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Sometimes a shower just doesn’t cut it. After a long day at work why not relax in an authentic Japanese soaking tub?

Also known as “ofuro” in Japanese, these tubs have been found in bathrooms around the world for centuries. In contrast to your normal tub, they are not to be used for cleaning. Instead, you sit in the hot soaking tub immediately after taking a shower.

Unlike traditional bathtubs, these tubs are taller so you can be completely be surrounded by water up to your neck. Instead of laying or slouching down in the tub, you sit on a bench seat within the tub.


While you won’t be able to stretch out your legs, you will be able to relax your entire body from the neck down.

The best part is that you don’t have to go all the way to Japan to enjoy this traditional style bath. You can have one installed in practically any style home. Plus, they take up less space than an oversized clawfoot tub.

Take a look at the bathrooms in this slideshow to get inspiration for your next bathroom remodel. Before you know it, you too could be relaxing in a Japanese soaking tub.

This rustic style bathroom has a Japanese soaking tub in front of a large bay window. Included in this bathroom is a medium size wood vanity with one sink. Notice how the tub is surrounded by smooth river rock to prevent slipping when you get out of the tub all wet. If you love dark colors in your bathroom, save this photo on your Pinterest inspiration board.

rustic bathroom with metal soaking tub

Photo via MIBROC

Not all soaking tubs have to be round or copper. This specific tub is square and built with a natural stained wood. Adjacent to the tub is a fully enclosed steam shower. Again, notice the different flooring materials used to prevent slipping on the smooth tile floors.

square wood soaking tub

Photo via Design Blue

Although many designers choose to use the soaking tub as the centerpiece of the bathroom, they can also be enclosed. This acrylic tub is surrounded with natural field tile which blends it smoothly into the background, leaving the shower as the main focal point.

contemporary enclosed japanese tub

Photo via XTC Design

Wish you could go to the spa everyday? Why not redesign your bathroom so you can enjoy that zen-like feeling every morning you wake up? This bathroom features a custom stained concrete japanese soaking tub. Also notice, the wood detailing throughout and the additional of decorative lighting.

Although traditional ofuro soaking tubs were built with wood, today you will find the majority are constructed out of copper. Not only are copper tubs beautiful, but they are also easier to maintain and have fewer leaks overtime.

copper soaking tub

Photo via Diamond Spas

Yes, you can live a life of luxury without spending a fortune. This bathroom, which looks like it could have cost a million dollars to build, can be easily replicated on a budget. All you need is a stainless steel soaking tub, a large chandelier with a decorative shade and natural stone tile. I bet you can find all of these items at your local home improvement store for less than you think.

luxury bathroom soaking tub

Photo via Urban Arena

Thanks to lower costs and more sophisticated technology available to consumers, it’s easier than ever to install a steam shower in your home. This particular room features two shower panels as well as a deep soaking tub in the center.

This tub will give you the best of both traditional and contemporary worlds. It is shaped like a traditional ofuro tub but is constructed of stainless steel. Unlike other bathrooms featured in this gallery, this specific tub does not have any special flooring surrounding it. That could be a problem if you forget your towel before you hop in the tub!

Conclusion

Japanese soaking tubs are a perfect way to relax after a long day of work. Although they are not designed to be used as a cleaning tub, they are an integral part of the Japanese bathing routine.

Typically these tubs are filled with hot water and are used for soaking after taking a shower.

In contrast to a Western tub they are deeper to allow water to reach up to your shoulders or even to your neck. As you can see from the gallery above, they can be incorporated into any style bathroom. Whether you live in a rustic, contemporary or traditional style home, there’s a soaking tub perfect for you.