17+ Japanese Soaking Tubs for Total Zen

japanese soaking tubs

Get Inspired with these beautiful Japanese soaking tubs

The Japanese soaking tub, or rotenburo, is an essential part of the Japanese bathing experience. But what exactly is it?

As a culture, the Japanese love soaking in hot water, from the Japanese onsen (hot spring bath) to the luxury of a hot tub in the backyard. The Japanese soaking tub combines the best of both worlds.

A soaking tub, also called a Japanese tub, is a deep, usually wooden tub, filled with water that is heated to a temperature between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 43 degrees Celsius).  The tub is usually kept at this temperature over a period of 2 to 3 hours, after which, it is drained and filled again.  This process is repeated over the course of several days, or even weeks.  The result is a deep, relaxing soak that leaves you feeling totally rejuvenated.

What is a Japanese soaking tub?

A Japanese soaking tub is a type of bathtub that’s designed to hold more water than the average tub, allowing you to soak up like you would if you were in a hot spring. Often made from natural materials, like wood, a Japanese soaking tub is designed to be placed against a wall, so you can lean back and relax. With fewer distractions, your body can more easily relax, which can help you unwind after a long day.

Japanese soaking tubs are also referred to as onsen tubs. This is a Japanese word that refers to a natural hot spring. People have been known to go to great lengths to find these natural hot springs.

Are Japanese soaking tubs comfortable?

The Japanese soaking tub is a well-known fixture in many homes in Japan.  It’s a deep tub that’s perfect for soaking away the day’s stresses.  Unlike a traditional bathtub, a Japanese soaking tub is filled up with water to a level that is only a few inches deep.  It’s also deeper than other types of tubs, so you can stretch out and soak yourself all the way up to your neck. So, are Japanese soaking tubs comfortable? The answer to that question depends on the type of tub you choose.  Some are made with a heating element that keeps the water warm. Others are made with stone, which retains heat and feels wonderful

How do Japanese soaking tubs work?     

If you’re looking to relax after a long day, a hot soak in the bathtub is just what the doctor ordered.  But if you’re looking to really indulge, the Japanese soaking tub is where it’s at.  While soaking tubs are an everyday part of Japanese life, they’re less common in the West, which is why you might not know the ins and outs of soaking tubs yet.

No doubt you’ve heard of the many health benefits of soaking in hot water, especially after a long day. But have you ever thought about how the water in your bathtub gets warm? Traditional Japanese soaking tubs are warmed by natural (or “onsen”) hot springs, which are fed by underground volcanic activity. With the spread of indoor plumbing in Japan, the country’s bath culture has evolved to include so-called “uro-yoku” baths, or “bath for health” bathrooms that rely on other heating methods besides hot springs.

What size is a Japanese soaking tub?

Japanese soaking tubs are usually built in a tatami style, which means they are raised slightly off the floor, and are surrounded by wood or built in a frame. They are usually deep enough to allow a person to fully extend their legs and arms inside them, and are often used for a variety of health and wellness related reasons, but their use goes beyond relaxation. These tubs need to be large enough to accommodate two adults, but are also intended to be intimate and shared spaces.

The average tub size in North America is 80 cm by 60 cm (31 in by 23 in), though some models are as big as 100 cm by 70 cm (39 in by 27 in). A typical Japanese tub, however, is just 60 cm by 40 cm (23 in by 16 in).

Why are Japanese bathtubs so small?

If you’ve ever used a Japanese bathtub, you may have felt like you’re barely slipping into a bath, let alone a more traditional Western-style bath. This can be a surprise for many who have grown accustomed to the spaciousness of a typical American bathtub. But there’s a very good reason for it. Japan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, so real estate is a valuable resource, hence why Japanese bathrooms are small. The Japanese bathtub, for example, is a prime example of a way to save on space with style.

The concept of a bathtub as a place for soaking is a Western idea that is slowly taking hold in Japan.  When designing a bathroom in Japan, you usually have a choice between a large tiled tub or a small tub with a shower.

How do you sit in a Japanese soaking tub?

There are several ways to sit in a Japanese soaking tub (or, onsen, as they’re called in Japan). For example, you can sit facing the tub and lean your back against the wall, or you can sit with your back against the tub and your legs stretched out on the other side. You can even wrap yourself in a towel and sit on the lip of the tub, like you’re on a giant footstool. The key is making sure you have enough water in the tub so that your body is completely submerged. In fact, a good soaking tub should be almost filled to the top, and then slowly and gradually filled a little more over the course of the bath.

Some rules apply, taking a soak requires some specific sitting etiquette—just sitting in the tub like you would in a bathtub is a big no-no. You have to cross your legs, lean forward, and most importantly, keep your body submerged, so your head doesn’t touch the water.

So, lets show you some great examples and let your creative imagination run wild!

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If you’re looking to relax after a long day, a hot soak in the bathtub is just what the doctor ordered.  But if you’re looking to really indulge, the Japanese soaking tub is where it’s at.  While soaking tubs are an everyday part of Japanese life, they’re less common in the West, which is why you might not know the ins and outs of Japanese soaking tubs just yet.

japanese soaking tub bathroom

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