October 12, 2012

Japanese-Style Bath in a North American Bathroom

This is the view from the tub (o-furo) at a hot-springs resort (onsen) in Kanazawa, Japan.

Even if the ocean is inconveniently distant when building your onsen there are other options for a nice bathing environment.

Gero onsen enclosed the o-furo with bamboo screens, delicate trees, and river rocks.

Ha-ha! Mini legs.

Another tub at Gero onsen.

The courtyard in a private home is an opportunity create a beautiful bathing environment.

Even in smaller home a bathing room can be a serene, beautiful place.

Here is the view from the average North American bath-tub.


Why do we put the clean and the dirty in the same space?

Unable to renovate the bathroom and bring it up to Japanese standards, Keith sketched out some ideas for a work-around.

Coolite Bamboo on Hastings Street in Vancouver sells blinds and screens, cut to measure.

The screen is heavy enough that it stands beautifully on its own. With a potted plant from our balcony, things start to look much better. Perhaps something grassy, with a stone or two, can replace the potted plant in the future.

We'd still like something to hid the tank. Perhaps a framed painting that could come down off the wall when needed.

The screen rolls up and fits nicely into the bathroom cupboard after a relaxing soak.


  1. Wonderful idea, Keith! Kudos to you for your ingenuity and desire for all things beautiful.

    When I had a bathroom with natural light many years ago in Toronto, I filled it with African violets; they seemed to adore the humidity from the shower and bath. Soaking in the bath was all that much more rewarding being surrounded by nature both exotic and colourful.

    - Rob

  2. bamboo printed shower curtain? for the non-claustrophobic...

  3. Thanks, Rob! The violets sound like a great way to do it.

    Olivia, we're thinking of taking your advice about putting moss and a growing medium into a blender and spreading it on rocks. We collected a big bag full this summer.


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