A way to stay safe, stay steamed, and stay crazy, all at once!

Staying at home is the safe thing to do these days, so thankfully there are ways to make life within your own walls as pleasant as possible. With our awesome yakitori grilling gadget and recipe for Shakey’s Mojo Potatoes, we’re doing OK handling our food cravings cravings, and we’ve got plenty of free anime to watch online from hit franchises like Sailor Moon and Pokémon.

But even as we find substitutes for a trip to our local pubs and movie theaters, there’s one thing that’s causing our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki a lot of stress in this self-isolation period: he can’t get a sauna steam. As relaxing as the wellness ritual is, he’s playing things safe by avoiding health clubs and day spas during the coronavirus pandemic, but he feels like his skin and mental health are starting to suffer. So when he found out about a way to make his own sauna at home, he had to give it a try.

This ray of sweaty hope is called the Ofuro de Sauna Kasa, which loosely translates to “Bathtub Sauna Umbrella.” Sure enough, at first glance it looks just like an ordinary plastic umbrella.

However, there are a few key differences here. While a normal umbrella is designed to keep the rain off of you, the Ofuro de Sauna Kasa is designed to trap moisture. It only has four ribs (prongs), and when extended, they all curve in the opposite direction from the ones on a normal umbrella. That creates a stable covering which you place across your bathtub.

As the warm water produces steam, the moisture travels up into the enclosure, but there’s no gaps for it to escape, creating a personal-sized sauna within.

As Masanuki ducked his head underneath, he was immediately greeted by the steamy sensation he’d been missing.

The frame is made out of fiberglass to prevent rusting, since the Ofuro de Sauna Kasa is supposed to be wet pretty much whenever it’s in use.

Granted, the view wasn’t much…

…but as long as he closed his eyes, he could convince himself that he was relaxing in a fancy lodge, waiting out the coronavirus crisis in the lap of luxury.

▼ By the way, Masanuki tried replicating the results with a regular umbrella, but just ended up poking himself in the head with the prongs while all of his steam slipped out and floated up to the ceiling.

The Ofuro de Sauna Kasa gives you 35 centimeters (13.8 inches) of space above wherever the corners are touching down, which was enough headroom for the 180-centimeter (5-foot, 11-inch) Masanuki to relax comfortably in his misty paradise.

Though he supposes it would have been even better if his bathtub had a jet bath function, like the one Cecile’s model used.

Still, for 2035 yen (US$19), this is a nice way to get your sauna fix at home, and if you’d like to live at-home life like Masanuki, the Ofuro de Sauna Kasa can be ordered through Cecile’s online shop here.

Now if Masanuki could only find some way to let the whole world watch him sleep in real-time without having to travel and spend the night in a hotel

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]