Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bento Friday: My Neighbor Totoro Tiny Bento with Catbus

TGIF! It’s our favorite day of a week, Bento Friday.

Today’s bento features My Neighbor Totoro’s Big Totoro! (+ a dustbunny)

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This bento was made by a talented Bento artist Gurea.

Not only it looks adorable, there is one more surprise. It’s a very small bento. How small? Compare it with a keitai (Japanese cellphones)

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The bento box is called a Mobile Bento, not because you can carry it around, but it’s about the same size as a mobile phone.

Hrere’s another Totoro bento, featuring Catbus!
Sadly, this bento was just a prototype and didn’t get used outdoor.

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Photo: gurea

Don’t like rice so much? How about bread.

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Have a nice weekend!

Mobile Suit Gundam Blu-ray Memorial Box Released!

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The original Mobile Suit Gundam TV series is now available in Blu-ray format!
Mobile Suit Gundam Blu-ray Memorial Box was released this week. It includes fully remastered complete episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam, plus 10 great bonuses for first edition only. Here’s what’s in the set:

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1) Scenario Plot of Episode 1 “Gundam Rising (Gundam Daichi ni Tatsu)”
2) Storyboards of Episode 1 (plus the intro animation, ending animation, and 15-seconds ad spot animation)
3) The original script of Episode 1
4) A prototype proposal for “Space Fighter Team Gun Boy” (this is an early version of what later became Gundam)
5) A prototype proposal for “Mobile Steel Man Gunboi”
6) Merchandise Proposal
7) Cassette Cover Art Cards
8) 124-pg of MEMORIAL ALBUM of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 1979-1980
9) HISTORICAL MAETRIALS OF MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM
10) Special Disc Sleeve

Also, check out these beautiful box covers designed by Toshihiro Kawamoto and Iwao Teraoka. Inner jackets are illustrated by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the character designer, and Kunio Okawara, the mechanic designer of the original Gundam.

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You can order Mobile Suit Gundam Blu-ray Memorial Box through Rinkya Store for $335.00 (with all Rinkya fees before international shipping)! 

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Want more Gundam collectibles?
Browse all listings of Gundam on YJ Auction via Rinkya!

In memory of Wasabichan – Japan’s Cutest Kitten Has Passed Away

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Wasabichan, Japan’s most beloved kitten on Twitter has passed away on August 27th, 18:30 in Japan time. We’ve been covering Wasabichan’s story since July, when she appeared on internet in her adorable knitted mushroom suit and her tarako suit.

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These suits were made to hold her down during the tube feeding, as she was not able to swallow her food due to the severe injuries in her throat and jaws. The suits keep her from struggling, as any movements during the tube feeding could injure her stomach or throats.

@jessiepon rescued Wasabichan on June 2nd, 2013.
I truly admire the owner’s dedication for the past three months. It’s all because of her dedication, Wasabichan was able to live, even though it was only for a short period of time, and know what it’s like to be loved and cared by someone. Wasabichan also had a great companion, the golden retriever Ponchan, who cared for Wasabichan and played with her, which was what every kitten needs.

I’m going to post the last photos of Wasabichan from @jessiepon’s account.

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Aug 13, 2013

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Aug 14, 2013

Wasabichan got wet from being around Ponchan when she was taking a shower! Keeping warm in the blanket.

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Aug 15, 2013

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Aug 16, 2013

With Wasabichan’s favorite Granny. (Grandma is the one who makes all her knitted outfits)

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Aug 17, 2013

Yuko Higuchi (@nekonoborisu), a good friend of @jessiepon and a professional illustrator/painter, visited Wasabichan. Yuko has drawn many pieces of artwork based on Wasabichan.

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Aug 18, 2013

Wasabichan slowly gained strength back and her weight increased to 1040 grams at this point. When she was first found, she was malnutritioned and weighed only 210 grams.

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Aug 19, 2013

Though with difficulty, Wasabichan kept trying to practice eating food on her own. She was able to swallow a dried cat food after many practices.

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Aug 20, 2013

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Aug 23, 2013

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Aug 24, 2013

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Aug 24, 2013

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Aug 24, 2013

Wasabichan is getting sleepy from chasing Ponchan. According to the owner, Wasabichan is always the one who chases, and she’s never been chased by Ponchan. What a kind friend!

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Aug 25, 2013

Wasabichan’s weight has increased to 1150 grams. Everything seemed like getting better.

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Aug 26, 2013

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Aug 26, 2013

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Aug 27, 2013

On August 26th, Wasabichan was feeling ill and threw up a few times. She received a shot from the vet to prevent nausea. On the next day, August 27th, her condition fell critical and was immediately hospitalized.

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Aug 27, 2013

Later that night, around 6:30 in the evening, Wasabichan has passed away.
@jessiepon delivered the message to her followers on Twitter that night.

“Wasabi has passed away around 18:30. She did not give up until her last moment. Thank you for all the kind messages and support you’ve been giving us.”

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The last tweet has been retweeted by more than thirty thousand people.
On Twitter, you can see hundreds of messages and comments from Wasabichan’s fans grieving the loss.

We will all miss you. Rest in peace Wasabichan.

See our previous posts on Wasabichan to see the rest of the earlier photos.

SUPER RARE! Popy Large-scale Big Falcon Base for Voltes V

A great find for Popy toys and Voltes V collectors!

Popy Large-scale Otorijima Big Falcon Base for Voltes V

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(Voltes V on the left is not included in the set)

This is a SUPER RARE toy released from Popy. You rarely see this on eBay or Yahoo Japan Auction. It is even more difficult to find than Popynica Chogokin Big Falcon Base, which is already a rare item itself.
The five docks installed in this base can store Popy’s Volt Machines (sold separately), which makes it a neat way to display your Voltes V collection.

Since the auction photos don’t really show how it works, I pulled some photos from an external site to show what the inside looks like (please note this is not the same item as the one listed on the auction right now). These are photos taken by a collector from Fun to Toy.

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You can see that it’s built almost like a parking lot for machines…

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Inside the dock is decorated with cardboard, printed with interior patterns.

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There aren’t many gimmicks to the base, but having an option to be able to dock individual Volt Machines in compartments makes it an attractive item to collectors.

Don’t miss this chance to add this to your collection! We’ve got 5 more days to bid!
Bid on Popy Large-scale Otorijima Big Falcon Base for Voltes V
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Also, check out Popynica Chogokin Big Falcon Base too. It’s more commonly seen on auctions than the one mentioned above, but still a very nice, highly collectible toy.

Popynica Chogokin Otorijima Big Falcon Base

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Good luck bidding!
Not finding items you want?
Browse more listings on vintage toys on Yahoo Japan Auction via Rinkya.

Sylvanian Families in Japanese Fundoshi Undergarments Are Somehow Extremely Fitting

Sylvanian Families is a line of animal figures and dollhouses originally sold by Epoch in 1980’s. Later it was distributed and became widely popular worldwide. I’m sure you’ve seen the adorable critters made of flocked plastic living in traditional western-style housings.

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Photo Source: Amazon Japan

They are such adorable creatures!
However, there’s been some odd trend around Japanese Twitter community recently.
Here are cute Silvanian Families… 

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Photo Source: Sylvanian Families 

Add Japanese “fundoshi,” a traditional Japanese undergarment…

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“Let’s Partyyyyyyyy!”

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Photo Source: Wikipedia

By just adding a single piece of garment, Sylvanian Families suddenly turn into exciting (possibly drunken) Japanese matsuri (festival) participants. They give us totally different impressions than when they are in their usual, western-tyle outfits that we are all familiar with.

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“Is this where the party’s going on?”

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Bunny Cop: “Where is the party!?”

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“Everyone here? Let’s wait for the village chief and start the fundoshi festival!”

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 Beavers: “Can’t hear your voice! Louder!”
“Yaaaaay!”

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“My underwear’s ripped! I have too much energy.”

(And a very drunk mole passed out on the sidewalk…)

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“My family only has one grown man who can participate in the matsuri. Good luck Dad!”

 

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Duck Mom: “Wh…who are you? Why are you in my house!?”
Ducklings: “Whoa… you guys are so cool!”

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“Heave-ho! Heave-ho!”

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“You two should get ready after the supper too!”

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Beaver: “Are you ready for matsuri?”
“Yeah!”

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“Fundoshi matsuri is all over Twitter!”

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“Fundoshi is…so romantic.”
“Hahaha, you just found that out?”

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“Here comes the mikoshi!”
“Heave-ho! Heave-ho!”

*Mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine that four selected men (or women sometimes) carry to parade around the town during a matsuri.

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 “Keep it up guys!”

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“Great job, gentlemen!”

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Photo Source: @mee0121 Twitter

“Let’s celebrate! Eat! Drink!”

Meanwhile…the mole family is completely wasted.

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Photo Source: @kusomushimogura Twitter

“See what I can do! Hahaha”
“Hey! Keep your undies on!”

They are having so much fun! I’d never thoguht Sylvanian Families would look so good in fundoshi, but apparently they do. To follow all photos of fundoshi matsuri, check out the hashtag #ふんどし祭り.

Are you now interested in owning a Sylvanian Family?
Check out Yahoo Japan Auction via Rinkya for all listings of Sylvanian Families!
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All Photos are from NAVAR matome, unless otherwise credited.

Bento Friday: Winnie-the-Pooh Tigger 3D Bento

 

TGIF! It’s Bento Friday!
Today’s bento is Winnie-the-Pooh’s Tigger.
It’s actually not technically a bento because it’s meant to be eaten at home…Why?
Because it looks like this.

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It’s an adorable Tigger bento in 3D! You can’t put a lid on this lunch box, so naturally, it’s called “Ouchiben,” meaning hosue (ouchi) bento (ben). The green lettuce around Tigger makes it look like he’s playing in the grass or a forest! It’s so cute and totally made my day.

Browse all bento supplies on Yahoo Japan Auction.

Have a nice weekend!

Attack on Titan Colossal Titan Reversible T-shirt

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You can be a Colossal Titan with this Attack on Titan t-shirt from Cospa!
There’s been many Attack on Titan t-shirts, but this one is full of playful ideas that no one’s ever thought of before.

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It looks like an ordinary t-shirt, but when you flip it inside out…and put it on your head…

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Why would anyone wear a shirt like that? Because it’s fun!

When you look close at the front of the shirt, there’s a tiny silhouette of Jean. A little detail like this makes a fan giggle.

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It’s sold out on many online English stores, but we can order them directly from Cospa Japan, on demand! It will be $55.00 including all Rinkya fees, except for international shipping cost. This item is for preorder, so it will be shipped in late September, 2013.

To order this item, request an order from your Rinkya Store formbuy-now-button

 

Make sure to specify size (available in XS/S/M/L/XL) in the description section. For size chart, check Cospa’s website.

Finding Volkswagen Minibus Toasters on Yahoo Japan Auction

Volkswagen Minibus Toasters have appeared in many English sites and blogs since VW Japan  started giving them out as lottery prizes for their showroom visitors. They are so cute, and of course exclusive to Japan.
This toaster is not only designed after VW’s long-loved Minibus, but it also burns VW logo on your toasts when they are done!

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Here are some photos from TAXI.

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They are available in two colors, and only 5,000 of them were made in total.
On ebay, they are generally listed around the price range of $380-$600.
On Yahoo Japan Auction, an used one could sometimes be found under 10,000 yen, if you are lucky, but typically sold around 25,000 yen. Here is a record of won prices on Yahoo Japan Auction from January – February, 2013.

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Due to small quantity, you may not always find the listings you like, but keep checking on Volkswagen Minibus Toasters using this link with preset keywords on Rinkya! Save searches so you can view new auction listings at any given time!

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Sailor Moon Eyeliners to be Released in September!

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Premium Bandai and Creer Beaute’s new products from Sailor Moon cosmetic line!
From September 26th, a set of Sailor Moon-themed eyeliners will be available online and various drug stores in Japan. The new lineup includes two liquid eyeliners, one pencil eyeliner, and two colored liquid lamé liners.

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From left, Star Power Prism Liquid Eyeliner Black, Liquid Eyeliner Brown, Pencil Eyeliner White, Colored Liquid Eyeliner Blue, and Colored Liquid Eyeliner Red. Preorders on any of them can be made through your Rinkya Store Order Form! Let’s check them out in details.

Star Power Prism Liquid Eyeliner Black and Brown

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The liquid eyeliners come in black and brown. On the body it features silhouette of Luna the cat. It’s waterproof but is also easy to remove when washed with warm water.

Preorder Star Prism Power Liquid Eyeliner Black buy-now-button
Preorder Star Prism Power Liquid Eyeliner Brownbuy-now-button

 

These two items are $35.00 each, including all Rinkya fees except the cost of international shipping. 

Star Power Prism Cream Pencil Eyeliner White

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This item is the only pencil eyeliner being released this time. It gives a nice, pearly white shine like diamonds with an easy-to-control, soft, crayon-like tip.
Preorder Star Power Prism Cream Pencil Eyeliner White buy-now-button

 

This item is $32.00 including all Rinkya fees, except the cost for International Shipping.

 

Star Power Prism Colored Liquid Lamé Eyeliners Blue and Red

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Featuring Sailor Mercury and Mars, these colored liquid eyeliners contain glitters for extra kawaii! Like the black and brown eyeliners, they are easy to wash off with warm water.

Preorder Star Power Prism Liquid Lamé Eyeliner Blue buy-now-button
Preorder Star Power PRism Liquid Lamé Eyeliner Red buy-now-button

These two items are $35.00 each, including all Rinkya fees except the cost of international shipping. 

You can even combine multiple eyeliners to create truly attractive looks! Here is an example of suggested use. For cool and fresh looks….Combine Black Liquid EyelinerBlue Liquid Lamé Eyeliner, and White Pencil Eyeliner.

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For warm, elegant looks….Combine Brown Liquid EyelinerRed Liquid Lamé Eyeliner, and White Pencil Eyeliner.

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How cute! With these makeups, you can transform into a beautiful Sailor Senshi too!

Make sure you check out previous Sailor Moon items from Premium Bandai on our blog if you haven’t.

Animals Love Hot Springs in Japan

Japan has some of the most amazing, beautiful hot springs in the world. Naturally, Japanese people love taking baths, and so do some animals!
Here is a collection of photos capturing adorable animals soaking in onsen (hot springs).

1) Jigokudani Yaen Park In Nagano Prefecture is known for attracting monkeys that reside in the area. Everyone looks so happy taking soaks!

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2) Hakodate Botanical Garden in Hokkaido is home for many Nihonzaru, or Japanese mascaques. Visitors can view these monkeys enjoy hot springs from December to May every year. Some of the monkeys lose hair from taking baths all the time, but it regrows when weather gets warmer.

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3) Japan Racing Association (JRA) Hakodate Headquarter in Hokkaido is the only facility ran by JRA offering hot springs for racehorses. Here, horses can relax after a long day of racing, and also it attracts many horses that seek treatment for joint inflammation and injuries. Just like humans!

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4) Izu Shaboten Park in Shizuoka Prefecture attracts my capybaras looking for relaxation in hot springs. Capybaras are animals that just love

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It’s said that there are about 16 spots in Japan you can regularly spot capybaras in hot springs. This park is one of them!

5) Semi Onsen in Iwate Prefecture is a hot spring facility and ryokan for humans, but they also offer a tub specially made for dogs and cats.

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6) Takaragawa Onsen in Gunma has a long history of sharing hot springs with bears in this area. It used to be a place where visitors get to actually hang out with bears in the hot springs, but since Japan’s animal control regulations were introduced, the facility no longer allows bears to take baths freely near humans. These are some old photos from back in the day when it was okay to do so.

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7) Hells of Beppu (Yamajigoku) in Oita Prefecture uses its warm water from hot spring to provide an optimal habitat for a hippopotamus called “Shohei-kun.”

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Due to the steam from hot springs, this area stays relatively warm all year long, making it possible to have elephants, flamingos, and other animals that usually live in warmer countries.

8) Nagasaki Bio Park is another spot you can watch Capybaras taking baths in hot springs during winter (December to February). They even have their own showers! Sometimes the staff would throw in some yuzu citrus and pomelo fruits to make it even more relaxing. It’s like capybara spa!

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9) Yamazaki Ryokan, Iwama Onsen in Ishikawa Prefecture is sort of a hidden spot. It is a small, classic Japanese inn not too well known for tourists and only opens for summer to autumn. They offer nice reclusive hot springs for human visitors. Also, using the overflown water from the main hot spring, they provide a special hot tub for dogs.

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A big old sign states “Onsen Only for Dogs”

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This is a dog that regularly shows up in this special dog spa. So cute with the towel on her head!

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According to the dog’s owner, she sometimes almost fall asleep while soaking in this bath. How adorable!

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Just from seeing these photos, now I want to go to Japanese onsen too! Japanese people care a great deal about bath culture. You can see their attention even in regular bath tubs installed in houses (a lot of the times the bath tubs come with automatic devices to reheat/keep temperature of water for hours), and a lot of the time family members share bath water, so when one person is done, the next person can use the same water. You can even get a special pipe that pulls the bath water into washing machines, so you can reuse the water for cleaning clothes. They don’t waste it! As you can see, soaking in hot tubs is a significant part of Japanese life ^_^