Friday 8 August 2008

How to take a bath - part two

Since yesterday's post generated some questions about out bath routine, I though I would add some more pictures to try and make it a bit clearer. Back in the UK our bathroom has the bath/shower, sink and toilet all in one room. Here, the bathroom is just that, it is one contained room specifically for showering and sitting in the tub. The sink in in the area where I am taking this shot from, along with the washing machine - that is pretty standard to have the washing machine close to the bathroom, makes sense if you ask me, take off dirty clothes, pop into machine!

So, next to the bath tub is the shelf with a tap, bowl, shampoo etc. So you get naked and go into the bathroom and shut the door, fill the bowl with soapy water and wash yourself down, use the shower to rinse off. If you are in a public bath or onsen (hot-spring) you turn the bowl over and rinse down the stool when you have finished to show that you have finished there.
The rectangular thing on the floor,just to the left of the stool, is where all the water drains to and the floor is cleverly designed so that the water drains away quickly and leaves the floor virtually dry - clever stuff! Oh, yes, that is a squigy on the floor too, we use it to scrap the walls to help prevent mold, you wouldn't believe how fast the bathroom mold grows in  Japan, although this place is nothing like the last place we lived in.
Then, when you have finished having a soak in the bath, jump out and put the lids on, this bath had two had pieces for a lid, our old apartment had a roll on lid
as demonstrated by baby-ebi

I don't think the new baths pose this problem but one of my students, back in the days when I was teaching, was covered in scars. As a toddler she had climbed onto the top of the bath cover, which gave way and tipped her into scalding hot water, she was covered in 70% burns and was hospitalised for nearly 6 months having to have grafts. As, I say her accident happened in an old Japanese farmhouse and I don't think our bath will actually heat the water that hot, there is of course the fear of a toddler or small child drowning in the full bath.

I hope that makes it all a bit clearer!
We have my cousin coming today for a few days and then we are off to the in-laws for a few days so the posts will be a bit thin on the ground for a week or so. I will be checking in though, so feel free to leave a comment :o)


  1. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I'm not sure if you can do it there, but it might be possible to regulate how hot the water gets. I know we had to do it in our first home, because the water got dangerously hot and I had toddlers myself back then! Ask around and see if it can be done, then it will be one less thing to worry about.

  3. love this post... I am a homestay mum to japanese students... I know about their baths ( i did study japanese a long time ago at high school) - now I know why they might miss it a bit...

    and why they take so long in the bathroom here.. and why they splash so much water around.... and the water goes on and off and on... and I could go on and on... hee hee


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