Used buses in Japan’s Himeji city in Hyogo prefecture will have a second life as moving saunas named Sabus, and they are promising to offer something unique for travellers and locals alike. Amazing renderings show what it will look like once it’s completed, with the shell of the vehicle transformed into a charming wood-burning sauna.
1. Creative thinking
Applying Japanese creative thinking, the local bus operator, Shinki Bus, is transforming old buses into functioning saunas, turning what once used to be a hasty environment into wellness and pure relaxation.
Old buses are being refurbished and will be divided in two parts: a sauna room with wood stove steamers, new benches, and a separate resting space with an office, for travellers who may want to do remote work. The onboard sauna is an excellent way to get around the city and getting a rise to a pool that is going to be set up very soon, along with plans for restroom facilities as well.
“When you press the get-off button, water is sprinkled on the heated sauna stone to generate steam, and hanging leather and seat arrangement. You can enjoy the sauna in the space that makes the best use of the remnants of the route bus“, Sabus states on its website.
2. Coping with a drop in passengers
The company, founded back in the 1920s, has decided to go ahead with this new project since the numbers of passengers riding on its services had dwindles significantly during the pandemic. In addition, Shinki Bus has already created a subsidiary called Ribahsu to market these steam rooms on wheels to the public. In Japanese, Ribahsu is homonymous to “rebirth” and “re-bus.”
The first sauna bus is expected to be complete by February 2022. It will be the first of many by Ribahsu. Should this innovation be successful, Ribahsu will aim to create more repurposed buses like mobile daycare rooms, and mobile shower and bath stations.
Details are still scarce on how travellers will be able to experience the bus and it’s not yet clear how much it will cost to use. However, the company informed that it will likely be available as rental services, especially for customers who have their own parking space or outdoor facilities to accommodate the bus.