The traditional ofuro tub has evolved from a simple soaking box into a sleek design element for todays modern bath. Traditional ofuros are constructed of aromatic woods such as Hioki, Alaskan yellow cedar, and teak. They are joined together without any visible hardware(as is the case with the Roberts ofuro in the images) creating the appearance of a seamless box. The ofuro is typically over two feet deep and has a built in bench that allows the user to completely immerse themselves in the hot water.
The idea is that you shower off prior to entering the ofuro to clean yourself off, and then you soak in the ofuro as a way to relax and relieve stress. Japanese models will often have a heating system for the water, allowing you to leave the water in the tub for several days and simply reheating it before returning to soak. In western culture there is a certain “ick” factor when you think of re-using the water for several days, especially when it is shared amongst the entire family. However, by rinsing prior to soaking you are essentially clean before ever setting foot in the water. There is something very nice about sitting immersed in piping hot water up to your chin, breathing in the scent of warm cedar and simply doing nothing. Sign me up.
(images courtesy of rhtubs.com)