In a traditional Japanese home, the bathwater is shared among family members. This practice perhaps comes from the Japanese tradition of the sento (public bathhouses) or bathing in public hot springs. Though unfamiliar to Westerners, the practice really does make perfect sense. Keep in mind that a shower precedes a Japanese-style bath One never enters the bath dirty regardless of whether at a public bath or home. Sharing bathwater is not only good for the environment, but also makes life easier for everyone involved. Imagine how well your family would sleep if everyone took a bath before bed. There is also something comforting about knowing that everyone has gone to bed calm and soothed.
Interestingly, there is a bathing hierarchy in Japanese homes. If you were a guest, you would always be offered the bath first. Next would be any aging parents or grandparents, and it goes on from there.
Next time you bathe (after showering first, of course), don’t drain the water. The bathwater will remain hot for some time, and your spouse or partner can enjoy their own soak. What is even more of a treat for them is that the bath is already drawn. Ask them what their bathing preferences are regarding lighting, music, among others. Another wonderful idea is to bathe your children after your soak. A quick note on this is to be sure to drain out some of the hot water and add cooler water. This will bring down the temperature. Also, it will dilute your bath products, which is better for a child’s thin, delicate skin. For an added treat for everyone, try playing our Music Playlists in the background.
Something magical happens when we draw baths for others. It’s similar to fixing someone a cup of tea. What we are really doing is giving the ones we care for a chance to pause, breathe, and relax.
To bring this time-honored Japanese wisdom to your home, get started by discovering your perfect soak with our Soak Guide.