Traditional Japanese heated table “Kotatsu” is best!

Tea on Kotatsu

My Kotatsu

Hello, everyone! I”m Mishi! Let’s talk about the Japanese traditional table “Kotatsu”. Do you know what it is? Kotatsu is a table that has a heater. You can use this table as a normal table but when it gets cold in the winter, you can put a cover on the table and keep the inside warm so you won’t feel cold! What a convenient table, right?

I have a Kotatsu and it helps me to get through the cold winter. Since I got it, I can’t live without a Kotatsu anymore. So, I want to show you how great it is today.

You might not be able to get out of the Kotatsu because it is so comfortable! You will understand what I’m saying by the time you finish reading this post. Let me introduce you to the world of Kotatsu! (●´ω`)(´ω`●)

 

Ads by Google

 

History of Kotatsu

 

Irori

Irori

Let’s take a look at the history of the Kotatsu first. It’s said that the Kotatsu has been in Japan over 500 years. Kotatsu was started in Muromachi period(1336–1573) but I have a question, if there wasn’t any electricity in this era how could they use the Kotatsu? Speaking of the present Kotatsu, you plug in the wall and use electricity. I was curious about this question but I found the answer for this.

They used to use a hearth, this is the Japanese traditional fireplace called, Irori(囲炉裏). As you see the picture, the traditional Japanese house has a fireplace in the floor. This place was a source of heat for the Kotatsu in Muromachi period. They used to put ashes on the charcoal which was almost ready to go out and then put a table over the Irori. In addition, they put Futon over the table. This is how they used to do in this period.

But in the Edo period(1603–1868), The Kotatsu will make a slight change. They started to build a foot-warmer frame on Irori and put their Futon over it. In the same era, Japanese invented a different style of Kotatsu. They put Irori lower than the floor and a foot-warmer frame the same height of the floor. After that, they put another foot-warmer frame and put Futon over it. But the height of the foot-warmer frame and the floor were the same so there were many fires that happened.

 

Okikotatsu

Okikotatsu: Photo by DryPot Wikimedia Commons with CC License Attribution

Later in the Edo period, instead of using the Irori, they started to use a brazier(Hibachi/火鉢). They couldn’t move the Irori but now, they could move this Kotatsu and it was called Oki Kotatsu(置き炬燵). The electric Kotatsu was invented in Taisho period(1912–1926) and has spread all over Japan after the war(1945).

But nowadays, the population of Kotatsu has decreased. This is because there are many Japanese houses that are western-style. This is sad to hear. (;つД`)

 

Shapes of Kotatsu

 

Kotatsu has a couple of shapes. You can decide which one you want according to your room.

The legs of the Kotatsu have 2 types. One can be folded and one can’t be folded. It’s up to you which one is convenient for you.

Anyway, let’s check the shapes of the Kotatsu.

 

Rectangle shape

 

Rectangle Kotatsu

This is the most popular shape of Kotatsu. There are many sizes so when you choose this shape, you need to be careful of the measurement.

 

Square shape

Square Kotatsu

The square shape is basically a compact size. If you want a Kotatsu for 1 or 2 people, this one is a good choice.

 

Round shape

 

Round Kotatsu

It is stylish and unique. Comparing to the square shape, it takes bigger space. Since it’s round shape, many people can use it at the same time.

 

Horigotatsu

 

Horigotatsu

Shikano Onsen, Tottori, Tottori prefecture, Japan: Photo by 663highland Wikimedia Commons with CC License Attribution

Horigotatsu is a unique Kotatsu. It is different from a normal Kotatsu. To make this Kotatsu, the part of the floor or Tatami is cut and the put Kotatsu over it. It’s like you are sitting on the chair in a Kotatsu.

By the way, when it’s not winter, you put your Kotatsu Futon away so you can use it as a normal table.

Kotatsu

It looks like a normal table without Kotatsu Futon

If you take the table top off, this is what it looks like.

Kotatsu 2

My Kotatsu without a table

My Kotatsu table is reversible so I can flip it for changing the look. But there are many various types of Kotatsu. You should buy what you really like!

 

How to choose Kotatsu’s size

 

There are many Kotatsu’s sizes. It’s hard to choose and we don’t want to make a mistake when buying it. It is also such a pain to send it back, so I will summarize them up here. I hope you will be able to choose the one you want for your room.

 

Rectangle

SizeThe number of persons
75-80 x 75-80cm1-2
80-90 x 80-90cm2-3
(High type)
90 x 90cm
63-68cm(height)
3-4

Square

SizeThe number of persons
60 x 90cm1-2
75 x 105cm2-3
80 x 120cm3-4
80-90 x 130-150cm3-4
80-90 x 180cm3-4
80-90 x 210cm3-4
(high type)
80-90 x 135cm
63-68cm(height)
3-4
(high type)
80-90 x 150cm
63-68cm(height)
3-4

Round

SizeThe number of persons
Diameter
65cm
1
Diameter
75cm
2-3
Diameter
90cm
2-3
Diameter
110cm
3-4
Diameter
120cm
3-4

These are the standard sizes and there are more sizes, so you need to be careful of what you buy.

 

Kotatsu Futon’s size

 

Kotatsu Cover

My Kotatsu Futon

Kotatsu cover is called Kotatsu Futon in Japan.

You need to make sure which Kotatsu Futon fits your Kotatsu table. Here are the sizes.

For rectangle Kotatsu Futon

Kotatsu sizeKotatsu Futon size
75-80 x 75-80cm(Thick cover)185 x 185cm
(Thin cover)190 x 190cm
(Space-saving)180 x 180cm
80-90 x 80-90cm(Thick cover)205 x 205cm
(Thin cover)200 x 200cm
(High type)
90 x 90cm
63-68cm(height)
(Thin cover)235 x 235cm

For square Kotatsu Futon

Kotatsu sizeKotatsu Futon size
60 x 90cm(Space-saving)160 x 190cm
75 x 105cm(Thick cover)185 x 235cm
(Thin cover)190 x 240cm
80 x 120cm(Thick cover)205 x 245cm
(Thin cover)200 x 250cm
(Space-saving)180 x 220cm
(Space-saving)190 x 230cm
80-90 x 130-150cm(Thick cover)205 x 285cm
(Thin cover)200 x 290cm
(Space-saving)180 x 250cm
80-90 x 180cm(Thick cover)205 x 315cm
80-90 x 210cm(Thick cover)205 x 345cm
(high type)
80-90 x 135cm
63-68cm(height)
(Thin cover)235 x 275cm
(high type)
80-90 x 150cm
63-68cm(height)
(Thin cover)235 x 290cm

For round Kotatsu Futon

Kotatsu sizeKotatsu Futon size
Diameter
65cm
(Thick cover)Diameter175cm
(Thin cover)Diameter170cm
Diameter
75cm
(Thick cover)Diameter185cm
(Thin cover)Diameter180cm
Diameter
90cm
(Thick cover)Diameter205cm
(Thin cover)Diameter200cm
Diameter
110cm
(Thick cover)Diameter225cm
(Thin cover)Diameter220cm
Diameter
120cm
(Thick cover)Diameter245cm
(Thin cover)Diameter240cm

Those sizes are standard and you will see the different sizes. Please be careful to pick the size for your Kotatsu.

Hint: If your Kotatsu size + 100cm is smaller than Kotatsu Futon’s size, you will be able to use it.

For example, let’s say your Kotatsu size is 60 x 90cm. Add 100cm so, it would be 160 x 190cm. This means you can use the Kotatsu Futon that is bigger than 160 x 190cm fo fit for your Kotatsu size 60 x 90cm.

 

How to choose the heater for Kotatsu

 

Kotatsu Heater

My Kotatsu Heater

If you only get Kotatsu table, you have to buy a heater. This is some advice for choosing a heater.

 

Silica glass tube heater

  • The temperature will go up slower than other heaters(But don’t get me wrong! It won’t take much time. I’m talking about seconds.).
  • This heater is the cheapest heater.
  • The longevity is about 5000-7000 hours.

 

Halogen heater

  • The temperature will go up faster than the silica glass tube heater.
  • The longevity of this heater is about 8000 hours.

 

Korche heater?(コルチェヒーター)

I’m sorry but I don’t know how to spell of this heater in English.

  • This heater is a better version of the halogen heater so the temperature will go up faster than the halogen heater.
  • This heater is more expensive than the other heaters.
  • The longevity of this heater is about 10000 hours and longest life out of all the heaters.

I wrote them by the feature of the heater. You can go by the price, how fast it will kick the heat off, or the longevity. The difference of how fast it heats up is just a couple of seconds. Personally, I don’t worry about it.

 

Ads by Google

 

Does Kotatsu have an adjustable switch to control the temperature?

 

Kotatsu Heater adjustment

My Kotatsu have a switch to control the temperature

Kotatsu Switch

This Kotatsu switch is only to turn it on or off



This depends on the Kotatsu. Some don’t have an adjustable switch to change the temperature and only the switch for turning it on or off. My Kotatsu has it but doesn’t have a switch to turn it on or off. I plug the cord in and out to turn it on or off. 

If you want a new switch for the Kotatsu, you can buy it but you have to be careful to choose the right Watt for your country and the right one for your Kotatsu. They sell only the switch so if you are thinking about buying it, you should check them out online.

 

The good part of Kotatsu

 

Kotatsu Party

Take care of your sensitive problem to cold: If you have a sensitivity to cold, the Kotatsu the is best for your body. I have this problem and I feel the cold from my toes. When it’s winter, I usually wear a pair of socks in the house. Kotatsu can warm my toes and feet from the cold and I don’t have to wear a pair of socks anymore. Kotatsu is great for people like me.

Feeling warmth quickly: It’s fast to create warmth in the  Kotatsu Futon so all you have to do is throw your legs in the Kotatsu Futon. Your whole body will be warm faster than anything!

Saving your money: It’s cheaper to use Kotatsu than a heater or stoves. If you want to save your money on your electricity, Kotatsu can make your dream come true. If your Kotatsu heater has the system that is a thermostat, that would be the best.

More communications: To surround Kotatsu with people, creates more communication among families and even friends. You can eat foods closer to each other or play a game together. You can use the Kotatsu for your convenience to make more communications.

Your pet will love Kotatsu: I have a cat and as you know that cats don’t like to be in a cold place so you can create a warm place for your pet. My cat didn’t want to enter under the Kotatsu Futon at first because the heater lights up but once she got used to it,  my cat loves the Kotatsu!

Kotatsu is eco: It doesn’t take fuel to keep you warm so you can say the Kotatsu is ECO-friendly.

 

The bad part of Kotatsu

 

Cat with Kotatsu

Your interior decoration: If you care about the look of your room, Kotatsu might not suit the style of your room unless you want to have a Japanese room. I try to create the style of a Japanese room so this isn’t a problem and doesn’t matter but maybe, some people would care.

Take extra space: As you see the pictures of the Kotatsu on this page, the Kotatsu Futon will take up some extra spaces. You might want to think about how you put the Kotatsu in your room before you buy it.

Need extra space to put it away: When it’s in summer, you have to put away your Kotatsu Futon so you might need a place to put it away.

Pet problem: If you have a pet, they would love to join in your Kotatsu with you and the Kotatsu Futon will collect much hair from your pet. That would make you clean it often. I have a cat and she loves to knead on my Kotatsu Futon. She damages it but we all know a pet will do that so it should be understood!

Watt: If you buy Kotatsu from Japan, you need to buy a generator to convert the Watt for your country. To prevent you from catching on fire, you should really buy a generator.

Can’t get out: I think this is the really bad part of the Kotatsu. It is so comfortable and you don’t want to get out of the Kotatsu. This makes you lazy and not want to do anything. It will require your strong will to get out of the Kotatsu. ( ´,_ゝ`)

 

The reason why you shouldn’t sleep under Kotatsu

 

Sleeping under Kotatsu

It’s said that if you sleep under the Kotatsu, you will catch a cold in Japan. But it is so hard not to fall asleep because it is too comfortable not to stay awake! I don’t want to believe this saying but unfortunately, this is true.

As you are under Kotatsu, you will get sweat on the certain spots of your body. You will lose the energy without noticing. This would cause you to have constipation. Having dehydration, this would cause you to have the risk of cerebral infarction and myocardial infarction. So, drinking water often is the great way to prevent you from having them.

In addition, to sleep under Kotatsu, your temperature will go up so this would cause you to break the rhythm of your sleep. On top of that, unless your Kotatsu mat is thick, you would have the risk to have a back pain and shoulder pain too.

You also need to be careful of cold burn. Keep control of the temperature with the Kotatsu is important.

I wrote this and probably, scared of you but this is when you use it extremely. If you use the Kotatsu normally, this won’t happen at all. I don’t think you have to worry about them but in case someone wants to know the problems, I wrote them.

 

The reason why oranges on Kotatsu table

 

Oranges on Kotatsu

Haven’t you seen oranges on the Kotatsu table before? Especially, on the anime, you can get to see this situation, and the Japanese people really do put oranges on their Kotatsu. I have searched for this reason but unfortunately, I couldn’t find any clue.

But I came up with a great reason why oranges need to be on the Kotatsu table. Personally, this makes good sense since I have written the reason why you shouldn’t sleep under Kotatsu above.

An orange contains much water and vitamin C. Water prevents you from having dehydration and vitamin C prevents you from having a cold. Vitamin C also gives you moisture for your skin.

An orange also contains citric acid. It is said that citric acid would make the effect for preventing a shoulder pain, muscle pain, and liver trouble.

Do you know pectin? An orange’s skin contains pectin and this helps your constipation and reduces a cholesterol.

Now, you see why you want to put Oranges on the Kotatsu. You will be able to solve the problems of the Kotatsu easily!

 

Floor chair “Zaisu(座椅子)”

 

Japanese Zaisu chair

My Zaisu

Kotatsu is a table but the table needs to be with chairs. We don’t have the custom to sit on the floor and it might be awkward, but most Kotatsu are for sitting on the floor. Japanese people call the floor chair is Zaisu(座椅子). Usually, the Kotatsu needs floor chairs unless you have a high Kotatsu table but Kotatsu chairs are cool. The greatest part of the Kotatsu chair is you can change the angle of the chair. I have Kotatsu chairs, let me show you the explanation with the pictures.

Usually, you sit on the chair like this but

Japanese Floor Chair

Normal angle

when you want to lay down, you can make it flat so your body won’t hurt.

Zaisu

When Zaisu is flat

If you want to read a book, you can change the angle to the halfway like this.

Zaisu Chair

You can adjust the Zaisu

Isn’t that great? This won’t hurt your butt and body to sit on the floor. It is so convenient for me and my cat! (´▽`*)

 

Kotatsu online shops

 

Amazon

Ebay

Click Here

Rakuten Global

Rakuten is one of the famous Japanese online stores and has their online stores over the world. This is Rakuten Global and you can buy Japanese things from Japan. They mostly ship the items with EMS and the shipping cost is high. Especially, when you buy heavy items, the shipping cost will be expensive.

 

Summary

 

My cat under Kotatsu

My cat is under Kotatsu

Could you understand why the Kotatsu is great? If you are interested in a Kotatsu, I definitely suggest you have it. You might feel it is such a pain to measure or fit it in your room but you will the get the benefit of Kotatsu for sure. The winter time is cold but let’s make our life easier to get through.

Thank you for reading today.

βyё βyё…φ(。・ω・。 )ノ

 

Ads by Google

 

Share (=´∀`)人(´∀`=)