But how can you do this when there just isn’t enough space for a standard bath?

While a shower is great for getting you awake and sparkling for the working day, or for a quick freshen-up before a night on the town, it’s hard to beat the therapeutic value of a nice long soak.

In Japan, the daily bath is an essential ritual that cleanses not only the body but the mind. Given space is at a premium in crowded Japan, most homes are much smaller than their European counterparts and what the bath lacks in length it makes up for in depth, ensuring that when you sit in it the water reaches up to your chin.

While the Japanese tradition involves using a shower first and then simply immersing yourself in the hot, clean water for relaxation, in the West many homeowners are installing these baths as a space-saving alternative to the shower.

There are two main varieties – the timber, free-standing tub or the acrylic bath which is either sunk directly into the floor or, if this is impractical, built into a platform. Both are now available from selected suppliers in Australia.

To reproduce the Japanese experience, your bathroom should have large windows, inviting the natural world to become part of the ritual. You should also have large wooden ladles to splash the water over the parts of your body the bath does not reach.

The short but deep Japanese bath does not require any more water than its Western equivalent, and will fit more easily into a small bathroom.

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