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see you in Sydney on Nov. 18th !

As many important scenes of my life, all happened in the blink of an eye.
a friend asked me:

“Do you want to participate next week at the JAPAN EXPO” one-day event in the Sydney townhall?”

and my answer was:

Australia has always been at the top of my “want to visit countries” list: and what could be a better excuse than this?
The JAPAN EXPO was first held in 2021 and despite the longtail of Covid, it had 2,500 visitors in 2021 and 6,000 in 2022. They are expecting almost 10,000 visitors for the 2023 edition (scroll below to see the video)
I am looking forward to it and to meet all the Australian friends in Sydney!

Well, I will not be able to bring an ofuro with me … but will display the “Pocket onsen” and the “Shuhari belts“.

It is a great occasion to pick yours: also considering that each one has a unique design so you may want to check them out and see if you find your “love at first sight”.

I will be staying at a downtown hotel on 17th evening and 18th evening.
I will also have some free time during the 19th daytime.
Let me know if you have time for a cup of tea!
See you in Sydney !!!

Feel free to contact me for more information at japan <at> bartokdesign.com

TAKI: install a waterfall in your powder room!

In the past years, we produced several hinoki sinks (order made) but never had a standard product to offer.

We are proud to present our new hinoki sink: “TAKI”!
“Taki” means “waterfall” in japanese: as you can see from the pictures, there is a hinoki plank on which the water widens and flows, like a miniature … Niagara Falls.

The plank has also the function of hiding the drain. and can be easily removed for cleaning.

“TAKI” has a very simple and minimalist design. It can be mounted on a counter and because it has a flat bottom, it can hide the installation of the previous sink – if you are just renovating.

Here below are the dimensions:
Japanese Hinoki wood AB grade sink (quartersawn)
D500mm x W640mm x H200mm (ext. dimensions)

price: 320,000. JPY (includes the drain fitting)

packaging and shipping: please specify your address etc. so we can provide a quotation.
Of course, it would fit inside an ofuro so if you purchase together there would be no extra cost for packaging/shipping.

The original concept involved inserting a recessed light (waterproof type) on the back, under the oblique “waterfall” plank.
Anyway, as it is very easy to implement this detail on-site, we preferred to leave it as an option, also considering it will be easier and stress-free for you to use lighting fixtures available in your country and have more freedom in adding a light controller, remote controller, sensor etc.

Feel free to contact us for more information at japan <at> bartokdesign.com

Adopt a thatched roof kominka (urgent…)

This cutie will be torn down in October.
See more photos from this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kKeHXLMNTJPS7KGr8
Foot print (at wall centerline) is about 10m x 9.7m. Add 1m all around for projected roof line.
1 Story. Over 100 years old.
Located in Miyazu city, near the seashore. The straw roof is covered with sheet metal, anyway as you can see from the interior pics, the foundation (on isolated tsukaishi) the large beams, the smoked bamboo covering the inside part of the roof, the bent beams inside the roof structure are perfectly healthy.

Cost of dismantling (parts numbering etc.) about 30,000 USD.
Timber frame is all made with nuki-construction. Basically not a single metal nail. You pull out some wedges and it can be neatly dismantled without damage for the parts.

Cost of transportation: I guess one 40 ft container, considering that you will have to provide for new tatami, new shoji and fusuma etc.
The windows are cheap aluminum frame sashes and should be replaced.
It would be wonderful if you could remake the straw locally – if at all possible.
The walls are tsuchi-kabe (adobe with bamboo framing) and should also be done on site.
Or you can do timber-frame walls if you are not a purist and finish the external walls with plaster or wood slats.

Basically, you can have the structure for 40,000 USD (roughly, including transportation.)
Depending on the construction costs in your area you will need to add 100,000 USD to build and finish it.

Let me know if interested and I can obtain more precise quotations.
Here below, is a proposal considering the creation of a “doma” concrete or stone floor for an open kitchen area and rebuilding the wet areas with a hinoki bathtub (YUIP!)

find your “love at first sight BELT” on indiegogo!

With smartbiz we are finally free from the neckties but at the same time with less space to express our individuality.
This is one of the reasons behind the project to develop men`s belts from high quality silk & gold nishijin ori kimono fabric.

jump to igg.me/at/kimono-belts to learn more about the why and how of this project and choose your “love at first sight” Shu-Ha-Ri kimono belt!


server problem

We experienced a server problem that brought the homepage offline for almost 48 hours, from June 9th to June 10th.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Please report to us any remaining problems such as missing photos, broken links etc.

Thank you for your cooperation.

new product: hinoki kumiko beds!

It finally happened!
After relaxing in a hinoki bath, now you can relax for the rest of the night in a hinoki bed! ☆彡

Another fruit of the collaboration with Murayama-sensei: here is … the kumiko bed!

For the time being, we have 2 sizes available (queen and single)

Both are available in the following versions:
1) as a full bed including frame (no mattress)
2) bed head only (the type commonly used in hotels)

The bed can be lit from behind (but no electrical fixtures are included from our side)

For sizes/prices/design options, check our product page:


art auction in Tokyo (4/29@11:00 JST)

This is an out-of-the-ordinary announcement and I hope that also those not interested will forgive me for the intrusion.

I was invited at the preview of an art auction on a part of the private collection of Mr. Ise, president of “Ise foods” and legendary 94 years old entrepreneur who is leader in the market of poultry and eggs in several countries (Japan, USA, Singapore, HK, and other south Asian countries)

There would be many things I would like to share with you about this extraordinary experience, anyway the urgent information I would like to transmit for your reference is that the auction will take place on Saturday 29th from 11:00 JST.

Apart for a painting of Marc Chagall, Renoir, and other giants, there are several amazing Japanese folding screens, rolls, and other pieces of Japanese art.
I have the feeling that especially these are underpriced, but also the Western art masterpieces may be really good deals also because of the weak yen.

Apparently, there is also the possibility to join the auction online.

Please check more photos at the link below.


Even if this news is not directly hinoki bath related, many of our driends at bartok design are art lovers and collectors and, while I do not have personally the expertize to assess the value of the items in the action, I felt it is a valuable information also for the level of the other guests that attended the evening.

Let me know if you need any help or additional info.



waiting for you at the Ko-minka summit

happy Easter from Japan!

Just a note to let you know that also this year I will participate to the Ko-minka summit (this year near Nagoya)

I hope to see you there and for all who cannot make it to Japan, I will post photos and videos of the event.

Minka Summit 2023

Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd April

Buy tickets

Following the success of the first Minka Summit, we are delighted to announce that our 2023 event will be held at the Aichi Prefectural Citizens’ Forest in Shinishiro.

Minka Summit 2023 will include presentations, panel discussions, workshops, tours of local minka houses, our famous “Minka Mall”, meet & greets and keynote dinners – and plenty of opportunities to talk about all things minka.

Language support will be offered in English and Japanese.


february 2023 newsletter

happy Valentine from Japan!

Well, it is not the love that you think… (;゚Д゚) … anyway, for sure a feeling of profound respect and enthusiasm to work together blossomed among us…(⋈◍>◡<◍)。✧♡

And receiving the mandate to distribute Shinichi Murayama`s amazing KUMIKO shoji products WORLDWIDE is even better than a box of choccolate candy hearts!!!


Collaboration with Shinichi Murayama

A common friend introduced me to a genial wood craftsman from Western Kyoto…
And it was love at first sight!

Bartok design Japan Co. will be the official distributor for the products of Murayama Mokko worldwide!
-> to the shop page

Shinichi Maruyama is specialized in the “Kumiko” technique which is used to create shoji and other traditional interior items. (See below for more details)
But Maruyama-sensei pushed the technique towards new unimaginable horizons with curved kumiko, three-dimensional kumiko, and stunning interiors for leading hotels such as Ritz Carlton, Prince Hotel, ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel, FAUCHON L’Hotel, and others.


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