What Are Your Options to Keep Warm in Japanese Winter?

  • HOW TO
  • Japanese winters are as harsh as they get. Different areas of Japan could get completely covered in snow and it is impossible to stay long outside during this season due to cold winds coming from the North. Staying inside a room without proper utilities could be just as harsh. Let’s see what utilities one needs to stay warm in one’s house this winter.

    1. Central Heating in northern regions

    In Japan, the northern regions such as Hokkaido are colder than other regions due to their proximity to the North. The people of Hokkaido normally use Central Heating in their houses to keep the entire condominium or house warm. While the people from other areas of Japan use Space Heating to keep warm some space of the room only. Also, most of the low-end Japanese houses do not use insulation except in Hokkaido and other northern regions. It is advised to check if there is heating or cooling system in your rented apartment or room before moving in. However, you most likely won’t find any central heating in major cities other than the northernmost ones.

    2. Underfloor Heating

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    There is an Underfloor Heating System called ‘Yukadanbo’ in Japan where the entire floor of the house is kept warm for you to walk on comfortably. It is a form of central heating which is more effective and is often used to melt snow/ice on walkways, driveways, soccer fields etc. These are getting increasingly popular in the later days. But the cost of this system is very expensive and many prefer to install them only in some rooms of their condominiums or houses. The original ‘warm floors’ or ‘hearths’ were first used around 5000 B.C. in Manchuria and Korea.

    3. Space Heating

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    Space Heaters are nothing other than appliances one uses in one’s house to keep a specific area of the room warm. These appliances normally include electric, battery, kerosene and gas heaters. Generally, people use these close to where they sleep, eat and change clothes. This is one of the most popular utilities.

    4. Kotatsu

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    There is a traditional type of space heater called ‘Kotatsu’. These are tables with a low wooden frame covered by a futon and has an electric heating part underside. These tables are most commonly found in Japanese restaurants. There are similar items such as ‘Korsi’ in Iran and ‘Kang’ in China. These are called ‘foot stoves’ in Europe where people used to keep their feet warm while relaxing or having dinner. Space heating is really an inexpensive way of staying warm in winter when compared to central heating.

    In addition to this, there are many toilet seats with automatic warming, air conditioners, portable fireplaces and so on to keep you and your family comfortable during the windy Japanese winters.

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