Ofuro!

One of my favoritest things ever about Japan is the Japanese bath. The idea is that you’ve got a whole room that’s tiled like a shower but it also has a bathtub in it. You wash yourself outside the tub and once you’re clean, you soak in the hot bath. It’s incredibly relaxing and combines the best aspects of a shower and a bath.

It’s always been our dream to have one so when we bought our house and had a chance to build out a basement, an ofuro room was the first thing I designed in the plans. Five years later, it’s finally ready!

11 Responses to “Ofuro!”

  1. Chris Knight Says:

    Congrats on the tub! Looks like you got all the accessories too. I love my ofuro-style tub (we ended up with an Americh Beverly 2-person [48"x48"x32"] acrylic tub). Relaxing, low-maintenance. Who needs jets? And I actually find the vertical sides more comfortable than the western-style tubs with the sloped sides.

    (Oh and we use 2 ganged Takagi Mobius tankless heaters, probably overkill but we’d never know. And they have that awesome geek appeal!)

  2. Mach Says:

    Hey, we have a Takagi tankless heater, too, but just one. We got our tub from Sea Otter Woodworking: http://www.woodentubs.com/ . If you ever decide to go for a wooden tub, I highly recommend them!

  3. NinjaHERO Says:

    That’s awesome Mach. Enjoy.

  4. wvh Says:

    That’s our dream too, when we have a house that’ll accommodate it. Yours looks great!

  5. Bathing Beauty Says:

    I have a terrific Takagi tub but I also want to include a recirculating heater for the water. Are you using the tankless water heater to do that? The standard type I had in Japan isn’t available here in the US. Any leads would be fantastic. I love my tub but would prefer to use it the Japanese way, but re-heating the water rather than filling it each time. Thank you!

  6. Mach Says:

    As it happens, I do have a Takagi tankless water heater. But I don’t use a recirculating heater for the tub because it retains the heat really well.

  7. mimoglay Says:

    Hi, this is so encouraging! Our favoritist thing about Japan was the ofuro, too, and we have been thinking about renovating our bathroom to make one. You inspire us! We are taking step 1 by fixing our well to make sure we have the water to fill such a tub!

  8. Mach Says:

    It’s totally worth it! And actually, you don’t need a lot of water to fill it because Japanese baths tend to be shorter than Western ones.

  9. iacopo Says:

    Hi everybody. This is an information for all japanese hottub lovers:
    I am managing the site http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/ since 2002.
    All our tubs are handmade in japan and use real hinoki wood.
    Also, feel free to refer to our FAQ section or contact us for any question about ofuros. We will be glad to share our experience and passion for japanese bathing a part for any commercial purpose.

  10. Jonas Says:

    Hi! I’m looking to build an ofuro tub for an outdoor deck. It will get a lot of sunlight during the day, and I live in the Philippines so it’s really hot. Cedar wood is not really readily available here.

    So my question is, in your opinion, should I make the tub out of concrete or teak wood, kind of a DIY thing? Or just buy a regular tub? (but people have told me the tub will crack after a short period due to the sun)

    Also, you said you used tankless heaters. How do you know when the right temperature is achieved? Do you have tips on how I can do this digitally?

  11. Mach Says:

    We actually ordered our tub online (from http://www.woodentubs.com/ ) and they might ship to the Phillipines. If not, I would definitely go with teak over concrete because concrete would stay very cold for a long time.

    As for temperature regulation, we do it very primitively using an egg timer. I turn on the hot water all the way for six or seven minutes and then turn on both the hot and cold all the way for five minutes.