kotatsu

Kotatsu with storage space solves the biggest problem with Japan’s awesome heated tables

We now know exactly where we want to spend the entire winter.

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Frozen’s Elsa enjoys a cosy Japanese winter break under the kotatsu

The cold never bothered her anyway! Check out Elsa showing the proper way to enjoy winter in Japan!

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How to make open-air dining in winter awesome: Take the kotatsu outside!

Ditch the dining room table and sit at a Japanese-style one with a heater, like at this ingenious Tokyo restaurant.

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Japanese brand comes out with a comfy-looking kotatsu made for one

Winter is undoubtedly the worst season to be alone in Japan. Soon singles will be starting the annual desperate search for the special someone to spend Christmas with and it’s not hard to see why. Having someone to cuddle up to during the upcoming cold, long months is far preferable to fighting off the chill by yourself.

Of course, not everyone wants to jump into a relationship just for a little extra body heat, and now thanks to one Japanese electronics maker and their kotatsu for one, singles just might be in for the warmest winter yet.

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Winter is coming—Get ready with these amazing cat-themed kotatsu covers, cushions, and hoodies!

Depending on where you are, winters in Japan can be bitterly cold or actually rather temperate, but due to a general lack of insulation, it seems like most Japanese homes are always a little cold. But this general chilliness gave birth to that magical piece of furniture, the kotatsu. Basically a covered table with a heater attached, the kotatsu is often the centerpiece of a Japanese living room and a great way to get in some family time.

And with these new cat-themed kotatsu covers, cushions, and hoodies, it’ll be twice as difficult to pull yourself away from the kotatsu on a chilly winter morning!

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CATastrophe! Mass feline pandemonium ensues after owner strips futon off kotatsu

When a Japanese Twitter user removed the covering from the top of her kotatsu (heated table) for cleaning, she discovered that she had disrupted the peaceful slumber of the thing that was lurking beneath…make that things, and cute things, in fact!

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Net user recreates Japan’s islands and prefectures in this twist on a winter tradition

New Year’s in Japan is a quiet affair. While the holiday period is usually spent with family, enjoying traditional food and activities, there’s one particular pastime that brings the family together in a special way every winter. To indulge in this very Japanese affair, you’ll need two of the items pictured in the image above. Can you guess what they are?

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Not just for humans – dogs love the warmth of a kotatsu, too!

One of the worst things about winter in Japan is that with no central heating and a lack of insulation, the temperature inside your house feels pretty much the same as the temperature outside your house. One of the best things is taking the opportunity to snuggle up under a kotatsu, especially if you have a furry friend to join you.

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Catatsu is one of the ridiculous new “hot” items for your pet to wear (yes, wear) this winter

As you may have already heard, winter is cold in Japan. Maybe not as cold as some other more northern countries, but it’s still very chilly even indoors because many people still choose to only heat one room in the house at a time, or live in buildings made out of lightweight materials in an effort to make them as earthquake-safe as possible. This proves to be a bit of an issue for pet owners. Many pets are built to resist some amount of cold (because duh, fur!) but others aren’t equipped to deal with the cold daytime weather.

Perhaps this is why Japan sells some pretty ridiculous pet clothes! UNIHABITAT has a couple of new pet outfits that are going to turn some heads, but will also keep your pets warm and cozy this winter season.

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Video series of cats with mikan and kotatsu is also a cute survival guide for Japanese winter

Chilly as winter may get in Japan, we’ve got to admit there are some cool things about the coldest part of the year. For example, the Christmas decorations around Tokyo are amazing, and even if you’re not feeling up to braving the cold weather, Japan offers a couple of ways to make winter more bearable even if you’re staying indoors. High on the list are mikan, the mandarin oranges that’re at their tastiest in winter, and kotatsu, the blanket-covered, heater-equipped tables that’re so cozy it’s almost impossible to pull yourself out of one once you get situated comfortably.

Don’t take our word for it, though, as these adorable cats lounging though a Japanese winter serve as far better spokescreatures for mikan and kotatsu than we ever could.

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Doting owner builds cosy kotatsu for cats, faces the sting of feline rejection【Photos】

Every cat owner has, at one time or another, experienced the soul-crushing disappointment that comes from giving your cat a thoughtful gift, only to have them throw it back in your face in favor of a paper ball or a plain old cardboard box. It’s almost as if cats the world over are in on some sort of conspiracy designed to make their owners feel inadequate. And that’s exactly what happened to “kitty blogger” Udama when they attempted to create a cosy, cat-sized kotatsu to delight their feline family members. As our pictures show, the experiment didn’t exactly go according to plan…

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Three kotatsu-boosting items to turn your home into a toasty fort against winter’s cold

Even though Japan is a great place to live, not everyone likes every aspect of life in the country. Dishes like grilled eel and organ skewers are pretty polarizing, as is the public transportation system, which is clean and punctual, but crowded and shuts down early.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone, though, who doesn’t love Japan’s heated tables, called kotatsu, so more than a few people will be happy about these three ways to get even more out of Japan’s coziest piece of furniture.

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Wearable “kotatsu parka” is here to keep your whole body warm this winter

Winter in Japan can be pretty brutal. It gets cold, very cold, and most buildings in Japan are only lightly insulated. It’s no wonder, then, that people (and cats!) tend to want to hibernate in one cosy, warm spot during winter. One option is the kotatsu, a table with a thick padded blanket and heater underneath, which you use to toast your legs and feet during those cold winter months. The only problem is that they don’t really do anything to keep your upper body warm. Some people compensate by also wearing a thick padded housecoat inside during the winter, but wouldn’t it be great if you could use the kotatsu’s warmth to heat your entire body? Well, now you can, thanks to this new “wearable kotatsu” designed by Hatra!

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Bored with traditional hanami? Four other ways to enjoy the cherry blossoms in the Tokyo area

It’s sakura (cherry blossom) time again in Tokyo! As the blossoms reach their peak in the next week, you can bet that people will be flocking to the parks to enjoy some much-needed R&R under the flurry of falling petals. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could get tired of gazing at the sakura since the flowers are only in full bloom for such a short time in the spring.

But if you’ve found yourself fighting through the hanami (blossom-viewing) crowds at Ueno or Yoyogi Park for several years in a row, you might be looking for a slightly more alternative, or even adventurous way to take in the ephemeral petals. If we’re describing you, check out these four alternative ways to enjoy hanami without having to break out that tired old picnic blanket or get up at 5 a.m. on your precious weekend to grab a decent a spot!

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This kotatsu for singletons makes us sad

The kotatsu, that low table heater that is often the only source of heat in a Japanese room, is sometimes just too big for one person…said absolutely no one in Japan. Who hasn’t enjoyed diving under the table, fluffy futon pulled up to your eyeballs while you think of warm sandy beaches…a volcano…anything to take you away from the ice cave that is your Japanese home. That’s why we were so upset to find this kotatsu for singles. Not only does it not allow you to completely immerse yourself in life-giving warmth, its tiny stature is like a little footnote in the middle of the room, whispering, “P.S. You’re still single.”

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Shiver no more! Gadget manufacturer brings classic Japanese winter warmer to the workplace

The kotatsu–a low table with a heating element built into its underside and a quilt to keep the warmth in–is considered something of a national treasure here in Japan. With earthquakes in mind, Japanese homes are usually built from light materials and lack the kind of central heating that most Westerners are accustomed to, so it’s no surprise to find people either sitting at or dozing under one of these little tables until spring comes around.

During the working week, however, people are forced to abandon their tiny heat caves and spend hours at desks inside poorly-insulated municipal buildings, decades-old schools and single-glazed offices. Many employees plaster themselves with kairo heat pads or cover their laps with thick blankets in an effort to keep the feeling in their toes, but few would ever claim to be comfortable at work even having taken these measures.

But no more! Japanese gadget kings Sanwa Direct have come up with a tiny, portable kotatsu-like heating panel that attaches to the underside of any desk, promising toasty-warm laps all day long!

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These Comfy “Cat Capes” Are the Purr-fect Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea

With Christmas closing in, many people struggle to check off those last few names on their shopping list.  It’s always those people who seem to have everything.

Luckily, Japanese decorative goods maker kraso has released a great new item we guarantee that difficult-to-buy-for person doesn’t have!

Consider this scenario, familiar to all of us: You’re reading a book of sheet music without any instrument around. You’re sitting on the floor beside a glass of milk while your book of Chopin’s Prelude is propped up on a box atop a chair.

What’s missing from this everyday scene?

That’s right. A cape in the shape of a furry cat hanging off your back.

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Japanese Winter Luxury at its Finest: The Kotatsu Train

Nothing says winter in Japan like the kotatsu, a low wooden table frame covered by a heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Built in underneath is a heat source, either electric or charcoal.

Similar to the image of a Western family sitting in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve, the scene of a family huddled around the kotatsu, usually placed in front of the living room TV, eating mandarin oranges and watching New Year’s programming is what comes to most people’s minds when mentioning the winter holidays in Japan.

With this in mind, Sanriku Railway Co., which operates two lines along the beautiful Sanriku coast of Iwate Prefecture, Japan, is offering passengers the ultimate Japanese winter relaxation experience with their “Kotatsu Train” (Kotatsu Ressha), a special two-car train equipped with 12 kotatsu so you can enjoy the scenery pass by from the comfort of your own (simulated) living room.

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