On our website we have a selection of wooden hot tubs called ‘ofuro hot tubs’.

Name and history of ofuro hot tub

Ofuro: a strange word. Where does it come from? Ofuro (お風呂) is a Japanese term for bath. The shorter, less formal term is furo (風呂).

Basically, they’re small hot tubs. In their most classic form, they’re short, steep-sided wooden hot tubs. They look like wooden boxes.

In Japan, they have an ancient heritage. That picture is from a Buddhist temple in northern Kyoto. The ofuro was built all the way back in 1400. It’s been reconstructed since then, but its form is unchanged. By bathing in an ofuro hot tub you’re engaging in a rich cultural tradition.

Ofuro can be found in households across the nation as well as in ryokan (旅館-) traditional Japanese inns. At ryokan, ofuro hot tub often make use of the water of nearby hot springs. Japan’s distinct culture of bathing emerged from this natural base, as the country is home to many such springs. Here are a few macaques taking advantage of one:

Ofuro form a part of the Japanese ritual of bathing, in which soaking in the tub is not a way of getting clean, but a way of soothing the mind and body. That’s why Japanese usually wash in the shower before stepping into the yubune (湯船)- a word referring to the bath and the water in it.

Ofuro hot tubs have become popular in the West more recently.  Star of Friends Jennifer Aniston had an ofuro installed in her home after her divorce from Brad Pitt, when she transformed the ‘his’ side of the bedroom into a Japanese spa.

What are their benefits of ofuro versus the other wooden hot tubs we sell?

The smaller size of an ofuro wooden hot tub makes it more intimate than the typical Western wooden hot tub. Two (2-seats) people can happily bath together in an ofuro a romantic experience if there ever was one. The smaller volume of water required means less time waiting for it to heat up. Our ofuro hot tub is made from a choice of spruce or larch- both have physical healing properties. Aromatherapists use spruce for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. They use larch for its relaxing and cold-curing properties.

Among Westerners looking for more luxurious ways to relax, to find calm in a stressful world, to find their own little ‘Zen’, so to speak, the popularity of ofuro is no surprise.

So… Why not purchase an ofuro wooden hot tub and relax in UK the Japanese way? 🙂