Cicero`s ofuro

well, there is no special relationship between our lovely Australian client and Cicero.
But when I saw this photo, I could not help remembering the quotation: “si apud …OFURUM… hortulum habes, nihil deerit”

Which roughly translates in: “if you have a small garden near your ofuro, you do not need anything else”

And I am sure that Cicero would have loved the natural greens and browns of this space!

(PS: actually, Cicero was talking about a library and not an ofuro (;^_^…)

I am very grateful to Iacopo and the craftsmen at Bartok Design for helping me to realize a dream I have had for many years. I bought my ofuro 18 months ago from the outlet corner.

Since it was delivered to our home in Canberra Australia, we have built a new home in Victoria county. I was able to design my new bathroom specifically for my ofuro, with an opening door so that I can recycle the clean water onto the garden.

The photo shows the door opening onto what will be my small Japanese-style garden courtyard, opening onto the rest of the garden.
In hindsight, it may have been better to wait until our plans for the new house were at least finalized to buy the ofuro, but we were not planning to move when I bought it.
It has been a wonderful blessing to have over the last very stressful 18 months. It has survived being wrapped in plastic, put in storage, and being left in my mother’s garden (full of water)  for several months. After a good clean and sanding it has come up very well and I’m sure I will enjoy it for many more years,

ofuro and art

one of the first entries to our “ofuro-jiman contest” !
This is an absolutely amazing space!
it surpasses the rosiest hopes !!
and I can imagine that also the window filled with green is considered as one of the artworks of the collection..!

Hi Iacopo,
It took longer than expected to install our ofuro but we are very happy with the result. As artists, we are surrounded by paintings and sculptures but the tub room is the envy of our friends.
Congratulations to your craftsmen for their high standards. 
Hope you like the photo.

garden inside and out

another early bird from the “ofuro-jiman contest” !
and another space full of charm, of purity and love.
I especially like the harmony/contrast with the belgian ancient building`s inner courtyard!
And here helow id the kind message from the clients:

Thanks to Iacopo’s professionalism, friendliness and helpfulness and the skill of his craftsmen, we finally realised a dream. Relaxing the mind and regenerating the body after the hard work of the day is a wonderful experience: we made it a special observation point from which to contemplate our tea garden in Brussels.


ofuro-jiman contest!

“Jiman” means “pride”. So the title translate in “bathroom-pride”…

Well, after a long period of hibernation, I decided to restart actively posting to the bartok design Instagram account.

And this can only be done … with a little help from my friends!

Especially all those who purchased an ofuro or bathroom accessories: please send me your photo and a short testimonial so I can post it to on the instagram page!
Alternatively, if you posted some photos on your instagram account, let me know the link so I can re-post it!

And this can only be done … with a little help from my friends!

Especially all those who purchased an ofuro or bathroom accessories: please send me your photo and your story so I can post them to on the instagram page!

Alternatively, if you already posted your “ofuro jiman” photos on your instagram account, let me know the link so I can re-post it!

as a token of gratitude, I will send a 10ml bottle of hinoki essential oil “young trees” for free to the first 10 testimonials to reach my mailbox!

Additionally, I will present 10 “special reserve” hinoki essential oil for the 10 best photos!

I hope that the aroma of hinoki and its bactericidal properties will keep you healthy in the body and spirit, through these uncertain times!

Please send your entries to japan<AT>bartokdesign<DOT>com
and of course don`t forget to enter “ofuro jiman!” in the subject line!
I am looking forward to it!!

ofuro with a view

We just received photos from a client of their beautiful new bathroom!

” the tub is the centrepiece of the master bathroom
its so beautiful!”

from S.T. (Singapore)

It must be amazing to soak in aromatic water while looking at the night lights of the metropolis!

and here below are some photos of the site before installation.
when our client was writing us:

Please see attached. Am so excited to receive my tub tomorrow 🙂

We love when our clients make us participate to the installation process and of course can assist by phone or zoom the plumber and answer their questions \(^o^)/

moving to japan? Rica is here to help you!

FOR RENT: A famous traditional noodle shop in a stunning pre-war building is for rent. If you were dreaming to leave everything and move to Japan to start your own udon restaurant, this is an unmissable opportunity!

The Covid may not be making so many victims in Japan as in other more impacted countries but the economy (especially anything related to tourism, food, and hospitality) received a huge blow.

Anyway, it is important to look at the “silver lining” of this cloudy situation.
As the Japanese saying “The flowers of Edo” is implying that the “flowers of Tokyo” are actually fires and street quarrels…
Yes, sometimes the destruction of the city or the social structure as we know it, is the pre-condition to create a new and – in some cases – even better world.

This is what my friend Rica – a bilingual real estate agent – is trying to do.
She has been running for more than 10 years a successful homepage and community making accessible real estate information to international clients.

And now, as usual, forerunner when it comes to new challenges, Rica started a new homepage called “move to japan”: a one-stop information hub for japan-loving foreigners that are considering the option of moving to socially, economically, and sanitary safe Japan and start a new life!

So, if you are really considering taking over the udon restaurant in the photos above, or some of the hundreds of gems shining from hot springs towns to traditional shopping streets, you do not have excuses, NO-MORE! Contact Rica and go for it!

ofuro in Paris weather

Dear Iacopo,
Thank you for your email. We were living in Tokyo for six years. After living in different countries, now we are back to Paris.
It is our dream to have an ofuro in our bathroom like in the onsen.
I have  some questions for you:

1. How do I measure the bath, which size I have to choose? My husband is 185cm tall. I need a bath only for one person comfortably.
2. You said that I need a hygrometer to measure humidity, where can I find that?. My bathroom doesn’t have a window direct because is inside our bedroom. Do you think is possible?
3. How long will this ofuro last?

Please note:
The hygrometer: we will send you one together with the ofuro free of charge.

No problem if you have the ofuro in your bedroom ensuite.

Just be aware that air conditioning/heating will affect the tub mode and may dehydrate the wood. To prevent it you should use the tub regularly (2-3 times a week) and/or protect it with an airtight cover and place a bucket full of water inside so it can keep the air moist inside the ofuro.

About the longevity of the ofuro: please refer to our FAQ.

Please let me know if you have other question/problem.



sawara tub and black tiles

We just received photos from a client of their beautiful new bathroom!

How lovely! The orange of the sawara wood goes very well with the dark tiles!
Very stylish and homey at the same time.
I see the ofuro is close to the shower. Be sure to rinse the wood after a shower to wash off the splashes of soapy water.

Apparently they first installed the shower and passed the sanitary inspection. Afterwards they just placed the ofuro which is actually for soaking so it is technically not a sanitary equipment. Very smart!

Have a nice bath!

Hi I promised you images I’ve been slow getting around to them. The tub is perfect I love it!!

T&B from Oregon

Testimonial from the East Coast

Last 31st December I created an open connection with zoom with Bartok design clients and friends which was very pleasant and full of surprises.
The best and happiest of all was when S. made me virtually climb the stairs of their beautiful home and conceded me a virtual tour of their stunning bathroom featuring one of our tubs. A well balanced minimalist ofuro in front of a huge Palladian window opening on a perfectly virgin corner of paradise!
And now they are doubling the pleasant surprise sharing some beautiful photos with all the community. Thank you soooo much!

Soaking in our Ofuro is still a special occasion every time, even after 2 years of regular use. It is not only a treat for the body, but a beautiful object that one can tell was created with great mastery and care. We know how privileged we are to own one, and we will never take it for granted!

S&C from the USA

happy endings and happy beginnings

How are you? I hope you are taking some time to relax from this stressful year enjoying some quality time … in your japanese ofuro ?!

2020 was full of disappointing experiences for most of us.
On the other hand, I think we should see also the positive side: thanks to the Covid experience the IT literacy increased tenfold and streamlined a lot of practices by cutting on bureaucracy and inefficient habits.

Less action but on the other hand, more thinking which is always a good thing to do.
And by forcing us to think out of the box we had the chance to reconsider our priorities and create a new lifestyle tailored to what we really want to do.


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