Winter is coming. Japan is ready, but how are you going to stay warm. You need a kotatsu. This brilliant creation is a combo of space heater, blanket, and flat table (or a variation thereof). A picture, in this case truly, is worth more than a thousand words. All-knowing Wikipedia defines a kotatsu as a “low, wooden table frame covered by a futon, or heavy blanket, upon which a table top sits. Underneath is a heat source, often built into the table itself.”
In other words, it’s a snuggly blanket or couch hybrid that has a table on top and an electric heater below – so you can get warm and toasty with your cup of hot cider and remote control. Once you get in, you’ll never want to get out.
These novel, movable, and more complex versions of the kotatsu are actually called oki-gotatsu. But the concept has been around in Japan since the 14th century, when the heat source was clay pots with hot coals.
Kotatsu aren’t the easiest items to shop for – yet. You can find parts like the low tables and electric heaters on amazon and the whole set-ups on ebay (see model below). Also check www.bellemaison.jp.