Japanese bath: oriental exotic in Russian style
The traditions of each country are unique and distinctive in their own way. They are the most important part of culture and reflect the mentality of a particular people. Acquaintance with traditions may seem a wonder for a visiting person, but this only strengthens the interest in a foreign culture. For example, the Russian bath with hot air, birch brooms and diving into the ice hole shocking foreigners, first encountered this phenomenon.
But for Europeans, a Japanese bath will seem to be a real exotic. When you first visit a Japanese bath, it is difficult to imagine not only the process of bathing procedures, but also the purpose of unusual fonts.
However, having tried to visit her once, you will certainly want to experience this bliss again and, perhaps, organize a Japanese bath in your own plot or in a private house.
What it is?
The Japanese are very anxious about the manifestation of the human spirit, honor the religious traditions of Buddhism, take care of the pacification of the soul and physical health. For Japan's bath procedures, it is not only and not so much a cleansing, as the achievement of relaxation of the body and mind. According to the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun, health, beauty and youth are inseparably linked by purity and calmness of the soul.
The Japanese bath is a spacious room filled with mostly wooden objects and coatings. The main bath paraphernalia is a large barrel with water (furaco), rectangular fonts (ofuro) with sawdust or stones, massage couches.
The Japanese-style sauna is strikingly different not only from the usual Russian bath, but also from the Finnish sauna and Turkish hammam. A visit to a Japanese bath is an unhurried ceremony, in which a person goes through several stages in a certain sequence on the way to achieving harmony of body and spirit. Each stage has its own significance, therefore, adherence to the sequence is extremely important for obtaining the maximum health effect.Stages are two main types of procedures, interspersed with rest on a couch and massage.
The bath ritual ends with a classic Japanese tea party.
For the Japanese bath is characterized by two types of basic devices - Furaco and Ofuro. These elements can be a separate part of the bath, and be included. If you build a Japanese bath with your own hands, then for a start it is quite possible to do with one type of font. But in specialized spas, they always go one after the other.
The complex of procedures in the Japanese bath begins with immersion in a round barrel with a diameter of about one and a half meters. Such a barrel is traditionally called “furaco”, but in some regions of Japan it is preferred to call it “ofuro” (after the name of the rectangular font).
The height of the barrel varies from 80 to 130 cm, the water in it warms up to 45 degrees. The round font is equipped outside with comfortable steps for lifting, and inside - with benches around the perimeter of the barrel. The heating system is a furnace located under the bottom or side of the inside of the barrel. In the variant of internal heating, the furnace is separated from the benches by a wooden grid.
The barrel is designed for several people, so the procedure for one person is comfortable enough to sit in a reclining font. This procedure provides a beneficial healing effect, which opens the pores, removes toxins from the body, and stimulates metabolic processes. Furaco also serves as a means of preventing cardiovascular diseases and problems in the urogenital system.
However, for the same reason, furaco may have a number of contraindications for health.
Therefore, if you decide to visit a Japanese bath for the first time, it is best to get recommendations for use from your doctor beforehand.
The second element of the Japanese bath is a rectangular wooden box ofuro, filled with hot sawdust, less often - river pebbles. After the completion of water procedures, and, if necessary, and rest on the couch, the human body is immersed in hot sawdust to the very neck.
Sawdust in ofuro is taken necessarily certain wood (oak, cedar, linden) and soaked with essential oils, extracts of herbs and roots. The same furnace, as in furaco, heats up sawdust and pebbles up to 50-60 degrees, thanks to which the human body warms up and is nourished by the beneficial fumes of oils and plants.The length of ofuro is made under the height of a tall person (about 2 m), the width is arbitrary and quite comfortable even for obese people. Bath height may be different. As a rule, these are deep containers containing 45-50 kg of sawdust.
The time spent in ofuro is a maximum of 30 minutes. This period is enough for the heated body to finally clean the pores. Sweating in hot sawdust increases, and the slags, along with then go out and are absorbed into the raw materials. Sawdust at the same time serve as a natural scrub for the skin, and essential oils soothe the nervous system, stimulate metabolic processes in the body. No wonder Ofuro bath is considered in Japan as one of the main means for natural weight loss and rejuvenation.
Another bath-box ofuro is usually filled with river pebbles. The heating system and the dimensions of the font completely repeat the previous version. A man lays his back on heated stones, stretching the spine as much as possible.
The procedure has a beneficial effect on the musculoskeletal system, as well as stimulates blood flow to muscle tissues.
In the prone position, the heated stones are laid out to the patient along the spine - this is an element of Japanese stone massage.Stone (from the word stone) massage began to practice Japanese monks many centuries ago. Masters-bathmakers in Japan claim that the stones selected for massage have not only a therapeutic effect, but also an energy sense. Japanese massage in its healing qualities takes a worthy place in the piggy bank of world traditional medicine.
In some spas in Japan can be found ofuro with volcanic ash.
Ash is considered an excellent cosmetic raw material of natural origin.
Plunging into the culture of Japan and its bathing traditions, you are sure to meet the word "santo". This is a type of bath, but from a slightly different category than furaco and ofuro.
Sento is a public bath in our understanding, having colorful national features. Outwardly, Sento resembles a Japanese temple, inside of which there is a pool with hot water. The room is divided into two parts - the male and female half, decorated with national paintings, hieroglyphs, paintings of Japanese volcanoes, waterfalls, cherry blossoms. In the female half there are many mirrors, there are also changing tables for mothers with babies.
The water in the pool is heated to 50-55 ° C, so you can stay in it for no more than 10-15 minutes.
The capacity of the bath-pool can be different - from several people to hundreds.
Public baths require thorough disinfection of the premises, and especially of the common fonts. For this purpose, a toilet room is provided in the santo, where visitors must take a douche with detergents. Sento is equipped with locker rooms where clothes and things are stored, there are vending machines with ice cream or juices. Here you can also buy bath stuff: washcloths, soap, shampoos, towels and bath slippers.
In the relaxation room you can relax on the couch after a hot bath, as well as order tea. Often the rooms are equipped with Japanese bonsai gardens, aquariums, receivers with calm music.
Currently, sento is often a continuation or main part of spas where you can get the services of massage therapists and cosmetologists.
In the construction of Japanese baths, as well as Russian, use natural materials, the bulk of which is wood. For ofuro and furaco, preference is given to cedar or oak.This type of wood is the most durable, besides has healing properties. Conifers (larch or pine) are used in more economical options, but it should be borne in mind that at high temperatures, coniferous wood will produce resin. Wooden coatings in the bath are treated with antiseptic, it increases their service life.
In the bath excluded any artificial materials, for example, the use of plastic for wall decoration. When heated, plastic coatings will deform and also release toxins.
Natural stones are used for the decor of the room. They can lay out the floor in the rest room, decorate the Japanese garden - bonsai.
The exception is sento, where the floor and pool are most often tiled with ceramic tiles, and the walls can be decorated with mirrors.
When purchasing or independently making fonts for a Japanese bath, it should be borne in mind that wooden containers alone will not be enough.
The main element included in the package of any bath is the stove. Bath stoves are made of high quality stainless steel.If the model is intended for immersion in a barrel of furaco, it must certainly be sealed. Furnaces for furaco and ofuro can be either traditional - wood or modern gas or electric.
The wires of the electric oven should be well insulated, and the switches should be brought to the waiting room, outside the wet room.
The package includes furaco barrels:
- a thermometer to control the temperature of the water to avoid burns and heat stroke;
- steps for lifting into the barrel;
- perimeter seats inside the tank;
- grill enclosing the internal oven;
- drain device for water;
- a lid that saves heat during idle times and protects against debris if the barrel is located in the open air.
In modern models offered by manufacturers, additional items are often included in the package: electropumps, hoses, water filtration devices, decorative hanging tables for drinks.
How to choose and make?
As with any beautification of a house or a personal plot, the embodiment of the idea of a bath begins with design. Firstly it is necessary to determine the location and size. There are several options, each of which finds its followers and is successfully implemented in practice:
- bath room, attached to the house;
- independent bath structure;
- a separate barrel of furaco on the plot under a shed or in the barbecue area.
Based on these aspects, the parameters of the bath are calculated, the approximate dimensions of the objects, and the amount of materials needed are determined.
Manufacturing tanks for the Japanese bath - it is quite troublesome. If you do not have certain carpentry skills, it is better to purchase finished products in a specialty store or order from suppliers. This will save time and labor, and also guarantees quality. This is especially true of the volumetric barrel of furaco, which must be airtight.
If the plot area allows, then the best option would be a separate building for the bath. For fire safety purposes, it should be located at some distance from the house and other outbuildings. However, subject to all rules and regulations, it is quite possible to attach a bath to the garage, the first floor of the house.
In some cases, under the ofuro allocate space already available in the house.
The necessary structure of the future bath complex is also included in the draft bath structure. So, depending on the preferences, the bath may suggest a washing room with a shower cabin, a waiting room (changing room), a rest room for tea parties and get-togethers with guests, a veranda.
For a separate structure, it is necessary to think over the water supply system, water drainage (sewage system, space for a septic tank), and lighting. The ventilation system is one of the most important elements of the bath project. The comfort in the room, the level of humidity, which affects both the quality of bath procedures for a person and the safety of wood materials, depends on its proper operation.
The construction of the bath complex goes through several standard stages:
- foundation laying;
- decoration of the room.
The main branch of the Japanese bath is a room under the ofuro and furaco. If the area of the future construction is limited, then the room under the font is calculated taking into account only the volume of the baths, the convenience of approaching them. It is imperative to allocate space under the dressing room, where you can remove clothes and leave shoes.
Construction should start with laying the foundation.By the way, it is necessary even if the furaco barrel is installed under the open sky. Wood containers with water, accommodating several people, weigh a lot, and therefore you need to make a stable base for them. The foundation for a bath can be tape or pile. In the case of choosing a tape base for the entire building, a separate monolithic foundation should be poured over the site of installation of the water barrel. To do this, a hole is pulled out at the chosen place, a “cushion” of sand and gravel is laid, reinforced with a metal frame and filled with concrete.
For the construction of walls and roof truss system using high-quality wood, treated with antiseptics. It is worth noting that traditional Japanese baths are built from cedar and oak, which is 300-500 years old. However, in our conditions, this luxury may not be affordable for everyone. Noble oak wood can be replaced by a timber or galvanized log of pine or larch. The main thing that the material was without rot and wormholes.
The roof of a free-standing bath can be single or dual. If you plan to attach a veranda to the bath, then at the initial stage it is more reasonable to plan a common roof right away. This will significantly reduce the cost of roofing material and labor costs.Roofing material can be any, but for the bath it is most advantageous to choose an economical version of metal tile or galvanized corrugated flooring. In addition to inexpensive prices and fire safety, these materials are offered in a wide color range that can make a sauna house a true decoration of landscape design.
For the internal decoration of the bath using only natural materials, mainly of wood origin. Well keeps warm and beautiful lining:
- Linden - durable material with a pinkish structure and a pleasant aroma;
- alder - wood is resistant to heat, avoids burns, has a reddish tint;
- Larch - a relatively inexpensive option with high performance properties.
Experts do not recommend to choose clapboard made of birch and aspen for the bath, as this wood is unstable to moisture and will quickly fail. Conifers are practically not used in the interior decoration of the bath because of the increased release of the resin when heated. The most expensive, but also respectable finish are cedar and oak.
However, their shortcomings include the rapidly disappearing aroma of cedar and too much weight of oak material.
In order to create the atmosphere of a Japanese bath, one should adhere to certain rules and customs, without which Furaco would be just a barrel with hot water. Taking a hot bath is designed to relax the body, relieve muscle tension and stress, help the body get rid of toxins. Other cleansing procedures, the use of soap and shampoos are excluded from the font. Add aromatic oils, dry herbs and natural salts to water.
Before the dive you should definitely take a shower, and after that - relax on the couch, allow the body to get used to the temperature difference, calm the heartbeat. Reception of water procedures and a bath with hot sawdust takes no more than 10-15 minutes for a trained person. Enter the rhythm should be gradually, starting from the session in 5 minutes. It is not prohibited to dive every day.
It is necessary to monitor the temperature of heating water - it should not be heated above 45 degrees, and the water level should not exceed the region of the human heart.
Beautiful examples and options
For those who do not want to design a bath in the classic Japanese style and are mainly interested in the very therapeutic process, you can consider options for creating ofuro and furaco from scrap materials. Having a creative streak and a little imagination, you will have a completely budget complex of wellness treatments at your dacha.
The font can be a decorated old bath, at the bottom of which a stainless steel stove is installed. A rectangular box for ofuro and a summer shower can be installed directly on the street in an open area or terrace.
Barrel furaco will be perfectly used next to the barbecue area. In this version, hanging out with friends will be even more interesting. By the way, furaco in the open air can be used even in frosty winter, dipping into a barrel like a hot natural spring.
In some Europeanized versions, there are models of furaco, where a wooden barrel is replaced with a cast-iron tub, which can be decorated with large stones, stylized to be fabulous antiquity.
You can learn how to install the bathtub by watching the video below.