Options For A Relaxing Experience In A Japanese Soaking Tub
For those who are not satisfied with the bathing experience they get with a regular bathtub, there are other options. One of the bathtub styles that is becoming more popular of late is the Japanese soaking tub. These tubs are deeper than regular bathtubs so that the bather is more totally submerged in the tub. They are meant for those who wish to bath in a seated position, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Signature Hardware sells a number of different Japanese soaking tubs in different price ranges. The least expensive options are the drop in tubs, which start at around $1,900. One drop in option is 40” x 40” with a depth of 32”. It has a built in seat and comes as a regular bath, an air bath, or a whirlpool bath. For those who want a larger Japanese soaking tub, there is a two person version of this Japanese soaking tub that is 60” x 40” x 32”.
If you prefer a Japanese freestanding bathtub, Signature Hardware also sells hammered copper or acrylic versions for around $3,000 to $9,500. You can get round, oval, rectangular, square or hexagonal tubs, depending on your preference. The Caruso Round Japanese Soaking Tub is one of the less expensive options at $2,970.95. It is 47” in diameter and 32” deep. As this tub has no faucet holes, you need to use it with a freestanding tub filler. At the other end of the price range is the 72” Riley Double Wall Hexagon Copper Soaking Air Bath Tub, which costs $9,389.95. It is handmade and has 16 jets and a waterproof floating remote control. Like many of these tubs, it should be used with a floor or wall mounted tub filler.
Another company that sells Japanese soaking tubs isJapanese Bath in Alaska. They offer traditionally made wooden ofuros (the Japanese name for these tubs). You can get them made out of hinoki or cedar in a rectangular, circular, or elliptical design. Each shape comes in four different sizes, and they also offer custom sized Japanese soaking tubs if none of the standard sizes is suitable for you. Unless the tub is custom built it will be 22 inches deep. The Hinoki Circle Ofuro comes in diameters of 42”, 48”, 54” or 60” and ranges in price from $3,350 to $5,850. The Alaska Yellow Cedar Rectangular Ofuro comes in 42” by 26”, 48” by 30”, 54” by 30” and 60” by 30” and ranges in price from $4,290 to $5,610.
Proper Use Of a Japanese Bathtub
Although you may think that all Japanese bathrooms are created equal, nothing could be farther from the truth. There are many differences between a Japanese soaking tub and a western one for example and it is important to learn how to use it properly in order to receive all of the benefits it can provide. If you have been contemplating the purchase of one of these bathtubs, the instructions below can help you make your decision, or teach you proper techniques for use once the purchase has been made.
Prepping before Use
The Japanese culture has many traditions and rituals. One such ritual that comes in to play with a Japanese style bath tub is the traditional showering and cleansing of oneself before entering the bathtub. This ritual stems from when the tubs were for public use and many people would be entering the water after you. It was only polite to wash yourself of excess dirt in order to leave the tub clean for others. This is not a tradition which you must practice in your own home, but is one for you to consider to keep your tub clean.
Sitting in a Japanese Style Bath Tub
Another key difference in the use of a Japanese soaking bath tub versus a western style one is that you do not recline or lie down like you would in an American product. Instead, most Japanese tubs are designed to have one or two people sit. Some of the products are so small that you must sit with your legs drawn up towards your chin, but others are more spacious with room to relax somewhat. The designs are made this way to allow for the deeper design which would have your head under water if you were not sitting.
Adding the Water
The water used in a Japanese deep soaking tub is traditionally much hotter than that of a western one. Since custom Japanese bathtubs were made for relaxation and therapeutic purposes, the intense heat was used to soak deep into the muscles for better health and relaxation. When the tubs were first used in Japan the winters were intensely cold, so the hot water of the bathtub helped to soothe freezing and aching muscles.
Benefits of a Japanese Style Bath Tub
There are many benefits that come with a Japanese soaking bathtub. These designs generally take up much less space in a bathroom, making them ideal for homes that do not have room to spare. They also provide for better soaking and therapeutic purposes, as they allow the entire body to be soaking much more easily than the western reclining versions.
If you have been looking into the purchase of a traditional discount Japanese bathtub, then the information above can give you ideas on how it was meant to be used. Although you are free to use your tub in a more western way, full benefits of its use can only be gained when it is used as described above.