The size of a bathtub is a very personal business and it is difficult to provide all-mighty advice.

Note that usually compact sizes like the one that you are selecting work very well because Japanese tubs are deeper which means that the hydro-static push will lift not only your legs and lower body but also the less dense upper body and chest. As a result, you will feel like floating instead of sitting.

To determine the size of the ofuro, we recommend to our customers to create a mockup (using cardboard boxes, or maybe the space between the back of the sofa and a wall etc.) to simulate the space inside the ofuro and imagine sitting in it.

Also, I suggest also making the calculation of the number of gallons of hot water required to fill it up and consult with your plumber to verify the compatibility with your HW system.

About the quotation, please let us know your address so we can provide the total cost, inclusive of shipping charges.

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

ofuro longevity

How resistant is the wood? Do these baths last a lifetime or do they need to be replaced after a certain time?

Also, could you please give me an idea of the cost and lead time?

Wood is a natural material so we cannot say it lasts centuries but a tub installed indoors and maintained carefully will still be nice after 30 years.

There are 3 elements that may spoil and accelerate the aging of wooden bathtubs.

a) dryness (the tub should be used often or some water should be inside to prevent damage in case of heating/air conditioning/long absences)

b) dampness (excessive humidity may cause stains and mold spots. use natural ventilation after draining the tub. If there is no window, padding the tub with a towel or placing an air circulator in the bathroom for 30 minutes will prevent problems)

c) soap (soap or soap foam will clog wood pores and create the premises for mold proliferation. if soap gets in touch with the wood just rinse thoroughly)

said that, consider that ofuros installed in luxury hotels (with heavy use) usually are replaced every 10 years – not for functional problems but to upkeep the image 100%.

About the lead time, consider about 3 months + 2 weeks for air shipping. We can try to match your schedule if you have tight time requirements so please let me know.

For the price, I will need to know which size you choose. Let me also know your address so I can verify the shipping cost door to door (note that VAT will be billed to you directly once clearing customs.

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

height and drain considerations

What is the minimum height of a japanese bath?
I imagine if we decide to replace the present bath we also need to change the position of the shower controls as they seem too low at the moment.

For the drain, I saw on your website that there are many plumbing options. In our case, I presume the easiest is to have a hard connection simply because there is an existing drain in the centre.

Please note:

We can make the wooden bathtub as shallow as you want. Consider that for instance if we make it 50 cm high, you will have only about 40cm of inner depth which does not make it a “deep soaking” tub – but apart for that, no problem!

If you want a deeper tub, we could match the height of your niche and you could place a wall-mounted spout in this location feeding it from an extension of the existing plumbing.

This way you could patch the existing tiles and hide it behind the ofuro and spout without the need for a larger tile replacement/repair.

↑ Something like this but placed in the center of the long side.

Generally, we do not recommend to have the drain in the center. This does not allow us to provide a gradient for the bottom plank.

Also, we use a quite retro rubber plug that has a ball chain. Usually, the ball chain is attached to a wall for easy draining of the tub without the need to plunge your arm inside.

In the case of a centered drain, the chain would be obviously in the way.

Another problem you should be aware of is that Japanese bathtubs usually overflow from the top. When the user enters the water there is this feeling of abundance as some excess water flows out and the water level matches the top rim.

We can also supply a drain socket mounted vertically on the wall to act as a western-style overflow but you would lose some usable depth, plus you would have to hide the drain hose in a ledge or similar.

I think the ideal solution in your case would be to place a large waterproof pan to discharge into the existing drain. (something like a Kerdi waterproofing kit)

place the tub on it (without a hard connection) and place some duckboard elements around to hide the larger area of the Kerdi pan which is dedicated to pick the overflow.

The only downside is that the drain is not easily accessible for cleaning so you would have to move over the tub every time.

The good news is that it can be done easily as the tub is very light when empty.

Let me know if this answers your question!

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