5 Furniture Items to Give Your Home That Traditional Japanese Feel

  • HOW TO
  • Living in a different country can expose you to several differences when comparing to your home country. Let’s explore a few different options that you may find in Japan. You can get this furniture at common furniture stores, like Nitori, or home centers, like Nafco.

    1. Color Boxes


    One great organization option is color boxes. They come in mostly standard sizes even if you buy them in different places, and have adjustable shelves. They come in several colors, but the standard options are white, light brown, and dark brown.

    Standard color boxes have three shelves, and you can buy a variety of inserts for them. Boxes. Baskets. Dividers. The options are endless. They are super cheap, from about 700 yen at discount shops to 1,200 yen at the more expensive shops.

    2. Study Desks


    As an essential part of Japanese childhood, most children have a devoted study desk to complete their mountains of homework and test prep. These desks come with everything you need, the main desk, a filing cabinet, drawers, and a shelf with dividers for sorting. These desks are on the more expensive side. You will have to shell out more than a few thousand yen to own one of these.

    3. Low Sofas


    Low ceilings, low furniture. Unlike western sofas which tend to be higher up and more sturdy, Japanese sofas tend to be lower to the ground. They are lighter, more stable, and more suited for Japanese tastes. That being said, I personally hate them. A sofa is a sofa, if I wanted to sit low to the ground, I would use a floor pillow as shown in the next section.

    4. Zabuton (Floor Cushions)


    When you are sitting on your grass mat floor, contemplating life, it sucks to have your butt go numb. Thankfully, Japanese zabuton, (floor cushions) will keep you comfy.


    They come in a variety of sizes and cushion firmness, as well as designs. You can get traditional designs, as shown above, or more contemporary ones, as shown below.

    5. Low Coffee Tables


    With the seating lower, the tables are lower. It is to be expected. The beauty of the lower table is not only the stability but the exoticness of the new! Usually, the material for the table is wood, but artificial materials are becoming more common. The tables are usually larger than the standard coffee table, as they are also used for eating with the family, not just watching TV with your feet up.

    If you see these items in your travels around Japan or while living here and want some tradition in your life, pick up a few of these to brighten up your pad.

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