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Bath tubs


15 Apr 2002
One strong traditions of Japan is bathing. Onsens, Sentos and home wood fire driven barrels have always been a favorite in the Japanese household.

Compared to your cowboy western bubble bath types, Japanese bath tubs are deeper and shorter in length. For tall folks like me you have to pull up your knees but having the water go up to your shoulders is wonderful.

Also, most baths are part of a drain floored room. Humm, like some I've seen in Denmark and Spain. So the tub sits at the end of a floodable floor area. The door is raised a few centimeters to prevent water from going out into the hall.

OF course, you don't wash yourself in the tub but rather on the outside within the bathroom. Don't worry, most bathrooms don't have a toilet in the room unless it's a unit bath were everything is like one big molded piece. The sink area is outside in a utility like room. So, take the shower head rinse off, wash your privates, rinse off and jump into a hot relazing bath.

Seperation of toilet and bathtub is great. NO more flying dung bacteria in your toothbrushes and having to wait for those who like to take long baths. Although, I missed having a sink near by to rinse my mouth after praying to the porcelain gods.

You really got to give a Japanese style bath a test. Once you tried it you'll never go back to low and long cowboy types.

@ moyashi,, I really dont want to be personel, but is the bath in Thomas pic simular to the bath you have discribed in your post??? I really could'nt imagion bathing in that tub!! its so small and unrelaxing looking!,, maybe its just that we are so customed to relaxing in the "flat out" position lol, and all of our soaps, gels creams ect, just within reach balanced at the edge of our baths, lol🙂 ,, on second thoughts, it seems quite private and unenhaunced(spell?)by those millionaires who are there only for design and not for comfort or purpose😄
Sorry for the confusion, Debs, Moyashi referred to spas and public baths, the picture I posted is a traditional bath tub from a private building.
Indeed, I have never seen such a bath in Japan !

American people usually refer to the loo (toilet) as the "bathroom". That always confuses me (let's say I just don't like it) because a bathroom is only a room with a bath/shower, probably a sink and possibly a toilet. In my parents house, the toilet is separated from the bathroom by door, even though they are adjacent. So basically you can enter the toilet without entering the bathroom, so that you don't monopolize the toilet if you use the bathroom and lock the door.

@sink outside and bacteria
I've noticed that some Japanese people (older maybe) brush their teeth in the kitchen sink. That's one of the most distgusting habits I have come across so far. Then they keep their toothbrush next to the cups or cutlery. Might be ok if you live alone, but it makes me want to vomit when sharing with someone I don't know. I know that some Westerners do it as well (sometime toothbrush are left in guest houses/youth hostels's kitchen). I really don't want to see someone brush their teeth in front of me when I'm having dinner !

So the solution is to have a sink in a room near your room or in the bathroom if it's big enough (far from the toilet if there is). In Japan it can only be outside the bathroom.
@ confusion
Actually, my wording was jumbled in the beginning. I refered to public bathing places then the in your "house" styles. In general Japan just loves bathing in public or at home.

@ Thoma's picture
That's more like the type I was thinking and referring too. Although, that is a model from about 30+ years ago. They are still made and are the one of the last coopering professions left in Japan. Huge sake vat tubs are almost close to impossible to build from hand now since the remaining cooper-ers are now like in their 90's.

No, that's not like my apartment's. They are much more modern like many that you find in tract housing in the states. Molded from fiber glass.

@ maciamo
I totally agree. The luv/wc shouldn't be referred to as the bathroom. The problem is that close 99% of American homes have a sink, bath tub, and toilet in the same room. Which is why I brought up the sanitary issue.

I like the term Water Closet although such toilets are hard to find originally in the states outside of reproduction models.

@ brushing teeth
Here the problem is a bathroom sink isn't common in most older homes. Those that have a sink in the adjacent utility room are those homes that have been rebuilt at least 20-25 years ago and those that are newer.

I don't like using the kitchen sink because I've always used the bathroom sink. But yes, If someone were brushing their teeth while I were eating I too probably would vomit. It's just something that isn't really dirty but just the sounds are horrible.

sorry, for the slight misunderstand about the types of baths I was referring to.
@ Moyashi and Thomas,, no need to apoligise it was most probably my inturpretation 🙂
But they are facinating,and seem to be well liked and appreciated by yourselfs, this picture is amazing and seems to incorperate an image of bathing from Japan that I have never considered.
homes have a sink, bath tub, and toilet in the same room.
yes this is very common and is seen to be "the normal" in the average home, I'm unaware if Japan has a toilet in the lower lever of the household, here most homes built within the last 30 years have a very small box type room either at the back or front door areas which have a toilet and hand sink, its very conveinient for the larger families or those with a disability which climbing 13 stairs can prove to be very difficult, and an exhausting task🙂

Just had alook at the sento photo's on another thread, brilliant!
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Lol, that picture up above is a very old style.

@ 13 stairs
hmmm, nice count there Debs
hmmm, strange I get access denied from client errors. What ever that kind of error is supposed to mean.
Oh, it seems to be working now. "Hot Tub Thumbnail Picture Gallery", nice find, Debs! :)
hmmm, finally thinking straight about this.

I bet somebody on my IP number block was infected with a virus which attacked that site and the site decided block out the offending IP number.

I do the same thing everyday. I have my iBook run a check of all the window searching viruses that look for .exe programs on my machine. I then have a script run automatically once a day to check the access IP numbers IF I don't have them on the list they get added.

Slowly that list has gone from 5 numbers to about 300 in the last month.
Thanks for the "The Cloak" link. That's pretty nifty I should say.

hahah, that hottub site must be blocking all of Japan. Lot's of them are very similar to ones I've seen over here being used for outside hot springs not for bathtubs so to say.
I would absolutly LOVE to have a hottub like one of those! that would be amazing! i'd also like to have a Japanese style bathroom they sound facinating!👍
Wow! Looks like something an esoteric millionaire would have. Getting closer. Most home baths don't have a bench though.
The bath we have here in Tokyo is about 1,5m long, more like Western-style one, though a bit smaller, narrower and in a typical Japanese bathroom. I think only poor people have such small cuves nowadays. Normal, in a land where heated toilet also have massage and bidet functions with music (and that's almost the norm in Japanese homes, I believe)...

I have been wondering ever since I came here how the water heating system works. Their is no boiler and therefore you are never short of hot water. You just have to press a button before showering and in less than 10 sec the water comes out hot ! Otherwise it's cold. How can they heat water so quickly without stocking it ? Nobody here has been able to explain it to me.
???? what ???? I have no clue what the link is going on about.

Ok, up Hokkaido this is what you have. 3 types of system (err 4 but the 3rd one I've never scene in Japan).

1st type is a little heating unit place directly above the sink or next to the bathtub. It's about the size of an open textbook and about the same thickness of a big mac. (older ones, well, are bigger and bulkier of course). It either has a nozel to be used in place of the faucet or it feeds the heated water back to the pipe.

The second type is very similar to the first except that it's located normally in the utlity room and pushes the hot water out to the kitchen, bath tub and bathroom sinks. The version is much bigger since it suplies the whole house.

The internals for both the heaters use some kind of radiator system to push water through and then the heating oil or natural gas flame will heat.

A 3rd type I've seen is like a mini-boiler ??? it connects directly to the bath tub. It probably is some kind of hybrid boiler and radiator type of heater. The unit itself must sit on the floor but it isn't big enough to contain a full tank which would contain enough capacity for a shower. This unit also connects to the bath tub at times through the way similar to a pool filter. It sucks up water through one whole in the bath tub heats it up (myseteriously .... I haven't had a chance to tear one apart yet) and spews it back out to the bath tub. It can't possibly be a tank system because the water filters pretty much like a pool does it. This is really sweet because then you can let the water stay in the bath tub when finished and then the over the next couple of days reheat the same water and use it again. Ewwww, yep, the bath tub does turn slimy after a while, you know the type you find on rocks in streams.

4th type -- is the typical Tank hot water boiler type that you can find in most American homes. I've seen these babies only in show rooms of the local gas company or on the gas company's TV commerical. Yeah, right, where would you put one of those monsters in a Japanese house?
interesting pictures.

I've never been in a japanese bath before, I really want to try it out someday, but it really sounds.....relaxing? *laughs* I'm one of the types that like to take looooooooonnnngggggg hot baths and if so use up all the hot water. :p
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