Gifts For Sushi Lovers

Sushi Gifts

寿司好きのための贈り物

There’s something about sushi. Some people get obsessed with the little fishy morsels. 

So, what sushi gift to get the sushi lover in your life? It’s a surprsingly big world of sushi paraphernalia out there.

So, we think you can go with a few different options here. We’ve divided them up into:

  • Sushi Gifts For The Kitchen
  • Sushi Gifts For Dining
  • Sushi Home Decor
  • Sushi Themed clothing & Wearables
  • Fun Sushi Themed Stuff

And come up with our top 34 sushi related presents.

Sushi Gifts For The Kitchen

#1 Sushi Rice Cooker

So first things first, if you want great sushi, you need great rice. So why not get a ricecooker that is made with the express purpose of making great Sushi rice?

#3 12 Piece Sushi Making Kit

This one really gives you the keys to the lodge. Let’s follow the Spinal Tap philosophy, why stop at 10 when you can turn the sushi utensil volume up to 12? This one has the Suhi “Oke” tub, so you can really mix up your sushi rice in style.

#4 Sushi Knife

No self respecting Sushi aficianado is without their own signature blade for slicing up the fish. The only other thing you need is to figure out how to say “That’s not a knife, this is a knife” in Japanese.

#5 Sushi Kit with Ingredients

This set kit doesn’t just stop at utensils, it gives you all the necessary ingredients such as rice and vinegar too. No fish in there though. That would just be weird.

#6 Sushi "Oke" tub

Sushi “oke” tubs can be works of art in and of themselves. You could get one of these as part of a larger set. But if you’re going to get one, why not get a nice one that you can take pleasure in using for years?

These can be used for mixing rice and for presenting the broken “chirashi sushi” type sushi.

Sushi Gifts For Dining

#7 Circular Sushi Tray

It’s not quite as good as having the Sushi coming around to you on a little train, but racking up your fishy morsels on a round tray is still pretty fun. And you can use it for other things too. Say for having icecream cones with a dozen of your friends. Yikes!

#9 Sushi Dining Set For Two

Sushi is best when shared with a friend. So why not give your sushi lover this two person set and give them a subtle hint about who they should invite to dinner?

The rustic, uneven form is a little wabi-sabi too!

#10 Turquoise Glaze Sushi Dining Set

I’m a big fan of these turquoise glaze finishes in Japanese ceramics. They are often set off with earthy, or muted grey colors creating the perfect balance of vibrant and understated. Rich but not over-the-top.

#11 Black "Sumi" Sushi plates

Classic black, makes colors of the food pop. “Sumi” means ink and Japanese, and you definitely get a sense of the black inkiness of these. 

The plates are a little longer too, so you get a good runway of sushi there in one go!

#12 Black Marble Sushi Serving Set

Here’s something modern to slip your California Rolls on. Influenced by Japanese traditional arts, such as Kintsugi, but with a uniquely chic twist, these make a good gift for suhi lovers with refined tastes.

#13 White Porcelain Sushi Serving Platter

For centuries, porcelain was one of the most sort after products in the world, whether East or West. So this set draws on that refined, and long-coveted tradition. It’s hard to go with the simplicity of white porcelain.

#14 Star Trek Themed Sushi Platter

Beam me up sushi.

For the Trekky meets Sushi lover in your life, this is the one. The person that came up with this idea is surely on the list of upcoming Nobel Prize nominees. Surely.

#16 Sushi Picnic Box

When you want to take your sushi on a picnic with your group of serious sushi lovers, and you turn up with a plastic tupperware container, it’s not going to be good. You need something pretty. Like this. And while you’re at it, you need three levels of something pretty.

Sushi Home Decor

#17 Fish Themed Sushi Neon Sign

If you’ve spent time in Japan, you’ve no doubt wandered down some of Japan’s city side streets packed with signage advertising food, beverages, Karaoke, dancing etc. Now you can have a bit of the night time bustle in your own personal space.

#18 Sushi Boat Neon Sign

#19 Sushi Art

#20 Sushi Curtains

#21 Sushi Bedding

#22 Sushi Godzilla Bedding

#23 Sushi Lover Parking Sign

Sushi Themed Clothing & Wearables

#25 Sushi Cufflinks

If you’ve been wondering why your shirt sleeves have been coming asunder at the Sushi counter, it’s because you forgot your sterling silver sushi cufflinks. In this situation the slogan says it all “keep calm and eat sushi”.

#26 Sushi Disney Pins

Who new Mickey munches maki? Well, now you do. And so should the world. By allerting them with these Epcot International Food And Wine Festival commemorative pins.

#28 Sushi Disney Socks

So these socks come in options for tacos, or bacon or a few other food stuffs but we want the sushi option. Don’t get the taco option for your Sushi lover.

Hey, it’s socks. Socks for a present? I know crazy right?

#29 Sushi T-Shirt

#30 Sushi Earrings

Little round bite-size morsels, prime real estate beneath the earloabs, sushi and earrings – it was a match made to be.

Fun Sushi Themed Stuff

#31 Sushi Pullback Cars

The maker of these little sushi cars says “they are the fastest sushi in the world”. We can not verify this bold claim, but we don’t think anyone will argue with you if you choose to make it in conversation. Elon Musk may have something in the works to rival you though.

The sushi in these little rippers is actually very realistic. Whether or not these are the fastest sushi in the world, they just may be the funnest.

#34 Plastic Play Sushi

Kids love to play restaurants. Why not indoctrinate them early to the pleasures of the sushi?

Or possibly mix it in with the real stuff and see if you can play a practical joke?

Need more sushi gifts?

Check the options on Amazon

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Naruto Hoodies Guide

Naruto Hoodie

Guide to not buying a dud

Naruto is the 4th best selling Manga series of all time. In the two and half decades since its creation, it has exploded over the globe to one of the most popular Japanese comic characters around. 

So it’s no surprise that lots of people are after Naruto merch, and the Naruto hoodie is a popular choice – especially as a present for your anime loving family member or friend.

So here is a guide on how to buy a Naruto Hoodie gift that won’t disappoint.

Where To Buy Naruto Hoodies

There are a range of places to get yourself or a loved one wrapped in some Naruto. Some good places to look are:

Amazon Naruto Hoodies List

This is the big one! This is the highest customer ranking Naruto hoodie:

Amazon Japan Naruto Hoodies List

If you are looking for something a bit different from Naruto’s home land, try Amazon Japan, some of who’s sellers ship internationally, or you can use a shipping service to get them shipped to your country via Japan.

Etsy Naruto Hoodies List

Etsy has really interesting selections that you won’t find anywhere else. Their top rated Naruto hoodie is this retro design:

 

Aliexpress Naruto Hoodies List

Often the cheapest option, although you won’t find so many official items!

Check Product On Aliexpress

Teepublic Naruto Hoodies List

Great for unusual and fan generated designs. Teepublic lets independent designers make their own creations, so there are some great finds on there!

Naruto Hoodie Designs

Let’s face it, this is going to be the big one for most people.

You are mostly going to find designs based around certain characters and places. The main ones are:

Naruto Hoodie Characters

Naruto Uzumaki

Of course, Naruto himself is the main man. So the bulk of Naruto hoodie paraphernalia features our hero.

Probably the most “classic” design is the orange sided one that the main character Naruto himself wears in most of the anime series. If you after something that is instantly recognisable to those who are already familiar with Naruto, but not necessarily to those who aren’t, this is probably the one to go for.

The top customer rated on Amazon in this style is this one:

 

Sasuke Uchiha

The main arch-nemesis of the piece is Sasuke, but he has his own dark charm that makes him one of the most popular characters from the Naruto universe. He’s a bit like the biblical disciple Peter who betrayed Jesus, but who is deep down (hopefully) a good person.

Suitably “bad boy” is the Sasuke themed denim hoodie below.

Kakashi Hatake

Kakashi is consistently voted as one of the most popular characters in Naruto. He is a leadership figure, is mysterious, and just down-right cool looking. So he is a popular motif in Naruto paraphernalia.

This is the top customer rated Kakashi item on Amazon, and even comes with a head band!

Akatsuki

The Akatsuki are a bunch of bad-boy criminals with distinctive red ensignia. Their black background and striking logo, matched with their tough-gang mystique, make them popular in the Naruto merch world, including Naruto Hoodies.

Here is a classic example:

 

Official Versus Unofficial Naruto Hoodies

Officially licensed Naruto hoodie products will usually say so fairly prominently in the description. There is no guarantee that officially licensed products are actually going to be better than the unofficial products, but it does offer some suggestion that the product isn’t going to be complete rubbish. 

If you stick to only official products, it will limit your options a lot and you will probably have to pay more. In a lot of cases, you can do a little homework on product reviews and find something that you can have confidence in outside the confines of “official”.

Naruto Hoodie Materials

Naruto hoodies come in a range of materials. The word “hoodie” conjures up images of something fleecy and warm, but not all items called a hoodie will conform to these ideas.  A lot of people get excited about a hoodie design, order online, and then get disappointed when the item arrives and it doesn’t feel like how they had imagined. Before you click that “order” button take a moment to check what you are actually getting.

Usually Naruto hoodies will be some combination of:

Polyester

Cotton

Spandex

If you want something that is going to last longer, try looking for something that has some proportion of natural fibre like cotton. 

A spandex garment is obviously going to be more stretchy and fitted rather than warm and fleecy, so be aware of this when ordering.

Naruto Hoodie Sizes

A lot of people have trouble with items being larger or smaller than they think because of differences in sizes between different countries, most notably between the United States and other Asian Countries.

Here is a list of the top customer rated Naruto Hoodies across several stores.

We hope that has simplified the process of finding a Naruto Hoodie. If you’re not sure, then it’s probably good to go for the trad-orange Naruto hoodie. Have fun!

Japanoscope uses affiliate links. Which means we may receive commisions when you click on some product links. We only link to products we believe in, use ourselves or think are genuinely good. This helps us keep all of the content on the site free of charge. As Monty Python once said, “We’re selling records in the foyer. Some of us have gotta eat too you know”.

Kotatsu Blanket and Kotatsu Futon Guide

Kotatsu Blanket Guide

こたつ布団

Some people buy a Kotatsu as a set including a table, heater, blanket and rug.

Others like to mix and match things. Personal taste is so different for most of these items that you will probably want to choose your own for some things. This is especially true of the kotatsu blanket or kotatsu futon you choose to use with your table and heater.

Usually, there are two parts two the blanket, called futon in Japanese, side of things. You have a kakebuton (Comforter) on top and a shikibuton *rug) on the bottom. Generally these are sold as a set, but there is nothing to stop you mixing and matching these if you want.

If you are after a complete Kotatsu set, we have a page outlining those here

If you need a new kotatsu heater for your Japanese heated table, look here.

If you are looking at what you might want to combine your table with in the room, we have a post on the Japanoscope Japanese Home Decor page.

For a look at what you can sit at the table take a look at our Zabuton cushion page.

See below for all the dirt, ahem, on Kotatsu blankets and Kotatsu futons!

What Size Kotatsu Futon (kakebuton) do you need?

Generally speaking, you want to buy a futon that is around 110 – 130cm larger than the size of your Kotatsu table.

You want to get a futon that matches the shape of your table eg. rectangular, square, round etc.

See below for a translation of a detailed table found here, if you really want to get into the nitty gritty.

What size rug (shikibuton) do you need for a Kotatsu?

Generally speaking, you want to put your Kotatsu on a rug that protrudes at least 50cm further than your Kotatsu size. If you really want to spread out, get a rug that is going to allow you to do it.

A translation of a detailed table found here is printed below, if you really want to get into the nitty gritty.

 

Square Kotatsu

Table Size

Number of people

Recommended Kotatsu Futon/Blanket Size

75~80 × 75~80cm

1 to 2 people

Thick185 x 185 cm

Thin  190 x 190 cm

Space Saving 180 x 180 cm

80~90 × 80~90cm

2 to 3 people

Thick 205 x 205 cm

Thin 200 x 200 cm

High type

90 x 90 cm

Height: 63-68 cm

3 to 4 people

Thin 235 x 235 cm

Rectangular Kotatsu

Table size

Number of people

Recommended Kotatsu Futon/Blanket Size

60 × 90cm

1 to 2 people

Space Saving 160 x 190 cm

75 × 105cm

2 to 3 people

Thick 185 x 235 cm

Thin 190 x 240 cm

80 × 120cm

3 to 4 people

Thick 205 x 245 cm

Thin 200 x 250 cm

Space Saving 180 x 220 cm

Space Saving 190 x 230 cm

80~90 × 130~150cm

3 to 4 people

Thick  205 x 285cm

Thin  200 x 290cm

Space Saving 180 x 250cm

80~90 × 180cm

3 to 4 people

Thick 205 x 315 cm

80~90 × 210cm

3 to 4 people

Thick 205 x 345 cm

High type

80-90 x 135 cm

Height: 63-68 cm

3 to 4 people

Thin 235 x 275 cm

High type

80-90 x 150 cm

Height: 63-68 cm

3 to 4 people

Thin 235 x 290 cm

Circular Kotatsu

Table size

Number of people

Recommended Kotatsu Futon/Blanket Size

Diameter: 65cm

1 person

Thick Diameter: 175 cm

Thin Diameter: 170 cm

Diameter: 75cm

2 to 3 people

Thick Diameter: 185 cm

Thin Diameter: 180 cm

Diameter: 90cm

2 to 3 people

Thick  Diameter: 205cm

Thin  Diameter: 200cm

Diameter: 110cm

3 to 4 people

Thick Diameter: 225 cm

Thin Diameter: 220 cm

Diameter: 120cm

3 to 4 people

Thick Diameter: 245 cm

Thin Diameter: 240 cm

How kotatsu hold the futon

Generally speaking, the table top of a Kotatsu with a futon inserted beneath it is not fixed and is mainly held on by the weight of the tabletop itself. There are underlays that can be purchased to help grip the top. It is possible to also hold on the top with screws, but this requires putting holes in the futon underneath, so is not a popular option.

How to wash a Kotatsu Blanket or Kotatsu Futon? 

Kotatsu futons will be marked as either hand wash or dry clean.

In Japanese, hand wash will be marked as 手洗イ (read as tearai)

Items that must be dry cleaned will be marked ドライ (dry)

Futons can’t be machine washed because the cotton inside will be damaged.

Do you need a Kotatsu futon cover?

Kotatsu are usually fairly high use items, and are often around (and underneath) food and drink. So the likelihood of them needing regular cleaning is pretty high. Given, their bulkiness, for most people, putting your Kotatsu blanket in a cover is going to make the washing process a lot easier. This does add another level of expense though, so you’ll have to way up convenience versus expense.

Can you use any blanket for a kotatsu?

Some people use regular futon duvets in their Kotatsu, so it’s possible. That being said, it is hard to find the perfect size, and you would want to be sure that there is nothing flammable in your blanket. Think of how some synthetic clothing materials react around heaters! If you do go down this route, you would probably want to use something that was pure natural material. It is generally safer to go with a dedicated Kotatsu blanket.

Consider this also:

A normal blanket/futon may not be appropriate as a Kotatsu blanket/futon

But

A kotatsu blanket/futon can always be used as a normal blanket/futon

So you still get another general use futon when you buy a Kotatsu futon.

 

What types of Kotatsu blankets and Kotatsu futons are there?

There are basically three types of blanket, called futon, that people use with Kotatus in Japan; 

Thick (atsugake 厚がけ) 

Thin (usugake 薄がけ) 

Space saving (sho-supesu 省スペース)

 

Thick (atsugake 厚がけ)

The thicker the blanket, the more warm and luxurious. The drawback is that they are bulky, heavy and more difficult to store.

 

Thin (usugake 薄がけ) 

Thinner blankets are easier to get in and out of and take less room to store.

 

Space saving (sho-supesu 省スペース)

You’ll find that when getting around the Kotatsu that the corners are the places that often get most in the way. Space savers have a slit cut into the corners and use thin material in these areas so that they take up the least space. They consequently have a fairly distinctive look, which may or may not be to your taste.

Bright Patterned Kotatsu Futon

If you need to brighten up your room…

Pros

  • Stylish pattern design
  • Reasonable price
  • Different patterns to choose from
  • For 60/75/80/90cm Table
  • 100% Polyester

Cons

  • Non-natural materials
  • Non-Japanese maker

 

Space Saver Kotatsu Futon

Two in one with “Space Saver” corner design

Pros

  • Stylish pattern design
  • Reasonable price
  • Different patterns to choose from
  • For 60/75/80/90cm Table
  • 100% Polyester

Cons

  • Non-natural materials
  • Non-Japanese maker

Pattern blanket and rug leaf pattern set

Stylish Patterning two-in one

Pros

  • Two in one, don’t need to worry about mixing and matching
  • Stylish pattern design
  • Reasonable price
  • Different patterns to choose from
  • For 60/75/80/90cm Table
  • 100% Polyester

Cons

  • Non-natural materials
  • Non-Japanese maker

Natural Nagomi Cotton Kotatsu Futon Cover

100% natural fibre hand made kotatsu blanket cover!

Pros

  • All natural
  • Nagomi Cotton
  • Various Colors
  • Simple single tone
  • Custom sizes available

Cons

  • Have to buy futon seperately

Hand Made, All Natural Kotatsu Futon

Lovingly crafted in Japan, this one is for the connoisseurs

Pros

  • Hand Made
  • Natural Cotton Materials
  • Square or Rectangle

Cons

  • Plain design best used with cover

AntiGnor Luxury Kotatsu Futon Blanket Square/Rectangle

A great thick style futon in dark shades

 
Pros
  • Fluffy fleece style edge
  • Dark color doesn’t stain easily
  • Fire safe
  • Thick
  • Two sizes available
Cons
  • Non-natural materials
  • Does not come with under rug

Nishikawa Reversible Kotatsu Futon Square

A thinner, non-bulky “usugake” style futon that for 80cm square

Pros

  • Reversible – two colors!
  • Thin, non-bulky style futon
  • Fleece material
  • Rings in corners for attaching cover

Cons

  • Thickness may not suit particularly cold climates
  • Non-distinctive pattern

Pathwork Kotatsu Blanket

Classic Patchwork Style Kakebuton

 
Pros
  • Fluffy fleece style edge
  • Muted color doesn’t stain easily
  • Fire safe
Cons
  • Non-natural materials
  • Does not come with under rug

EMOOR Washable Kotatsu Futon Comforter Cover Rectangle-Type

Highly unique Scandinavian meets Native American Design!

Pros
  • Cover only – transform an existing futon
  • 77×93in (195 x 245cm)
  • Zipper and corner strings
 
Cons
  • Does not come with Futon!

Conclusion

I think if you’ve got the money, it’s worth investing in a hand made Kotatsu blanket from Etsy and then putting it into your favorite cover. Aliexpress has a lot of cute options, if you’re into something with, say, kawaii cats, or more modern designs. In many ways, it will all come down to the size you require and your personal preferences. Happy Kotatsu-ing!

If you are after a complete Kotatsu set, we have a page outlining those here. If you need a new kotatsu heater for your Japanese heated table, look here.

If you are looking at what you might want to combine your table with in the room, we have a post on the Japanoscope Japanese Home Decor page.

For a look at what you can sit at the table take a look at our Zabuton cushion page.

Phew, so much comfort!

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

About the reviewer

I’m Peter Head. I have succesfully completed the  highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (N1). I lived in Japan for four years as a student and on working holiday.  I have toured the country six times playing music and singing songs in Japanese and English.

Male Kimono

Male Kimono

男性着物

That's how you rock a Men's Kimono

If you’re a fan of Japanese culture like me, you probably take an interest in Japanese clothing as well. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at different men’s kimonos, men’s yukata and men’s silk robes that are out there. 

Once you start looking into the world of Japanese traditional clothing, it’s deep and diverse world. So I’ll try and simplify things a bit so that we can get the lay of land. 

The main message is that kimonos are not just a relic of the past, but can actually be one of the more versatile, comfortable types of clothing out there. Warm in the winter and cooling in the summer, quality kimonos are easy to layer and made from breathable fabrics. With proper care, high-quality kimono garments can last you for years.

Let’s start by taking a look at a few of the most interesting kimono for men, and kimono inspired garments for men, available today. Then, we’ll dive a little deeper into the world of men’s kimono.

Also check out the Japanoscope Jinbei page if you are interested in finding out more about the summery jacket-and-shorts type kimono.

If you are interested in making your own, have a look at the Japanoscope fabrics page.

Mens Japanese Linen Loose Jacket Casual

Kimono inspired without screaming in your face “I’m wearing a Kimono”.

Pros

  • Breathable linen material
  • Button up or leave open
  • Short sleeves leaves hands free

Cons

  • Not as ditinctly Japanese looking as some other items

Casual Loose Horn Button Linen V-Neck Coat

Casual, understated Kimono haori-style jacket

Pros

  • Genuine linen
  • Range of sizes
  • Can be combined with Japanese or non-Japanese clothing

Cons

  • Can’t be tied or buttoned at front

ArmorStyle Silk Japanese Kimono (With Mask!)

Made from a high-quality blend of polyester and cotton, this silky Japanese Kimono creates an effortless flowy motion on the slightest movement. The robe is extremely soft to the touch, making it perfect for lounging on the home or taking a reflective walk on the beach.

The kimono features a three-quarter length sleeve and straight-edge trail. A simple tie-on belt helps to secure the waist. The black kimono features illustrated blossoms and parakeets for a naturalistic look.

Pros

  • Offers simple, elegant design
  • Lightweight materials allow for natural movement of the fabric
  • Perfect for Spring and Summer

Cons

  • Some would prefer a more traditional style
  • Does not come with matching face mask like the title implies

Folding Leg Japanese Table Set

Looking for something with a modern twist? The budget-friendly LifeHe Kimono tapers right at the waist like a cardigan, yet boasts the look and fit of a traditional kimono. The double-layer polyester fabric is sufficiently lightweight for a smooth, silk-like feeling on the skin.

The kimono is available in two patterns: black floral fabric with red cherry blossoms or an all-white fabric with pink cherry blossoms. On both, an illustrated koi fish decorates the back for a striking look.

Pros

  • Cardigan fit is great for informal settings
  • Great for casual outdoor wear
  • Polyester fabric is soft yet inexpensive

Cons

  • Should only be washed through hand-washing
  • Colors may fade over time with frequent sun exposure

Haorun Men's Japanese Kimono

Made from a delicate cotton blend, the Haorun yukata is perfect for warmer seasons. The kimono features a slimmer profile, yet flows very well upon movement.

The slightest wind picks up the back of the kimono, revealing the pattern of birds in flight. This black yukata is designed for informal wear indoors, use as a bathrobe, or for hot summer days.

Pros

  • Mid-calf length is perfect for outdoor trips
  • Unique pattern emphasizes the movement of the back of the robe
  • Cotton-polyester blend offers thinnest, most lightweight feel

Cons

  • Sizes run on the small side – buyers beware!
  • Not fit for winter wear

The Ins and Outs of the Male Kimono

Materials Used in Men’s Kimonos

Kimonos and the obi belts used to tie them are made from many distinct types of fabric. Linen, silk, hemp, crepe, wool, and cotton are all popular varieties.

When purchasing a kimono, the materials used are the best insight you have into the quality.

On the less expensive end, 100 percent polyester is used to mimic the movement and feeling of silk. Often, a cotton-polyester blend is employed to give the kimono more weight.

Hemp and linen kimonos are the easiest to take care of. Featuring a cooling texture, these kimonos are great for the warmer season and can usually be machine washed. Keep in mind that these materials are not suitable for formal events.

Though it’s decreased in popularity, wool kimonos can still be found. Wool kimonos are great for winter and retain their shape very well.

Still, when it comes to a kimono, pure silk is second to none in terms of quality and comfort. Curiously, silk is cooling in the summer and keeps you warm in the winter – that’s why it’s often referred to as a “second skin”. High-quality silk kimonos can be a lifelong (or even intergenerational) investment.

Types of Men’s Kimonos

There’s a bunch of different types of kimonos for men to choose from. Probably the most well known is the casual light summer attire yukata. This is probably because you see this type of Kimono around so much at festivals or at onsen bath towns in Japan.

Others include: 

Iromuji 

Patternless Kimono that can have house insignias printed on them to be used at formal occasions. They can be worn as everyday wear. They are also der rigour at tea ceremonies because they are considered understated enough to not clash with any decorations or utensil patterns involved in the ceremony.

Samue

Pants and jackets sets that are often used as work wear for artisans etc.

Jinbei

Light jacket and short sets that are breezy garments for hot days or for after the bath. Check out the Japanoscope Jinbei guide here.

Happi

Jackets that are often used for festive occasions and may have writing on the front lapels advertising a team, house, company etc.

Hanten

Hanten jackets are popular house ware, especially in their warm winter coat variety. I personally live in my hanten jacket throuout the colder months. They are very popular for children also. See the Japanoscope Hanten page here.

Tsumugi

A woven silk garment. These have the high quality and durability of silk but are not as silky or flashy. They are popular due to their more subtle, refined nature. They are often so well made and long lasting that they are passed down from father to son to be worn by a whole new generation. 

Montsuki

“Montsuki” literally means “crested” and denotes a kimono with some kind of family or house crest. These are considered the most formal Kimono and are usually worn with a full length under robe “Nagagi” and a pair of pants called “Hakama”. This sort of attire is commonly worn for weddings or formal ceremonies.

Male kimonos can also be divided by material. Silk kimonos are generally reserved for special occasions, while thicker clothes (like cotton) are suitable for lounging.

 

A diagram of Japanese men's Kimono from informal to formal (left to right)

What Are The Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Kimonos?

Men’s and women’s kimonos differ significantly. Typically, women’s kimonos feature more vibrant colors, patterns, and fold varieties, while the traditional male kimono is usually subtle in color. Brown, black, gray, and navy blue are all common variations.

Additionally, the belt used to hold the kimono together, also known as the obi, is distinct for men. While kimonos geared for women feature thicker obi, male kimonos’ obi are thinner and less decorative.

Traditionally, male kimonos designed for less formal occasions were brighter in color and may have featured simple patterns. Today, there’s no shortage of male kimonos with ostentatious, complex, and vibrant colors.

You might notice that women have much more to choose from when selecting a new kimono. The reason is simple: More women demand kimonos than men, especially for formal events like graduations and weddings. This divide came about some time in the Meiji restoration when Japan went through a rapid transition to westernisation. Men were very much expected to “move with the times” while women were expected to be more “traditionally decorative”.

What is a male kimono called?

There are many names for different types of male kimono including yukata, montsuki, samue, jinbei, happi, hakama etc. “Kimono” literally just means “clothing” so if you think of the range of different types of clothing that exist in contemporary western culture, you will find that just as many different types and categories exist within Kimono.

What do men in Japan wear?

Contemporary Japanese men wear very similar clothing to contemporary Western men. They also have the option of wearing a range of different Kimono such as yukata, montsuki, samue, jinbei, happi, hakama etc. either in combination with Western clothing or independently.

Do males wear kimonos? Can a man wear a kimono?

Yes, throughout most of Japanese history Kimono is all Japanese men wore. Japanese men still wear kimono in a range of contexts, mostly anywhere that involves traditional Japanese culture, such as ceremonies, at temples, around bath houses, taking part in traditional crafts and performances.

Can you wear kimono with western clothes?

Yes, go for it Many Japanese and non-Japanese people have experimented with combining Western and Japanese clothing, coming up with all sorts of interesting combinations. 

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

The JEArtGallery kimono certainly makes a great first impression. Featuring a white dragon on the back and delicate koi fish on the front, the black kimono is a statement piece.

 

The delicate robe is made from lightweight, flowy materials that emphasize movement. It’s finished with an open-front fit and three-quarter length sleeves. Moreover, it can easily be layered over clothing for colder seasons or worn as-is for warm weather.

 

Pros

  • Comes with a thick polyester-blend belt for closure
  • Three-quarter sleeves offer a broad, oversized opening for the forearms
  • Larger fit kimono can easily be layered over thick-knit winter clothing
  • Comes in several different unique patterns featuring white dragons

Cons

  • Some might prefer more traditional Japanese kimono designs
  • Only offered in cardigan length fit

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

Sourced from pure linen with a natural silk belt, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more comfortable than the ChinatamaniAlchemi kimono. This Bohemian-style kimono is shaped akin to a classic yukata, yet is set apart by its asymmetric tunic fit.

 

The kimono features a wide belt and is offered in shades like dusky pink, classic black, and silver-gray. The pure linen material is ideal for days spent on the beach or out around town.

Pros

  • Offered in several different shades
  • Made from breathable linen and silk
  • Asymmetric fit offers many different styling options from cafen to yukata, kimono, or tunic

Cons

  • Some may prefer more traditional Japanese kimono look, fit, and feel
  • Linen material retains wrinkles, unlike classic silk kimonos

Black Dragon Men's Kimono Haori

Sourced from pure linen with a natural silk belt, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more comfortable than the ChinatamaniAlchemi kimono. This Bohemian-style kimono is shaped akin to a classic yukata, yet is set apart by its asymmetric tunic fit.

 

The kimono features a wide belt and is offered in shades like dusky pink, classic black, and silver-gray. The pure linen material is ideal for days spent on the beach or out around town.

Pros

  • Offered in several different shades
  • Made from breathable linen and silk
  • Asymmetric fit offers many different styling options from cafen to yukata, kimono, or tunic

Cons

  • Some may prefer more traditional Japanese kimono look, fit, and feel
  • Linen material retains wrinkles, unlike classic silk kimonos

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you’ve got something out of this little exploration of the world of the male kimono.  If you’re in the market for to buy some men’s kimono garments, it really does depend on what you’re looking for. But personally I like the men’s linen options from Newchic. Made from 100 percent cotton, the kimono is cheaper than its silk counterparts yet doesn’t skimp on quality. The full-length kimono is handcrafted by artisans from Kyoto. The simple pattern is good for use in casual settings or combining with other clothing items. Here’s to the continued varying history of the mighty! Also check out the Japanoscope Jinbei page if you are interested in finding out more about the summery jacket-and-shorts type kimono. If you are interested in making your own, have a look at the Japanoscope fabrics page.  

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Kotatsu Sets Japanese Kotatsu Tables

Kotatsu Sets

こたつセット

Women sitting at a Japanese Kotatsu Table

Across centuries, the Kotatsu has been the traditional gathering point for families relaxing and keeping warm together. Sure, central heating is good, but there is nothing like a central point where loved ones come together to stave off the elements. They are also relatively cost efficient. I’m going to aim at answering all of the most commonly asked questions about Kotatsu tables and Japanese heated tables and then introduce some of the best ones available to purchase online. Let’s start by looking at some of the picks for Kotatsu sets.

If you are wanting to see more information about Japanese tables generally see the Japanoscope JAPANESE TABLES PAGE, or to see what you can combine your table with in a room, check out the Japanoscope JAPANESE HOME DECOR page. For a look at what you can sit at the table take a look at our ZABUTON CUSHIONS page.

If you want to find out about just the heater part of these Kotatsu units, take a look at the KOTATSU HEATERS Page.

If you want to see more about KOTATSU BLANKETS AND KOTATSU FUTON look here.

#1 Stylish LZG Kotatsu Set

Unlike the vast majority of Kotatsu covers, this one actually looks really stylish and can be a value adding element in your lounge room. Size-wize it suits one -two people.

Pros

  • Stylish Kotatsu Futon design
  • All-in-one set
  • Simple and stylish when used as a normal table
  • Blanket compact when folded
  • Non-slip, washable materials
  • Temperature adjustable

Cons

  • Table protrubes quite a lot, making it more prone to being bumped
  • On the small side if used with two people

#2 Damedai Wooden Rectangular Kotatsu Set

With a wooden table that is stylish with or without the Kotatsu add ons, this is a solid versatile option.

Pros

  • Stylish table design
  • All-in-one set
  • Slim heater with protected element
  • Adjustable heat
  • Warm, fluffy blanket

Cons

  • Cat designed blanket won’t suit all
  • No adjustable legs for storage

#3 Classic SquareTwo Person Kotatsu Set

This classic square Kotatsu set is traditional with a patchwork design.

Pros

  • Traditional Patchwork Blanket
  • All-in-one set
  • Good size and shape for two people
  • Classic table design
  • Solid wood legs

Cons

  • Plywood top
  • Non-folding or adjustable legs

What is a Kotatsu?

A Kotatsu is a Japanese table with a heater attached to it’s underside that warms up a space enclosed by a blanket underneath.

In other words, a Kotatsu is as close a place as there is to heaven on earth.

Modern and traditional Kotatsu set up

What’s good about a Kotatsu?

Relatively cost efficient – rather than heating up a whole house, you just heat up one confined space

  • Bring people together in one central location. Board games anyone?
  • They combine the most comforting things in the world, heating, bedding and eating. That’s a pretty potent combo.
  • They double as an ordinary old coffee table in the warm months

Where did the Kotatsu come from anyway?

People in Japan traditionally sat around an open fire pit in the middle of the house called an irori. You can get a more complete history of the Kotatsu from wikipedia but the short answer is that people started putting a blanket over the hot coals in the pit to trap heat to make a kind of mini sauna to keep warm in winter.

How to buy a Kotatsu outside of Japan

There are several major stores including Kotatsu on Amazon, or for a lot more choice you can check these Kotatsu on Amazon Japan that offer international shipping. In some cases, Aliexpress’ Kotatsu page has Kotatsu listed at prices much lower than you see in other places. All these sights list Kotatsu sets, Kotatsu heaters or Kotatsu blankets/futons. 

How much does a kotatsu cost?

Generally speaking, complete sets of a table with heater, a mat and blanket start from around $600, generally you’re going to need to spend a $1000 or for good quality items.

Kotatsu in a room next to a futon

Kotatsu set or mix and match table/heater/futon

There are a couple of routes to take. You can either: 

  1. Purchase a complete set, with all the blankets, table and heating apparatus together, or 
  2. Find and combine the different pieces together yourself. 

Both of these methods have pluses as minuses. Obviously buying as a complete set is easier. But the drawback is that you don’t get as much control over the design and feel. Maybe you like the table but not the design or vica versa. Maybe you have a table and you want to put a floor style Kotatsu heater underneath it, or attach one to on the underside of the tabletop. 

You will find that if you look through the Amazon Japan store and search for items that include international shipping, the options for Kotatsu futons and blankets is a lot wider than if you only look on an international store or restrict yourself to sets. 

It all depends on how particular are and how you much effort you want to put in to mixing and matching. Considering a Kotatsu is likely to be something that is in your household for many years, it is probably worth taking the time to get something you’re really happy with!

What Size Kotatsu Do I need?

Kotatsu For One Person

Recommended size: 60cm x 40cm

60cm on the sides and 40cm depth gives you enough room for using a computer, reading, eating etc.

Kotatsu For Two People 

Recommended size: Square 80-90cm Rectangle Long side 90-105cm

A square is generally the best size for two people. 80cm is around optimal, 90cm if you want to stretch out.

Kotatsu For Three People 

Recommended size: Rectangle with 105 ~ 120cm on the long side

If you get something closer to 120cm you could comfortably use the kotatsu with can be used by 4 people, so you should choose it if you want more space or think about the future.

Kotatsu For Three People 

Recommended size: Rectangle … Rectangle of 80 ~ 85cm x  120 ~ 135cm

For two children and two adults, a width of 120 cm is about right. 

For four adults, you probably want something with a width of 135 cm.

Kotatsu Tables and Room Size

It’s the obvious things that sometimes get forgotten about when making a house purchase. Make sure you look at the measurements in proportion to your room size.

You want to leave enough room for people to freely pass around the Kotatsu, usually at least 60cm.

It is worth actually marking out the space, using a measuring tape, you plan to use your Kotatsu to see how it feels.

Also consider whether you plan to use your table for dining, obviously you’ll want more room at dining table than a table that you will be using more casually.

There are “space saving” style Kotatsu futons that help reduce some of the bulk created by the futon.

What size rug do you need for a Kotatsu?

Generally speaking, you want to put your Kotatsu on a rug that protrudes at least 50cm further than your Kotatsu size.

How tall is a kotatsu table?

If sitting unseated, on a carpet or rug, under a Kotatsu, the recommended table height is around 35 cm. Children will start to feel a Kotatsu as being too high around the 40 cm mark. If you plan to sit at a Kotatsu with a chair or floor sofa, it is best to allow another 5 to 10 cm and go for something around 40 – 45cm in height. So it is good to think about whether or not you plan to use chairs right from the start.

Of late, there are people that use their kotatsu in combination with fairly large sofa style cushions. In this case you may need an even higher Kotatsu of 50 cm or higher.

Some Kotatsu come with adjustable height mechanisms built into their construction.

Kotatsu Legs

There are three main types of Kotatsu legs:

  • Folding

Legs that have a hinge that make them foldable and, thus, easy to store away in the hotter months!

  • Fixed

Kotatsu heaters of late have started to become a lot smaller than in the past. This opens up the possibility of using your Kotatsu as a normal all-purpose table throughout the year. So having a table with fixed legs is, of course, no problem in this context.

  • Adjustable

Some Kotatsu have adjustable legs so you can raise the table higher or lower as your needs may be. This is actually more convenient than a lot of people may think as you may want to switch between using your kotatsu with or without it’s blanket or between using chairs and not using chairs over time or depending on the season. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are being “squeezed in” to a tight sitting space!

Under The Kotatsu

Is a kotatsu a fire hazard?

Kotatsu do not represent a significant fire hazard if used correctly. Modern Kotatsu generally have automatic temperature adjustment functionality. In 2017, there were four reports from the Tokyo Fire Department of fires linked to the use of Kotatsu. 

There have been cases where incorrect use of Kotatus has led to fires. These are often associated with different items being pushed inside the Kotatus cavity, such as laundry or flammable items that can ignite if in contact with the heating apparatus too long.

The top things to be aware of when using a Kotatsu from a safety perspective are:

(1) Keep cushions and clothes out of the kotatsu

(2) Don’t put furniture on the power cord

(3) Arrange a cord in a way that it is not constantly getting stepped on and damaged

(4) Prevent dust from accumulating on the heater of the electric kotatsu, which can build up and become flammable over time

(5) Turn off the power when not using the kotatsu

As with any kind of heating, using a kotatsu demands a level of awareness.

Can you burn yourself on a kotatsu?

It is possible to sustain low temperature burns from long contact with a kotatsu heating apparatus.

Low temperature burns are those caused by heat sources below 60 ° C. For every 1 degree increase in temperature, the time it takes to get a low temperature burn is roughly halved. If you were to touch something at 44 ° C for 6 hours, you run the risk of getting a low temperature burn.

Low-temperature burns tend to cause burns that run deeply into the skin. Legs, ankles, and heels are particularly susceptible to low-temperature burns as these areas of the body do not perceive pain as acutely as others and often have poor blood circulation. 

This means people should take care in spending too long in a Kotatsu, such as sleeping for long periods of time.

What converter would you use for a kotatsu heater

Voltage in Japan is 100v, so if you buy a Japanese made Kotatsu you would need a power converter or transformer to convert to 120v for North America, 230v for Central Europe or 240v for Australia.

Power Converter

How do kotatsu work?

Kotatsu have a heating unit installed underneath the top table which heats up the space underneath the blanket and table top.

Most commonly, Quartz Tube Heating units are used. Halogen heaters are also popular due because they are quick to heat up. 

Heaters are relatively these days, especially in the flat heater type which aim at entirely doing away with any protrusion under the table whatsoever. Check out the Japanoscope Kotatsu Heater page for more information.

What blanket to use for a kotatsu?

There are basically three types of blanket, called futon, that people use with Kotatus in Japan; Thick (atsugake), thin (usugake) and space saving (sho-supesu).

The thicker the blanket, the more warm and luxurious. The drawback is that they are bulky, heavy and more difficult to store.

Thinner blankets are easier to get in and out of and take less room to store.

Space savers have thin material at the corners so that they take up the least space.

Can you sleep under a kotatsu?

It is a widely held belief in Japan that sleeping in a kotatsu leads to catching a cold. This is a difficult phenomenon to study clinically, so there is little solid medical evidence to support the commonly held view. Theoretically there is plenty of medical evidence that links changes in body temperature with various ailments. So the idea that you sleep with half your body in a highly warm space and half in a cold space could lead to you being more susceptible to sickness has some logic to it in theory. The main concerns that have been voiced about sleeping under a kotatsu are:

  • Dehydration from sweating so much during the night leading ailments such as constipation.
  • Lower body temperature becomes higher than upper ⇒ sweating leads to dehydration ⇒ blood thickens ⇒ Blood clots form more easily ⇒ Increased risk of strokes or heart attack
  • Risk of burns from body parts resting against warm-hot surfaces over a long period of time.

How does kotatsu top stay on?

Generally speaking, the table top of a Kotatsu with a futon inserted beneath it is not fixed and is mainly held on by the weight of the tabletop itself. There are underlays that can be purchased to help grip the top. It is possible to also hold on the top with screws, but this requires putting holes in the futon underneath, so is not a popular option.

What cushions to use with Kotatsu?

Kotatsu cushion or zabuton sizes are generally best at around 50 cm or more larger on each side than the width and depth of the kotatsu. This allows the cushion to be equal to the space that the blanket covers when hanging out from the kotatsu.

For a 80 cm x 80 cm square kotatsu, the cushion space should be about 180 cm x 180 cm.

It also depends on how much you want to sprawl out. If you want to lay down, you will, of course, need more cushioned space!

There are also Kotatsu that are designed to save space by eliminating any slack in the corners by draping. These have thick blanketing where you want warmth and thinner material at the edges and corners where thickness is not needed.

 

#4 BJ Design Chabudai-Style Round Kotatsu

This classic chabudai-style Kotatsu Japanese floor table is made of high-quality luxury wood and is stylish enough that you can use it the whole year. It’s a great option if you are after a round table for one to two people. It a pinch, you could squeeze up to four people around up, but not particularly comfortably.

Pros

  • Stylish year round use
  • Circular design comfortably accommodates one to two people, can take up to four less comfortably
  • Includes a screw to keep table top in place
  • Easy to assemble.The table is easy to set up and can easily be assembled by anyone with no technical skills or tools. It features a temperature adjustment knob for the heater.
  • Bring your own favourite futon or kotatsu appropriate blanket
  • Power-efficient quartz tube heater.

Cons

  • Not a complete set, need to find own blanket/mat
  • On the small side if needed for family use
  • Need power converter

#5 Round Wooden Kotatsu

This table has distinctive panel style legs that give it a modern feel. The circular table measures 80 centimeters in diameter, so would be best for around two people. It has a unique a double-decked table top which makes it relatively stable when used as a Kotatsu with a futon. The fitted heater is compact and easy to install

Pros
  • Double deck top adds stability to kotatsu
  • Compact and easy install heater
  • Modern looking, sturdy legs
  • Good size for two people
Cons
  • The legs are not collapsible
  • Not Japanese made

#6 Round Wooden Kotatsu

A Stylish Modern rectangular Kotatsu with table, futon and heater all included. With a long edge of 105cm, this Kotatsu is suitable for 3+ people.

Pros

  • Rounded edges are sleek, modern, and safe for children and adults alike
  • Perfect size for three person family, but also usable for four
  • Stylish wooden piece appropriate for use as a year-round table
  • Natural or dark finish available on wood

Cons

  • Relatively bulky
  • Non-removable legs
  • Requires power converter for most countries

 

Oh, and why are oranges associated with kotatsu?

Any talk of Kotatsu in Japan brings up the image of the family sitting around the table eating mandarin oranges and playing cards. So what gives with the oranges?

Mandarin oranges are good for keeping hydrated. A Kotatsu is a bit like a mini sauna, the hotter it is, the more you sweat. Oranges are sweet and juicy and in season in winter. And, you can’t rush an orange. It has to be peeled. Just as you can’t rush the Kotatsu experience, lounging around with family taking refuge from the harsh winter.

Hopefully this article has been able to answer all of your burning questions to do with Japanese kotatsu heated tables.  Any of the Kotatsu sets we have listed are solid options if you’re in the market. Buying a set is definitely the easiest way to go if you want to get started with a kotatsu easily. Things like blanket design are quite individual though, so you may want to consider going the mix and match route.

If you are wanting to see more information about Japanese tables generally see the Japanoscope Japanese tables page, or to see what you can combine your table with in a room, check out the Japanoscope Japanese Home Decor page. For a look at what you can sit at the table take a look at our Zabuton cushion page.

Heres to happy times getting toasty at the table!

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter  Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts doing a Masters Degree, have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).

ピータージョセフヘッドです。4年間京都市立芸大の大学院として日本に住み、6回日本で音楽ツアーをし、日本語能力試験で1級を取得しました。要するに日本好きです。

Japanese Table and Chabudai Guide

Japanese Tables

ちゃぶ台

So maybe you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant and wondered about the Japanese floor tables that you’ve been seated at. Sitting around a low dining table or tatami table offers a whole new perspective on the world. Japanese dining tables, Japanese tea tables and Japanese folding tables are highly sought after for the modern minimalist aesthetics, making them very appealing in contemporary minimalistic settings. We answer most of the questions people have about Japanese tables below but let’s start by introducing a few of our favorites.

If you are wanting to see what you can combine your table with in a room, check out the Japanoscope Japanese Home Decor page. For a look at what you can sit at the table take a look at our Zabuton cushion page.

If you are looking for heated Japanese tables, we have a whole post on KOTATSU HERE.

#1 Deluxe Custom Japanese Table Chabudai

The Rolls Royce of Chabudai with beautiful wood and craftsmanship customizable to your requirements. You pay for what you get though.

Pros

  • Table overhang designed for leg clearance while floor seating
  • Relatively high 36″ accomadates taller/larger people
  • Custom sizes and alterations
  • Available in Walnut (shown), Oak, Cherry

Cons

  • Price will be beyond what many are looking to spend

#2 Folding Leg Japanese Table Set

An all in one table and chair set that is stylish and compact.

Pros

  • Includes 4 Zaiisu style seats with built in cushions
  • Retractable legs for easy storage
  • Solid wood construction
  • Cushions on table legs to protect floor and aid in stability

Cons

  • Foldable items are by their nature less stable than hard constructed items

 

#3 Antique Style Chabudai Japanese Table

This low tea table is perfect for serving beverages to guests when you are entertaining. The surface is made of dark wood while the thick legs make the table extra sturdy. The top surface has a lacquar finish and measures 60 centimeters by 35 centimeter, thus providing you with enough surface to serve meals.

Pros
  • thick sturdy legs
  • Beautiful finish on the exterior
  • Large top surface
Conts
  • The legs are not collapsible
  • Has no storage compartment

What are japanese floor tables called

The most common Japanese floor table is the chabudai (sometimes also called a shippukudai, shippokudai, shoppukudai in different regions of Japan).

Individual tables placed in front of a single person are called a Zen.

"How to present a Zen table"

How high are japanese tables?

A standard size low Japanese floor table is around 30cm. This has changed over time, with antique tables being lower at anywhere between 15-30cm.

What are the pillows that japanese use to sit at their tables called?

The pillows that Japanese use to sit on at low tables are called Zabuton. They are sometimes combined with floor seats called zaiisu.

How are japanese tables set?

A Japanese table is usually set with a rice bowl to the left, a main dish plate in the centre and soup bowl at the right with chopsticks at the front. This is illustrated below.

Japanese Table Setting Japanese Plates Japanese Bowl Japanese Chopsticks Chawan
Basic Japanese Table Setting. Left to right, Chawan bowl, plate for main dish, Soup bowl. Chopsticks in front.

Why are japanese tables so low?

Japanese tables are low because of the culture of Japanese sitting and sleeping on the floor. The reason Japanese people sit on the floor is a larger discussion but is related to the humid climate in Japan, which led to houses being raised off the ground. Many houses in Europe had little separation between ground and floor. In this context, people are much less likely to be inclined to take off their shoes, the floors become more dirty and people don’t use their floors for much other than walking over. In Japan’s raised floor context, the floor become a space to be used for many activities, including dining at low tables.

What shapes do Japanese low tables take?

Japanese floor tables generally take one of four shapes: circle, ellipsis, square, oblong.

What are the different types of Japanese tables?

Chabudai 卓袱台

A chabudai is a popular short-legged table you will find in many Japanese homes. The table usually ranges from a height of 15 cm to 30 cm and are often designed to be collapsible for easy storage. Not being high enough for western style chairs, people typically sit on tatami or zabuton, often placed on a zaiisu chair. Chabudais can be used for different purposes, such as low workbenches, low dinning tables, study tables, Japanese tea tables.

There are several theories as to where the word “Chabudai” came from. Some say it is derived from the word Cha, meaning tea, but there also strong arguments that the word is actually derived from a chinese word meaning “to sit at a table”.

Chabudai first spread throughout Japan in the late 1800s, and their often circular design is considered symblomatic of the rise of the nuclear family unit in Japan, where families would sit around the table in a setting they didn’t highlight hierarchy.

Kotatsu 炬燵

A kotatsu basically resembles a chabudai, but the frame is covered by a heavy blanket or futon, upon which the tabletop rests. The table features a heat source installed underneath the table. In most Kotatsus, the electric heater is usually fitted on to the table itself. 

Traditionally, Kotatsu have tended to be a lot more “functional” than stylish, making them perhaps not the best choice for year round use. More recently, with the heating mechanisms becoming smaller and more hidden away in the design, Kotatsu have started to become genuine competetors to the coffee table as beautiful objects in their own right. You will generally pay a little more for a Kotatsu, but given all you get for heating solution that can also be used year round, they are definitely worth considering. 

Japanoscope has a whole page on Kotatsu here that goes into more detail.

Single Action Table

The table gets its name from its ability to fold up in a single action of closing. The table is quite compact and portable, making it very useful for confined spaces. The single-action table works perfectly as a dining and tea table. The table features a nylon carrying case that makes it easy to haul around.

Notable Japanese Table brands

Meiduo

The meiduo is made of natural bamboo wood and features a non-standard square design. It has a multi-layered wood accent that makes its integration into different rooms seamless. It also comes with a shelf panel beneath the tabletop. The meiduo requires no setup and comes with two comfy chairs covered with cushioning.

Yamako Table

The Yamako is also a short-legged table with collapsible legs for easy storage and transportation. It features a round wooden top and flared legs. Because of its design, the Yamako integrates into most spaces perfectly, while the natural wood adds a calming tone. The Yamako can accommodate up to four people but comfortably seats two.

 

How to choose the best Japanese table for your home.

The different types of tables mentioned above are designed for different spaces and uses, so what should you consider when choosing one that works for you? Well, it all boils down to what you intend to use the table for and the amount of space available in your home. Most of the tables can be used for multiple purposes, including studying, dining, or even working. If you live in a cold area, you could pick a Kotatsu for obvious reasons.

In terms of shape, there are a few things to consider:

Round tables give you the flexibility of trying to squeeze more or less people around them as necessary. They are also the most “social” and least “hierarchal” shape. If you are looking for a Japan style dining table, this shape can work well. They are good for communal eating where you put a lot of dishes in the middle to share. They also open up the possibility of using a “lazy Susan” revolving table in the middle.

The oblong Or Rectangular Japanese low table is the most popular shape in Japan. I guess you could say that it is really the most popular shape for all tables in the world, because they tend to fit into most rooms in the most efficient way.

square table suggests no hierarchy, so can be good fostering open dialogue. But you are limited with the amount of people that can sit, so they don’t provide flexibility.

low folding table is something you should consider if you are space restricted or want to use your home in a modular way where you bring things out when you need them and put them away when you don’t. This opens up the possibility of using your room for multiple purposes. You could, for example, use your Japanese folding table to help you change your room from a living room to a bedroom where needed. Indeed, this is norm for how traditional houses in Japan have been used over time.

Is it rude to sit cross legged in Japan?

Sitting cross legged, called “agura”, is generally considered the relaxed or casual way of sitting. In a hierarchical society like Japan it could be considered rude to sit this way if you are in the presence of someone you should be paying respect to. In this situation you would want to sit in the kneeling position, called “seiza”. This way of sitting is considered to be deferential to the others in the room.

#4 ZEN'S Bamboo Square Coffee Table

This bamboo coffee table is not only practical but also very versatile. It is large enough to serve different purposes but also small enough to be easily concealed after use. Don’t let the size fool you, though! The table can handle up to a remarkable 100 kgs.

The table is made of natural bamboo and high-quality MDF; it is finished off with a waterborne paint to make the surface smooth and more durable. The Zen table has a storage space strategically fitted under the tabletop. The table’s corners are arc-shaped to protect you and your child from being knocked down by the corners.

Pros

  • It is built with high-quality materials.
  • It can carry up to 100 kgs.
  • It has smooth arc shaped table corners.

Cons

  • The MDF construction takes out the Japanese-styled authenticity.

#5 Snow Peak Single Action Table Low

The snow peak table is a stylish minimalistic table made of bamboo that is made to be portable. The table is quite convenient to carry along in your next outdoor dinner or picnic. The well-built table can be used as a study table, picnic table, or even a coffee table. It can easily accommodate up to four people but is more comfortable and spacious when used by two.

Pros

  • It is easy to assemble.
  • It is quite portable.
  • It easily fits into confined spaces.

Cons

  • It cannot handle that much weight.

#6 Multi Folding Wooden Japanese Tea Table