Oct 27, 2018

Kotatsu advice

For this year's winter I want to be as prepared as possible...we've already got heated rugs in some rooms but I'd like to get a kotatsu for another room we have. Any recommendations for brands, or things I should consider when shopping for one? Also, are there any without an exposed heating element? I've got little ones in the house so the safer the better!



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).

7 Answers

  • TonetoEdo

    on Oct 30

    I’ve had two kotatsu tables in the last ten years. One was gifted to me, a Yamazen low square kotatsu table. It was pretty durable, and old when I got it, and another friend is now using it. The top is not dinged up at all, and if it does suffer wear, you can flip it over to the other finished side. It’s a cheap plastic option if you have another table you usually use. The second one I got from Nitori. The top is worn on the edges, but it looks nice year round. It’s my only table. - living and dining. The element has flocking and it won’t burn you. I use a cheap all purpose fleece blanket as kotatsubuton. A kotatsubuton can be yet another bulky thing you have to store, but the fleece packs up thin. If you have space, go for full kit. An aluminum pad under the carpet makes a big difference in keeping the heat, too, and they’re cheap. I kept mine under the carpet year round rather than store it.

  • hellonihon

    on Oct 30

    I went the cheap, I'm not going to be in Japan forever route and got one at Nitori. The quality and build of it is really good for the price. I wouldn't recommend getting a no-name brand one off of Amazon to save a few bucks. They suck up a lot of power and having it blow due to faulty electronics would be a huge fire hazard.

  • Jackson

    on Nov 1

    I bought the cheapest I could find at donki for about 5000yen. It has lasted me 5 years and still going. I use it as a table everyday as well so the legs are pretty good too. The heating element is guarded enough that I have never burnt myself. (then bought the futon from amazon for about 6000yen)

  • edthethe

    on Nov 2

    we bought ours resale, but it is an old Cainz home model. I had the same worries as you about the exposed heating element, but ours has a grill over it that is coated in fuzzy heat resistant material so the grill never gets so hot you can't touch it. I would definitely recommend going for a rectangular kotatsu for your family. I know many Japanese families the same size who stick to the small square ones but honestly that little extra leg room makes it worth it.

  • helloalissa

    on Nov 8

    Ours is a Kashiba Jet? Never even heard of that brand before, but no problems at all after a few years. It was 3000 yen I think for the standard small square size. (Got it at a chain discount store called SuperKid.) I'd check prices around the stores near you. No need to go with a brand name unless you want one of those fancy western height kotatsu or something. They sell them pretty much everywhere in season. As mentioned before they are made to be safe and burns won't be an issue. The only problem with kotatsu is... getting out of them. It's hard to pull yourself away from their magic, so a lot of people don't own one on purpose.

  • Heath320

    on Nov 11

    I have gotten both my kotatsu and blanket online. I went for the cheapest and I like it to be a rectangle so we can also eat on it. Under my table the there a hook you can hook the cord so it isn’t getting caught on feet. Of course the cord sticks out to plug in but there isn’t much that can be done about that. I have two little ones and even though my oldest climbs under the table it has never burnt him. Make sure that you measure the table before buying the blanket. I didn’t do that and bought a too small of one last year. Also if it gets dirty it is very easy to wash at a laundry mat.

  • irriizzzzzzzzz

    on Nov 13

    I suggest getting one from Nitori. Cheap price and good quality. I’ve never had an item from them that broke so I suppose kotatsu tables from there are good.


Awaiting More Answers

3 Answers

What's the best online teaching option?

I'm looking to fill some free time with online teaching, either through Skype or the company's native platform. I don't want to do private lessons where I have to gather my own students; I want to work under a company. Do you guys have any recommendations for that? If you do, could you give me a bit more info about pay and your own experiences/what you've heard?


on Jan 21

2 Answers

Currency Exchange / LIFE Card

Hi! Anyone knows a foreign currency company that accepts credit card on buying a currency? Another question is if someone here has a credit card issued by LIFE Card? I just want to know if they have and english support , I can't find it on there website. Thank you!


on Jan 13

5 Answers

Pokemon go and making friends

Ok so I am SUPER late getting into pokemon go. However, I don't have anyone I know nearby who plays and I need to trade a pokemon to complete a field research task or whatever. How do I find people who play pokemon go near me without having to walk up to random people and be like ...be my friend? *desperation*


on Dec 13

8 Answers

Sending parcels overseas with Japan Post

I think I may have touched on this in one or two blog posts, and this is as much an airing of frustration as it is a question. For the last few years I've used but one Japan Post office, close to where I work. I'm a regular there when it comes to sending parcels home for birthdays, Christmas etc. In the early day, I would just be asked to fill out that little green slip about the contents of the parcel, and would also be asked if there was a letter inside. (To which I always replied "No," as it makes things more expensive.) The next stage was that staff would then started to look at what I had written on the form and if there was anything that might be construed as needing a battery, they would ask me to write "No battery" if one wasn't included. Are they ever? Fine. Then things moved onto asking me what was in the parcel before handing me the green slip, so I felt like I was having to announce to the office staff what a cheap skate I am when it comes to presents. And then we would do the green slip, and the "battery" questions. Now another layer has been added -- on top of the questions, the battery check and the green form -- I now get a separate form, a kind of tick-the-box checklist through which I declare that I'm not sending any cigarette lighters, matches, sprays etc lest I face prosecution. Then we get onto the questions, and all the rest of it. I'm just wondering if others are being taken through the same process when they send things overseas with JP, or is it just that particular branch ... or just me. It's kind of taking the fun out of trying to be a good uncle, brother, son, friend etc. Still, at least they've stopped asking me if there's a letter in the parcel.


on Dec 10