What are a Japanese bath and a Japanese soaking tub?
While bathing is associated with the cleaning of the body in other counties, in Japan, bathing is linked to the cleansing of the soul and spirit. The history of bathing goes way long back to the 6th century where people believed that bathing was not just a routine to wash off dirt from your body, but also a chance to look deeper into your soul. If you are in Japan and wish to know more about the bathing culture, here we shall list out some of the unwritten rules.
- The Japanese tub is not for cleaning your body, but only meant for relaxing your mind and soul.
- Unlike traditional bathing setups, the Japanese bathroom only has a shower and a tub. The toilet is usually located elsewhere.
- Cleaning activities need to be done before getting into the Japanese tubs. For example, scrubbing, washing and rinsing is only meant to be done outside the tubs and not in it.
- Tattoos are considered to be linked to violence or a sign of mafia in Japan due to which you may not be allowed to enter many Japanese soaking tubs or public baths. Though, today, things are definitely changing, yet there are many places that avoid people who are tattooed.
A Japanese soaking tub isn’t a new idea. It has been a part of the culture since ages or centuries. These baths hold a significant place in the Japanese culture which is linked to the cleansing of the soul and mind. These tubs are usually very deep as compared to the American style tubs. At the same time, they have built-in seats along with huge bathtub dimensions. This means when you sit on the seat, the water comes up to your chin which really gives you a good soaking experience. The deep soaking tub are traditionally crafted using Hinoki wood. These woods are known to impart fragrance which adds to your Japanese bath experience.
What are the benefits of bathing in deep bathtubs?
- Superior Comfort: Having a deep bathing experience is truly one of a kind. It offers ultimate comfort and relaxation to your body, mind and soul. You could also use a portable bathtub for adults instead for a soul seeking deep bathtub experience. Also, you can go for an outdoor bath experience as well to soak in the Japanese culture. With a bigger dimension bathtub and a good amount of water, you can completely immerse yourself in it which will help you to get rid of any kind of stress, worries or tensions. Relaxing in water is known to cool down the body and mind after a hectic day at work.
- Great For Joints: People with a stiff back or stiff joints are advised to sit in an upright position. Hence, if you are one of those, then it is best for you to enjoy the benefits even in small bathtubs. It relaxes your muscles and joints thus relieving stress on them. Deep bathtubs also have handrails and steps which give your body the support it needs. It is also a great option for the elderly as they are more likely to experience body aches and muscle problems.
- Keeps Water Warm Longer: Since a portable bathtub has a smaller surface area, less heat escapes the tub. This way your 2 person bathtub water stays warm for a longer time period. Now you won’t have to lie down in the cold temperatures when you can simply relax in the warm water and relax your body. At the same time, you can also sit for a longer time in the bathtub without having to worry about the temperature of the water.
Different materials of Japanese Soaking Tub
In this section, we will look into the different materials of Japanese soaking tubs.
- Copper Tubs: Copper tubs give your soaking tub a natural and rustic feel. It has an oval shape and is usually shiny which adds a nice attractive appeal. You can add many interesting elements like adding a black river stone which will naturally enhance the look of the portable bathtub for adults.
- Acrylic Tubs : One of the best parts of having acrylic tubs is that they are pretty easy to install and lightweight as well. They are made using vacuum acrylic sheets with fiberglass. You can decide on the style and installation method by speaking to your dealer for more details. This material is warm resistant, resists harsh chemicals, warm touch and also stands up high temperatures.
- Cast Iron Bathtubs: These portable bathtubs have steel that are coated with enamel. However, one thing that sets them apart is that they do not look like cast iron due to the thick enamel coating. Also, this huge coating keeps the iron durable. The only drawback of using this material is that they are heavy and can be difficult to install.
- Glass Bathtub: Take your Japanese sauna to a whole new different level by using glass. You can also do interesting DIYs that include titled floors, glass panel installation, with three walls. This will keep the area waterproof and very cool as well. At the same time, using glass for your bathtub will also give your bathroom a modern and stylish new look.
- Metal Bathtub: If you are looking for an old and rustic look for your bathtub, then it is best to go for a metal bathtub. This bathtub has a strong and rich appealing look. At the same time, it is high in durability and best in terms of quality as well. Gift yourself a good quality Japanese showering system. However, it will also require you to get an extra flooring done. Also, they are crack resistant and will easily last you for a very long time.
10 Features of Japanese Bath
Japanese bathrooms are also called as “ofuroba” are very distinct as compared to the bathroom in different countries. They have an entire different bathing culture with the practice of bathing nude as well. This social experience is a huge tradition that has been known to have several benefits. Now let us look at the 10 features of a Japanese bath.
- The toilet is completely in a different space and not with the same bathtub area.
- Before getting into the portable bathtub, you need to first clean and was yourself. You will be given a small stool along with a bucket that you can use for cleaning your body.
- You can get completely wet. Japanese bathrooms are normally wet rooms which means you can get wet with no worries.
- The sink has a spray wand which can be used for cleaning small children or pets.
- You need to keep the bathwater clean. That means you cannot lather yourself up or wash your hair in the Japanese bathtub.
- There is also a Call for Service option available wherein you can request some tea or coffee or drinks while you relax in the bath.
- Many people will be using the Japanese bathtub at all times. Hence, do not expect privacy as the tradition believes in cleansing your body and mind which also helps you to relax.
- You can use the shower to clean your entire bathroom. The water will be easily drained through the drainage system which is installed on the floor. Hence, it is a convenient feature which allows you to wash your body and clean the bathroom as well.
- There are advanced control panels in the Japanese bathtubs through which you can control the temperature of the water along with other features. There is also an emergency button which can be used in case of any emergency. Also, you can ask your family members to either get you a towel or a cup of tea or coffee.
- The water that is used in the bathtub can easily be used for other tasks like washing clothes. This is a good feature that allows you to reuse the water rather than simply wasting them.
Do’s & Donts when you go for outdoor bath in Japan
- Remember to take off your shoes when entering an outdoor bath place in Japan. Keep your shoes and clothing separate as indicated.
- Make peace with being naked. Yes, the Japanese culture believes in getting naked so as to relieve your body and mind. It is one of those olden traditions that still persists in Japanese culture.
- No bathing suits are allowed in Asian bathtubs because the whole purpose of getting a Japanese bath experience is to get naked and relax your soul.
- Get a shower before you hop onto an outdoor bath in Japan. You would not want to get dirty in a pool of unclean water.
In this article, we looked at how Japanese bathtubs are prevalent to this day and how you need to actually experience them once in a lifetime. If you plan to take inspiration and create a wooden bathtub, then go ahead and get creative. The heated bathtub will truly be a soul satisfying experience that you need to have.