The bath is the main centerpiece for any Japanese home, so much like the fireplace for any American. It provides warmth and a good sense of family bonding aside from the cleanliness it brings. For most people living in Tokyo, especially since floor space is a big commodity, there are those who are privileged enough to have at least a bath in their home while most people go to bathhouses. Japanese bathroom design is an influence of today’s trends.
The design is comprised of both modern and simple designs, whether the old houses in Kyoto have large, spacious baths while with slatted floorboards to drain the water and a tub mainly of seasoned wood. Other Japanese bathrooms can be as compact, emphasizing the need to conserve space as everything can be done in a tiny 2 meter-square bathroom space. The main idea of the design is either uniform or diversified, where it can be just stainless steel, tile or wood.
Towel racks and hooks are almost unheard of for many, but often an integral part when it comes to easy access to the nearest towel after dipping in near scalding water. Shelves are more popular as means for storage, even for some clothes like pajamas or robes aside from towels when it comes to contemporary design.
Showers and showerheads are not always introduced, since they use pails to carry water and washing themselves. Though a variety of compact showerheads with heaters have become a major part of the everyday Japanese and to conserve electricity instead of filling up a tub full of water. And the use of faucets is common as well to fill a pail of water.
When using toilets, the traditional type is actually sitting down on the floor while doing their, well, business and most are made with ceramic nowadays. Regular toilets, ranging from various functions like the one introduced in a local company that has everything a woman needs as well as an auto flush feature.
A lack of ambient design is very common with most Japanese bathroom design, as they prefer to have a sense of harmony, the way they need to relax without reminding them of their jobs. Although most designers also introduced some modern hardware like an LCD screen to watch while dipping in hot water or simple pictures, they would use any space to their advantage without being too overbearing.