Save Water; Shower Japanese Style

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A Japanese shower area with a bucket, stool and modern shower head.

Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images

For LifeEdited, Graham describes his needs in the bath:

The apartment needs to have a toilet, a sink, a shower, and perhaps a steam room. The setup should look great, be space efficient, conserve water and energy, and have low embodied energy. Must have audio privacy.

But why are our baths the way they are? We look at other bath ideas.

Sami made a splash with his post on Navy showers, where you get yourself wet all over, as soon as you turn the shower on, and then turn it off while you soap up before, finally, rinsing off. It saves lots of water, but reminded me of my time in Japan, using their wonderful public baths. Everyone talks about the bathing part, but the showering is equally interesting.

To clean yourself before you got into the bath water, you did not use a conventional shower, but sit on a stool with a wooden bucket and ladle, soap and a sponge, and in the more modern showers, a hand shower that was is used when needed for rinsing and never left on to run into the drain. Sitting while you shower is safer and I found a lot more relaxing; having no water running meant that I could take as long as I wanted.

Since some Japanese were nervous about sharing a tub with a westerner, I would do a very careful and extended job of it and was squeaky clean by the time I got into the tub, yet probably used less water than any shower I have had in North America.