Japanese Ofuro Soaking Tubs

white-bathroom-with-hinoki-onsen-54-cropIn Japan, no daily ritual is more uniquely important to the individual’s well being than the bath at the end of the day. The Ofuro has been used by the Japanese for centuries to alleviate both physical and spiritual maladies.

This ancient technique of immersion in hot water takes away tensions and stress, soothes muscular pains, and stimulates the blood’s circulation. Due to its ability to increase the quality of one’s life and health, this oriental bathing tradition has been gaining popularity here in the west.

what_is_ofuroOur Ofuro Soaking Tubs are Japanese traditional in shape, rectangular or square, and are painstakingly crafted from some of the finest, hand selected woods available.

While Japanese tubs traditionally use Hinoki, known in Western cultures as Port Orford Cedar, to build their tubs, we offer the slightly more durable Alaskan Yellow Cedar and the more exotic Teak.

There are 3 main differences between Ofuro Soaking Tubs and western style bathtubs:

  1. The first is that western style bathtubs are used for bathing, while Ofuro Tubs are strictly used for soaking and relaxation.  As such, soaps should not be used in the Ofuro. Doing so will undesirably stain the wood.
  2. The second difference is the water/tub depth. Western bathtubs are designed to lay down in and only partially cover our bodies.   Ofuro tubs are 3-4 times deeper and you can immerse your entire body while sitting for total relaxation. Our Ofuros have a typical inside depth of 26″ to 28″ and we can quite easily adjust this to your needs.
  3.  The third, and most notable difference is that Ofuro tubs don’t have an overflow like our traditional bathtubs which is one of the ways of accomplishing the extra depth. The design is such that the ofuro overflows over the top and onto the floor. This requires that the floor where the ofuro is placed to be completely waterproofed with a central floor drain installed.

ofuro-drainOfuros are typically drained onto the floor, but they can be plumbed to  drain into a standard drain pipe. Draining can be accomplished with our specialized “Flip Drain” or we offer the option of adding an automated electronic drain valve.

Because Ofuros are used as soaking tubs, they are filled with hot water and then emptied at the end of each evening.

The original style of Ofuro is very small, barely fitting one person, scrunched up. Many westerners prefer something larger, frequently much larger, and it is rare for a typical home has have enough hot water to fill an Ofuro without using up most of your home’s reserve hot water supply.

Although it may seem unconventional to the Ofuro traditionalist, our Ofuros can easily be set up similar to western style hot tubs.  A circulation system, including filtration and heating components (our typical hot tub gas heated system or, more commonly, an electric Spa Pak), as well as any number of therapeutic jets can be added.

All of the plumbing fittings we use that are attached to the tub are a custom made, flush mounted clear-coated bronze fittings.  If desired, these fittings can be plated with chrome, nickel or gold.

ofuro25The size of these square, or rectangular baths can vary greatly according to your desires; from as small one-person tub to as large as you desire.

As these Japanese baths are all made to order, there are no standard sizes.  We make each tub to fit your individual desires and location.  The depth can be specified for your comfort.

After a stint as a woodworking apprentice in Japan many years ago, and many years of developing our own style of Ofuro tubs, our ofuros now rival even the finest Japanese products.

We carefully hand-select each individual piece of wood that goes into making an Ofuro. Our ofuros are constructed in such a manner that when complete, each side appears to be made of only a single board, with no indication as to how the sides are joined together.

Unlike others, even the Ofuros made in Japan, our ofuros do not “seep, weep, drip” or leak a single drop of water. In addition to our square and rectangular Ofuros, we also offer an excellent substitute in the form of small oval or round hot tubs.