Ofuro – The traditional Japanese soaking tubs are making a new splash

The Ofuro- or what is typically a small, deep, free standing tub – is making quite a comeback in interior design. The Ofuro is small enough to go into just about any bathroom, often being around 45” square. The best part? They are very deep, and fill typically to the shoulders. Bathers are seated upright in a traditional ofuro (most have a seat or two built in)– think like a small indoor American hot tub. The Ofuro is usually paired with an open European type shower – no glass doors to painfully clean! This also allows for installation into even the smallest of bathrooms.

A freestanding Ofuro style tub from MTI Whirlpools

The Japanese soaking tub of today has taken on new contemporary appearances. Available in wood, metal, or your standard acrylic tub material, they can fit in almost any budget. Installation can be easy as is most tubs are free standing – though you’ll want some sort of steps to get in. For more elaborate installations the tubs can often be dropped down into the floor, or include intricate surrounding step systems.

A traditional wood Ofuro from www.japanesebath.com

While the tub in its traditional form is a soaker only – meant to relax the mind and body with heat and silence, todays models can also include air massage and jets. A heater to keep the water warm can also be a nice addition on higher end models.

This Victoria + Albert tub shows installation with an open shower concept

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