A traditional Japanese relaxation method was to use a Japanese Ofuro Bath as a way to release negative energy. A Japanese Ofuro is a deep soaking tub made of wooden construction. These tubs will commonly be at least 25 inches deep compared to a standard.
Baths of this type are found all over Japan in houses, apartments and traditional Japanese inns.
Furo that specifically refer to the bath with water are usually left filled with water overnight, and for some household, the water reused or recycled for washing clothes the next day. As in the West, it was the custom for more than one member of the family to use the same bath water and therefore, for the Japanese, it was important to be completely clean before entering the bath.
The benefits are many, according to traditional Ofuro maker Bartok Designs, who makes the tubs to order in Japan, then ships them all over the world. Their website lists all the ways that a 30-60 minute soak each day will leave you feeling energized, rejuvenated, and—importantly—relaxed.
Hinoki wood is the preferred material for the Ofuro, as the aromatic cypress is both bacterial and rot-resistant and is thought to have healing properties.
Even if you don’t quite connect to the restorative spa idea, there are a number of really functional benefits to Japanese soaking tubs. For one, they are ideal for small bathrooms. Also, a Japanese soaking tub uses less water than a conventional tub (as long as it’s a one- or two-person tub).