You Must Try This Comfy KOTATSU in Japan!




Japan is a small country but some area like Okinawa gets really hot during summer and some areas like Hokkaido or Tohoku get really cold during winter.


Question: How do Japanese survive cold, harsh winter?

Answer: Use a Kotatsu!



What is a Kotatsu?

Kotatsu is an equipment Japanese use during winter. People sit down and use Kotatsu. It looks like a table with futon blanket.

It contains a heat source and convenient so that it’s widely used in Japan.

Kotatsu has two kinds of heat source: one is electric and the other is charcoal.


The traditional charcoal might be seen in old houses in countryside, while electric ones would be seen in everywhere.

Electric Kotatsu is modern style and safer than charcoal ones. Electric heater is attached to the table top and futon prevents heat to escape. Some places have a square space or pit for legs so that people don’t have to bend legs when sitting down.


Modern Kotatsu with Blue Futon






Attached Electric Heater





Charcoal Kotatsu is traditional style and it uses charcoal instead of electric heater. It is usually used for pit type because it needs to place charcoal inside the pit.


Kotatsu used during Edo Period. It was pretty small.






History of Kotatsu


Japanese already used Kotatsu during Muromachi period (1336-1573). Charcoal was used for cooking and heating and played an important role in dairy life.

Old houses had an Irori, sunken hearth, in the middle of the house. It was used for cooking and heating the house.

During winter, people lit fire to Irori and kept themselves warm. It was Japanese version of fireplace.


Traditional Irori





Features of Kotatsu


It’s very practical to keep your body warm. If, for instance, you use air conditioning, the warm air goes up and your legs would be cold.

Kotatsu, on the other hand, warms up your legs so that you wouldn’t feel cold.

Most people, in fact, have fallen asleep at least once while using Kotatsu. Some fall asleep whenever they use it. It’s that comfortable and keeps you warm.


Makes People Lazy

For some people, being inside Kotatsu is like being in heaven. They don’t want to move and they just want to stay there. They might become lazy to go washroom and even ask someone to bring you tea and snacks.

It’s not everyone, but some people do get lazy indeed.



Have you felt dry when using air conditioning? I always feel dry and I don’t like to use it if possible. Kotatsu doesn’t generate air circulation so that you don’t feel dry. It’s good for your throat and skin!




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