If you're in warm areas, bear with me. Since it's been so cold for the past week, I've decided to write about our "furo" (bath tub).
I think our furo is quite big for our apartment size (apartment size = 60 sq. meters--645.83 sq.feet), I can stretch my legs out without any problem (although I am short, so that may not count??) and very deep (it holds 200 liters(52.83 gallons) of water but I only fill it to 180 liters (47.55 gallons)). In the winter, the bath water is set at 43C (109F), in the summer we bring the water temperature down to 39C(102.2F).
The rules of the furo (or so I was taught), are that you are supposed to wash yourself, rinse off and then go into the furo. The water is for everyone to use, so you should be clean when you go into the furo. After you are done, leave the water in for others to use, and don't pull the plug! (Satoshi has different rules (he just rinses off before going in), so I like to go in before he does...)
To get your body all warmed up, they say that it's best to stay in for at least 20 minutes. Coming from Hawaii, we don't really have bath tubs to soak in. (I grew up taking an occasional bubble bath and mostly showers).
So, when I first moved here, going to an onsen (hot spring) was as Satoshi says "mottainai" (a waste). I would only go into the bath once (right before bed) and only stay in for a couple of minutes, while Satoshi would stay in for hours. (When you go to an onsen you are supposed to go at least three times: once before dinner, once before bed and once in the morning before breakfast).
I think I've made some progress, I usually bring in a magazine (one that can get wet) with me so that I can stay in the tub for at least 30 minutes. :)
The weather people have said that this will probably the coldest winter in 10 years. They researched the winters in the past and it appears that cold winters come around every 10 years (last year we had a relatively "warm" winter).
Keep warm if your in places like I am, and cool if you're somewhere warm!
Have a great week!