Business: Solid Gold Tub

But there's a rub

Once upon a time, a savvy Japanese hotelman named Hideki Yokoi came up with the ultimate gimmick. He spent $300,000 for a phoenix-shaped, 22-karat, solid gold bathtub, and installed it 14 years ago in the basement of his Funabara resort hotel about 100 miles south of Tokyo. A bit larger than normal, the tub holds a cramped two, and Yokoi was able to charge honeymooners and Very Good Friends $2.80 apiece for a five-minute soak that he claimed would prolong their lives for at least one year. For $4, a...

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