While it’s not uncommon to think of a bathroom space in the home as a place that is visited only briefly, the Japanese have a different take on this room. In Japanese culture, a bathroom is a space for rest and rejuvenation as much as it is for cleanliness. Because it is a space that is lingered in, a Japanese-style bathroom is built for enjoying, and not simply efficiency. One of the most popular recent imports when creating a Japanese bathroom is the incorporation of a small soaking tub. These are placed in bathrooms with the sole purpose of relaxing a tired body and giving you time to collect your thoughts and inspirations. Their size indicates that they are not for bathing for hygiene, but for peaceful meditation and calm.
A Japanese-style bathroom has a clear focus on relaxation and hygiene. It is important to understand that while these two concepts go together in this space, the Japanese believe in keeping them separated. In an authentic Japanese bathroom the place you relax will always be partitioned off in some form from the place you achieve cleanliness and maintain hygiene. Because the bathtubs are viewed as a place to soak, they are not primarily used as a place for bathing or cleanliness, and won’t be found in large sizes like in many households today. Additionally, the toilet will always be found separate from a soaking tub. In many cases, a door or separate small space is created singularly for the toilet. If it’s not possible to craft a separate room for the toilet in your given bathroom space, a DIY partition will suffice. A paper partition or hanging curtain will act as a barrier between the desire to relax and the necessity of hygiene.