Hyogo: Barrel-shaped Sauna to Boost City’s Profile

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The sake barrel-shaped sauna developed by Shiso-Jirushi Ltd.

SHISO, Hyogo — It’s full steam ahead for a Shiso company’s plan to raise the city’s profile by producing huge saunas shaped like sake barrels and made from locally grown hinoki cypress.

Shiso-Jirushi Ltd., which was established last year, is involved in the development and sale of specialty goods that utilize Shiso’s products and aims to get special requests to use the sauna from camping sites and accommodation facilities.

The inspiration for a barrel-shaped sauna made from local timber came from the city’s notable features. Shiso is said to be the birthplace of sake brewing, and much of the city is covered by forests.

The sauna has a diameter of about 2.9 meters and is about 3 meters tall. The hexagonally shaped interior was designed to resemble a fireside, with a stove in the center surrounded by seats.

The sauna can accommodate up to six adults and reach temperatures of 80 C.

Each sauna costs ¥4.62 million.

“We want to expand our operations and increase Shiso’s name recognition,” said Shota Higuchi, a Shiso-Jirushi representative.