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Japanese Bathhouse, Sebastopol, CA

This small, private Japanese bathhouse, located in the picturesque wine country of Sonoma County, CA, is situated in a garden with a koi pond. It includes both a bathing room (furoba) and an informal tearoom (chanoma). The framing is Alaskan yellow cedar, and outside walls are stucco. The building is enclosed by sliding glass doors and yukimi shoji screens which slide both horizontally and vertically. It is surrounded by a veranda (engawa).

Bathing Room with Cedar Soaking Tub (furoba and ofuro)

In the bathing room, there is a Japanese cedar soaking tub commonly known as ofuro, a shower, a toilet hidden by a partition, and a bathroom sink with cabinet. The filler for the soaking tub is a wooden “waterfall” filler fabricated by Sakaguchi-san.  The bathing room is divided from the tearoom by sliding shoji doors.

Informal tearoom (chanoma)

The informal tearoom includes a 4-1/2 tatami-mat floor, low tea table (chabudai) over a horikotatsu or recess in the floor that allows for Western-style sitting, a sink with cabinetry.  The cabinetry to the right of the sink is a built-in “step” shrine or place for special objects with a storage cabinet below. The walls are covered with Japanese mud plaster (juraku), and the ceiling is western red cedar with  yellow cedar framing.