What Is A Japanese Soaking Tub?

2 min read

What is a Japanese Soaking Tub?


Japanese soaking tubs, also known as ofuro or furo, are traditional Japanese bathtubs that have been used for centuries. These tubs are designed to provide a relaxing and therapeutic bathing experience. They are typically deeper and shorter than Western-style bathtubs, allowing the bather to immerse themselves up to their necks in hot water.

History of Japanese Soaking Tubs

The origins of Japanese soaking tubs can be traced back to ancient Japan. The concept of communal bathing was introduced by Buddhist monks who believed in the therapeutic benefits of hot water. Over time, the practice of soaking in hot water became popular among the general population, leading to the development of the ofuro.

Design and Features

Japanese soaking tubs are usually made from high-quality materials such as cedar, cypress, or hinoki wood. These woods are known for their natural resistance to water and their ability to release a pleasant aroma when heated. The tubs are typically compact in size and can easily fit into small bathrooms or outdoor spaces.

One distinctive feature of Japanese soaking tubs is their deep and narrow shape. This design allows the bather to sit upright with the water reaching their shoulders, ensuring a fully immersive experience. The tubs are also equipped with a built-in seat or bench, providing additional comfort during the bath.

Benefits of Japanese Soaking Tubs

Japanese soaking tubs offer a range of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. The hot water helps to relax the muscles, relieve stress, and improve blood circulation. The deep immersion allows for a full-body soak, promoting detoxification and rejuvenation.

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The compact size of these tubs also makes them ideal for small spaces. They can be easily installed in apartments or homes with limited bathroom space. The aesthetic appeal of the wooden tubs adds a touch of elegance and tranquility to any bathroom or outdoor area.

How to Use a Japanese Soaking Tub

Using a Japanese soaking tub is simple and straightforward. Here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Fill the tub with hot water, ensuring that the temperature is comfortable for you.
  2. Step into the tub and sit on the built-in bench or seat.
  3. Slowly immerse yourself in the water, allowing it to cover your body up to your shoulders.
  4. Relax and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the hot water for 15-30 minutes.
  5. After the bath, towel dry your body and rest for a few minutes to fully experience the relaxation.


1. Are Japanese soaking tubs suitable for all bathrooms?

Yes, Japanese soaking tubs are designed to fit into small bathrooms. Their compact size makes them ideal for apartments, condos, or homes with limited space.

2. Can I use bubble bath or bath oils in a Japanese soaking tub?

No, it is recommended to avoid using bubble bath or bath oils in a Japanese soaking tub. These products can leave residue and damage the natural wood finish of the tub. Instead, enjoy the simplicity of a hot water soak.

3. How often should I clean my Japanese soaking tub?

It is recommended to clean your Japanese soaking tub after each use. Simply rinse it with warm water and wipe it dry to maintain its cleanliness and longevity.

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4. Can I use a Japanese soaking tub outdoors?

Yes, Japanese soaking tubs can be used outdoors. However, it is important to protect the wood from harsh weather conditions by covering it when not in use.

5. Are Japanese soaking tubs expensive?

Japanese soaking tubs can vary in price depending on the materials used and the craftsmanship. While some may be more expensive, there are also affordable options available on the market.


Japanese soaking tubs offer a unique and relaxing bathing experience. Their traditional design, therapeutic benefits, and compact size make them a popular choice for those seeking a spa-like experience in their own homes. So, why not immerse yourself in a Japanese soaking tub and enjoy the tranquility it brings?