Q:

What are some features of Japanese baths?

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Quick Answer

Japanese baths have a deep tub, or ofuro, which is used for soaking and relaxation and not for washing. The orfuro also tends to be square and can be made from hinoki wood, which is a type of cypress, though the tub can also be made of metal. Hinoki wood has a rich texture and fragrant smell.

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Full Answer

Besides being deep, the water of the Japanese ofuro is traditionally very hot, often over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This, plus the ability of the body to be nearly fully immersed in the tub, is said to give health benefits. Traditionally, all members of the family are supposed to use the same bath water, which is why each person needs to take a light shower or wash before they enter the ofuro. This keeps the water relatively clean.

Some modern tubs can also be programmed to refill and keep the water at a steady, hot temperature.

Because the Japanese bathroom is usually small, there are often wall mounted fixtures, such as faucets and toilets. Sometimes the faucet, though made of metal, is fashioned after a length of bamboo and empties into a vessel sink. Cabinets, buckets and stools can also be made out of hinoki or bamboo.

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