If you’re treating yourself to the ultimate bathroom makeover, a Japanese bathtub (also known as a Japanese soaking tub) might be the perfect way to add some unexpected style. How is it different from a Jacuzzi tub? This Asian version surrounds you in steaming water that rises up to your neck, creating an indulgent spa experience.

Adding Culture to U.S. Bathrooms

When using this deep soaking tub, bathers typically stand or sit, either by themselves or with two or more people. It can work as a tub in the master bath or a Jacuzzi-like pool on an outdoor deck. Depending on your preference, the bathtub can rest above-ground or sink in partially below-ground for easier access. You may also choose to have the sides slant or put in a wrap-around bench. Both function and aesthetic are customizable according to the buyer’s tastes.

As American homeowners quest for the biggest, most luxurious master bath, the Japanese bathtub has caught on with a new demographic. Companies in the United States now offer their own versions. Remodelers build their entire bathroom around it, creating Asian-inspired spaces by pairing it with a rock garden or greenery. Even celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Ellen DeGeneres added Japanese bathtubs to their remodels.


Japanese bathtub

A Sensational Escape

Soaking in hot water might sound enjoyable on its own, but you can enhance the experience further with customizable relaxing scents. Natural aromas are emitted from the wood used to make the tubs, so the smell would influence which building material you pick. As the tub warms up and becomes steamy, these wonderful smells fill your bathroom. The most common wood, and the one traditional to Japan, is Hinoki. This light wood is used to make Japanese hallmarks like Shinto temples and sushi chopping boards. The closest version in America is Port Orford Cedar, and both give off a calming lemon ginger aroma. Hinoki may even aid congestion and asthma. Not big on lemon ginger? Try teak wood, Western Red Cedar or Alaskan Yellow Cedar.

If you’re not sold on the style of a Japanese bathtub, another option is a Japanese shower. These fixtures resemble American bathtubs, meaning they have a basin with a shower fixture overhead. The major difference is they’re made of wood so the bather still experiences the Hinoki (or other natural wood) scent.

No matter which tub you choose, inviting Japanese design into your bathroom guarantees a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere.