Artificial Japanese Maple Tree Guide

If you’re like me, and you’ve spent many years wandering around the Japanese countryside and through its gardens, you’ll know how beautiful a Japanese Maple Tree is. They have the ability to add vibrant splashes of color into a more or less uniform palette of green. 

In Japan, this contrast of colors is enjoyed both on the large and the small scale. Often, Japanese garden design, and Japanese Home Decor, are actively trying to mimic, or recreate, or pay homage to the way nature itself presents itself. So may see a whole mountainside that presents a patchwork of autumnal hues mixed with evergreens. The people that live in the surrounding areas may try to achieve an effect in their own gardens that reference this. They may do this by having smaller versions of these trees in the form of Bonsai, or incorporate Japanese Maple Trees in their own gardens.

Of course, as always, the greatest effect is going to be achieved by going through the effort of sourcing, looking after, and shaping a real tree in a real garden, or within the home. But, for many, this just isn’t feasible amidst the business of a modern day lifestyle. The answer for many is using a combination of real and faux plants to create an effect that is striking, but not so hard to maintain. An artificial Japanese Maple Tree is a case in point, and has the added advantage of allowing you to “maintain” your tree at the perfect point in its aesthetic life cycle the whole year round.

With that in mind, here are some of our favourite artificial maple trees on the market.

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”.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph 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。

Best Japanese Throw Pillows 2021

Our Favorite Japanese Cushions for the Couch!

Being fans of all kinds of Japanese Home Decor, we’ve looked over the internet to find some of the fineset Japanese throw pillows, Japanese cushions and oriental pillows around.

There’s a lot out there, so to make navigating things a little easier we’ve divided them into:

Patterned Japanese Throw Pillows and Cushions

Ukiyo-e and Traditional Japanese Throw Pillows and Cushions

Anime, Cute & Pet Japanese Throw Pillows and Cushions (including Ghibli)

Patterned Japanese Throw Pillows and Japanese Cushions

These cusions bring a sense of oriental refiniment to your living room. They can add a striking accent without being overpowering.

Traditional Design & Woodblock Print Japanese Throw Pillows

If you want something that really identifies strongly with Japan these throw pillows will do the job. Including items that feature faous Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. 

Anime, Cute & Pet Japanese Thow Pillows

If you’re after a cushion on the kawaii or cute end of the spectrum, these are some great options. Including Ghibli and other anime/manga titles.

You may also be interested in checking out our pages for Japanese Floor Cushions or Zabuton

or looking at our pages on Japanese Tables & Chabudai and the might Kotatsu table.

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”.

smells like teen spirit 和訳

スメルズライクティーンスピリット 歌詞の徹底解説 。ネットですでに存在しているNirvana Smells Like Teen Spiritの和訳を見ましたが、どれもいいところと悪いところがあって、かなり間違っているのも多いと思いました。
自分の納得行く訳を作ろうと思いました。

Read More »

Magic Party Believe In Paradise

https://youtu.be/9judaFLVS_4 If you haven’t skipped the ending credits after watching “Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories” (深夜食堂 Shinya Shokudo in Japanese) season 1 you will remember the bold, female vocal

Read More »

Japanese Song Lyrics

An ever growing list of Japanese Songs translated into, and performed in, English. Most songs presented with a detailed background to song context and history.

Read More »

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph 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). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records.

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。

Slackers Ninja Line For Families 2021

I’ve got kids that love to climb. So I recently bought them a Slackers Ninja Line, and it’s been a big hit with them. 

It was a god send during the COVID lockdown where they were out there swinging on it every day. 

What is a slackline?

 

If you are unfamiliar with the whole concept. A slackline is basically a piece of super robust material that you stretch out really tightly between a couple of trees. You use a ratchet to make it so taught that you can either walk across it or hang from it. If you have two of them, one over the other, you can do both. 

 

Slackers Ninja Line For The Family

 

The great thing about the Slacker Ninja Line is that you have all sorts of bits and bobs that you can attach to it to make a little Ninja Obstacle Course. The various bars, swing ropes and loops can be moved around to create your own variations.

My daughter in particular is super into monkey bars and climbing, and this slack line with it’s hanging apparatus basically lets her do many of the things she would do in a playground. We were originally looking at getting some monkey bars, but Slackers Ninja Line is much cheaper, and fulfills the purpose a treat. 

The other big plus is that the slack line is totally portable. Loosen the ratchet and you can take it anywhere. Our family loves to camp, so it has been great to take to the greater outdoors and set up around the campsite. It tends to come into its own as a focus point for kids to congregate around and play together.

The first time I set it up it took a little fiddling around, but once I got the hang of it was simple enough.

The “Ninja” side of things is fairly arbitrary, but was nice for us, being a mixed Japanese-western family that likes to incorporate Japanese-influenced stuff into our lifestyle.

Here are some picture of the Slackline in our backyard.

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”.

smells like teen spirit 和訳

スメルズライクティーンスピリット 歌詞の徹底解説 。ネットですでに存在しているNirvana Smells Like Teen Spiritの和訳を見ましたが、どれもいいところと悪いところがあって、かなり間違っているのも多いと思いました。
自分の納得行く訳を作ろうと思いました。

Read More »

Magic Party Believe In Paradise

https://youtu.be/9judaFLVS_4 If you haven’t skipped the ending credits after watching “Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories” (深夜食堂 Shinya Shokudo in Japanese) season 1 you will remember the bold, female vocal

Read More »

Japanese Song Lyrics

An ever growing list of Japanese Songs translated into, and performed in, English. Most songs presented with a detailed background to song context and history.

Read More »

Best Japanese coffee makers of 2021

You may have seen some weird and wiggy Coffee Makers on your last trip to Japan. Generally, they are huge fans of the drip style coffee. But often they are not satisfied with your ever day, manual drip. They like to slow things down a little, make the process something of a science. Indeed many Japanese coffee makers look like contraptions that wouldn’t be out of place in a science laboratory beside the beaker and the bunsen burner. This style of coffee is especially associated with the Kyoto coffee makers. Kyoto has always had a reputation for needing to be more refined than the rest of the country, so why should coffee be any different?

So here is our list of our favorite Japanese Coffee Makers of 2021.

Types Of Japanese Coffee Makers

There are three main types of coffee makers that Japan is generally more well known for Siphon, Drip Filter or Cold Brew.

Japanese Siphon (or Syphon or Vacuum) Coffee Makers

Japan is well known for making high quality Siphon or Vacuum style coffee makers. 

This style of coffee making turns the whole experience into something like a science experiment you used to at school with Bunsen burners and beakers. It was originally invented in Germany in the 19th century, and it feels like it reflects the ideas we have around German scientific efficiency of the time (and the ideas of modern Japanese efficiency too). 

It’s not the way you would go about making coffee every single time you want a cup, but it’s a great way to make a fine drop, using some fancy contraptions when you have guests or just want to do something special. 

I want go through the whole process here but you can see someone doing it real time in this video.

The upshot is that you heat liquid in a container below, which rises up to a container above. You then put ground coffee in the liquid at the top, which again filters back down to the bottom after you turn the heat off, leaving you with your brew. Phew. Probably the most well known Japanese Coffee Maker brank for siphon or vacuum coffee is Hario.

Japanese Drip Filter Coffee Makers

Drip coffee is probably the most popular way of making coffee in Japan.  Based around the idea of pouring hot water through ground coffee placed over a pot or cup, this style of coffee is, logically, also referred to as pour-over-coffee making. It can also be referred to as the Melitta process, after the 1908 German inventor of this style of coffee making, Melitta Bentz.

These coffee makers can be further divided into manual and automatic systems: 

Drip Filter Cones

The most simple kind of Drip coffee maker is the filter cone. The material of the cone can add various flavor colors to the coffee depending on what you use (metal, porcelain, paper etc.)

Once again, Japanese Hario Cones are generally pretty good.

 

Ceramic Japanese Coffee Cones

I’m particularly into Japanese ceramic coffee cones. Japan has such a long and wonderful history of making fine ceramics associated with the rich tradition of tea. But why should the green stuff have all the fun? From the 1980s, Japan started experimenting with making porous ceramics that combine ancient firing traditions, like those from the Arita region, with modern techniques. The result is filters that bring a unique flavor to your brew that you really can’t get any other way. Here’s one:

Cool Japanese Drip Coffee Devices

Automatic Drip Coffee Makers

This is the easy way to do it. With this style of coffee being so popular around the world, you couldn’t say that Japan leads the way in this style of coffee maker. But with Japan being a country with a love of both drip coffee and technology, there are quite a few Automatic Drip Coffee Makers from Japanese brands including PanasonicTiger and Siroca.

Japanese Cold Brew Coffee Makers

Japanese cold brew coffee makers are also among some of the finest in the world. Personally, I love having a cold coffee on hand in the fridge at all times, partly because it saves you having to go through the whole coffee making process every single time you want a quick brew.

Japan has some serious cold brew apparatus. In particular, the multi-level “Kyoto” style brewing systems are spectacular. They make an event out of the coffee making process, but they’re not cheap…

If you want something eye-popping, and you willing to pay the price for a top line Japanese Coffee Maker, go for the Yama. Or a siphon. If you want something simple that is practical to use every day, go for the cone filter that you can just pour water over the top.

Whichever way you go, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the makers listed here.

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”.

smells like teen spirit 和訳

スメルズライクティーンスピリット 歌詞の徹底解説 。ネットですでに存在しているNirvana Smells Like Teen Spiritの和訳を見ましたが、どれもいいところと悪いところがあって、かなり間違っているのも多いと思いました。
自分の納得行く訳を作ろうと思いました。

Read More »

Magic Party Believe In Paradise

https://youtu.be/9judaFLVS_4 If you haven’t skipped the ending credits after watching “Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories” (深夜食堂 Shinya Shokudo in Japanese) season 1 you will remember the bold, female vocal

Read More »

Japanese Song Lyrics

An ever growing list of Japanese Songs translated into, and performed in, English. Most songs presented with a detailed background to song context and history.

Read More »

Best Japanese Christmas Decorations and Ornaments of 2021

Well I guess when you think of Christmas, sushi aren’t the first things to come to mind. But if you’re a fan of the Japanese aesthetic, well, why shouldn’t you have a bit of Rising Sun all year round?

There are a range of Japanese ornaments from the quirky, to the classy, traditional and modern.

Small lanterns can compliment the Christmas lights. Japanese wrapping paper, even anime wrapping paper, can bring a new accent to the space beneath the tree. Or you can go environmentally friendly and dispense with the wrapping paper altogether by using a Japanese “furoshiki” patterned cloth to wrap your presents. 

You can compliment your Japanese Christmas tree decorations with a whole other glowing sakura tree if you want to. You can beef up your Christmassy Japanese decor with a Japanese table runner.

Once you start thinking beyond the traditional “western Christmas” box, it opens up a whole new field of Eastern inspired possibilities. 

Here are some Japanoscope picks for a Japanese Christmas in 2021!

If you are looking for Japanese inspired gifts, see our Japanese Gifts for Him and Japanese Gifts For Her pages.

Kotatsu Blanket and Kotatsu Futon 2021 Guide

Kotatsu Blanket Guide

こたつ布団

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

Others like to mix and match by choosing their own Japanese table, heating element, Kotatsu quilt. 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 heating source.

Usually, there are two parts to the blanket, called futon in Japanese, side of things. You have a kakebuton (Comforter or weighted blanket) 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, check out our Kotatsu sets and Kotatsu tables page.

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 blanket that is around 110 – 130cm larger than the size of your Kotatsu table.

You want to get a futon blanket 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 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 weighted blanket (atsugake 厚がけ) 

Thin (usugake 薄がけ) 

Space saving (sho-supesu 省スペース)

Thick weighted blanket (atsugake 厚がけ)

The thicker the blanket, the more warm, luxurious and well equiped for the winter months. The drawback is that they are bulky, heavy, harder to store, and more difficult to get to the coin laundry!

Thin (usugake 薄がけ) 

Thinner blankets are easier to get in and out of and take less room to store. The futon fabric and stitching patterns tend to be more stylish and suited to a modern kotatsu that those of a heavy blanket.

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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.

 

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.

Kotatsu Heater Guide 2021

Kotatu Heaters

こたつヒーター

Kotatsu Heater Guide

I’ve spent a lot of time both sitting under the Kotatsu tables that are often a central feature of a Japanese home. I’ve also spent probably way too much time finding about the heating element and kotatsu heater fan parts that sit beneath the kotatsu table top above. I’ve even gone as far as doing entire blog posts about the heavy blankets that sit between the kotatsu table top and legs.

So maybe you love Kotatsu but you don’t want to fork out for a whole ready made set up. Maybe you like DIY projects. Or perhaps you already have a Kotatsu but the heater has stopped working. Rather than buy the whole thing all over again, you may be thinking it’s better just to change over the heater.

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.

If you’re interested in complete Kotatsu sets, check our page here.

Kotatsu Heater Vs. Central Heating or Space Heater

A traditional kotatsu has some pluses and minuses versus the other heater unit options out there.  

Pluses:

  • Heat up a single space rather than a large house = energy cost savings.
  • Kotatsu becomes a central place for the household to meet during winter months.
  • A traditional kotatsu isn’t just a heat source, but also a coffee table in warmer months.

 

Minuses:

  • You become more less stuck to one place
  • Not as easy to move around as more portable heater options

How To Make Your Own Kotatsu

Well, you can always just grab a Kotatsu heater and attach it to the frame of a table and put a piece of wood on top.

Metro 600w Kotatsu Heater

A reliable, standard slim size Kotatsu Heater. Hard to go wrong with this one.
Pros
Standard Size fits most modern kotatsu 29cm x 29cm
Easy install with screwdriver
Slim depth at 4.1 cm (1.6 inches)
U-shaped quartz tube heater heats the square space completely
Heat level controller
3m cord
Efficient power usage. High = about 180 Wh, Low = about 70 Wh

Cons
Needs 600w power converter
No remote control

YAMAZEN kotatsu Heater Unit 510w

Pros

Simple, functional heater.

  • Standard Size fits most modern kotatsu 29cm x 29cm
  • Includes fan for distributing heatEasy install with screwdriver
  • Moderately slim depth at 5.8cm (2.28 inches)
  • U-shaped quartz tube heater heats the square space completely
  • Temperature regulation: temperature control knob stepless variable (body)
  • 3m cord
  • Efficient power usage. High = about 180 Wh, Low = about 70 Wh

Cons

  • Temperature controller design very basic
  • Needs power converter
    No remote control

Morita Kotatsu Heater 600W

Japanese brand Kotatsu heater designed for Chinese market

Pros

  • Standard Size fits most modern kotatsu 29cm x 29cm
  • No-tool installation
  • Medium slim depth at 5 cm (2 inches)
  • Heat level controller

Cons

  • Heat level controller on device body is difficult to access
  • Needs power converter
  • No remote control

METRO one person kotatsu MPQ-100 (N)

A uniquely designed single person Kotatsu heater that you can slip under and blanket for an instant, simple Kotatsu experience.

Pros

  • No set up required
  • Use with just about any blanket
  • Beautiful wooden design

Cons

  • Very low wattage 100w
  • Only works for very small spaces such as under a one person blanket

Another easy way to make your own Kotatsu is to use any kind of table that has a shelf built into it underneath. You can take off the shelf part and swap to using it as a table top, with a blanket or futon sandwiched beneath it and the original table top. The most popular choice for this is the Ikea Lack, because it has short legs, a shelf that can easily be put on top of the table top, and is readily available from a range of locations.

You can see instructions on this here.

IKEA Lack

This is probably the most popular used for doing an easy Kotatsu conversion.

How To Change Over A Kotatsu Heater

Find the size of the frame that holds your current Kotatsu’s heater

Since the year 2000, Kotatsu heater sizes have largely been standardised at 29 x 29cm. Some Kotatsu frames are 33x33cm, but most heaters will come with a space filler so that you can still fit your 29x29cm heater. 

From there it’s really just a matter of unscrewing a couple of screws on each side of the heater and slotting in the new one. For most Kotatsu, the whole procedure shouldn’t take you longer than around 10 minutes.

This site has more information in Japanese that you can hit translate on if you want.

How To Choose A Kotatsu Heater

Kotatsu Element Size

In addition to making sure your Kotatsu heater is the right size to fit your table frame, you also need to make sure that the heat the heater emits matches the general size of your Kotatsu set. Generally speaking, kotatsu sizes don’t vary so significantly that you need to worry about it too much. 

The other thing to look out for is how thick the unit is. Obviously, the thicker it is, the more it sticks out under the table and the more annoying it will be. So thinner is better. Sizes range from 4cm (1.5 inches) on the slim side to about 7-8cm (around 3 inches) for thicker kotatsu heaters.

Kotatsu Heater Wattage

Wattage is related to sizes. Wattages are most commonly around the 600w mark, which is generally sufficient for most Kotatsu.

Be aware there are some smaller Kotatsu Heater units that are made specifically for single person Kotatsu applications that are as low as 100w. These are not going to be warm enough for a family size Kotatsu.

One advantage of lower wattage Kotatsu heaters is that you can leave them running for a long time, perhaps coming and going from the kotatsu, and not have to worry too much about power costs. Some people also say they have greater peace of mind by using a lower wattage kotatsu heater because they worry less about the worry of fires.

Of course the best way to get the best of both worlds is to have a Kotatsu with an adjustable heat dial, which most modern units have.

Quartz Vs. Halogen Kotatsu Heaters

Both Quartz and Halogen are good options for Kotatsu heaters. Generally speaking, halogen heaters are more energy efficient and longer lasting than Quartz. If you want to read about the details of the difference between quartz and halogen check out this article.

Do kotatsu heater casings get hot enough to burn?

Kotatsu heaters are specifically designed to not get so hot that they will burn. Make sure you get a heater that is specifically made for a Kotatsu. 

That being said, it is possible to sustain a low level temperature burn if you leave your body on a heated surface for extended periods of time.

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.

Do you need a Power Converter for a Kotatsu heater?

It is possible to use a 100v Japanese Kotatsu in the U.S. which has 120v power, but it is not recommended. This is because the device will tend to overheat if you turn it up higher than its lowest operating levels. Some people do it, but you need to balance up the  slight inconvenience of using a power converter with the risk you are taking of using a device with a power source it was not designed for.

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.

So if you need to change over you Kotatsu Heater, or want to make your own. Don’t fret, it’s not so hard. Grab any of the heaters above and give it a burl.

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.

If you’re interested in complete Kotatsu sets, check our page here.

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 Joseph 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). I’ve written songs in Japanese and have released several albums through Tokyo label Majikick Records.

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。

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 Wood Top Kotatsu Set

120 x 75 x 38cm

A family-size genuine wood top Kotatsu from Amazon Japan.

Pros

  • Large 120cm long size
  • Fits four people
  • Genuine wood top

Cons

  • Page on Amazon Japan is in Japanese – but can be translated using Google translate

#2 Stylish LZG Kotatsu Set

75x75x37cm.

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

#3 Damedai Wooden Rectangular Kotatsu Set