Keeping warm in Japan is not the easiest thing in the world, especially when you’re from San Diego, a city two two seasons, “nice” and “slightly less nice.” Last night I filled up my “fan heater” for the first time this season, and when the kerosene fumes hit me they brought back memories of the last 19 years of freezing winters. In addition to using kerosene heaters in individual rooms, a popular way to get warm in Japan is to use a kotatsu, essentially a low table with a removable tabletop and a heater inside. Put a futon (a square thick blanket) over the table and put the top over the blanket and you’ve got a very efficient traditional way to keep warm, which is not only energy efficient, but a fun social place to gather, too (dishes like sukiyaki are always eaten around a kotatsu). J-List customers have regularly asked us to carry these kotatsu tables but we’ve been unable to due to the difficulty in shipping them. However we’re happy to announce that we have a good kotatsu table on the site for the many readers who asked for them. Shipping is still difficult — we recommend seamail since EMS is so pricey, but the option is there for you.
There’s nothing like a warm kotatsu in the winter, for humans or cats.