Ofuro or furo (traditional Japanese bath) is a really deep seated tradition in Japan that has carried on until today. The Japanese routine entails showering at night right before going to bed. After a shower, Japanese people get into a bathtub full of really hot water (approximately 45 ºC / 110 ºF) for a few minutes. They say it’s a very healthy habit to take a bath in such hot water right before bed.
First you have to scrub while sitting on a plastic stool. You don’t use a sponge for scrubbing, but some sort of special “rag”. In order to rinse, you pour water in some sort of vat and then pour it on yourself using some kind of bowl.
After scrubbing yourself clean, you can get into the bathtub (ofuro) to relax.
It reminds me a lot of Ranma
If you travel to Japan and want to enjoy this experience, look for public baths (sento). They are a very common sight in Japan and some of them are very well equipped with ofuro, jacuzzi, sauna, gym, a video room, a cybercafé… all in the same premises. Apparently there are also mixed-sex sento, but those are more complicated to find.