Traditional Japanese ways to remain warm and save energy

In the background of growing fuel prices and a major increase in the expense of living this winter, many Japanese people have began to think about practical and cheap ways to keep warm, using as little heater as possible. The following are traditional means of keeping warm that can help save electricity in Japan.

Yutanpo water heater

“湯湯婆 – Yutanpo” originated in China, was introduced to Japan in the Muromachi period (1336–1573), and is still popular today.

They are containers made of metal, ceramic, or plastic that are filled with hot water to warm the body. This is a basic heating device that may be positioned at the waist, abdomen, or end of the bed to keep the body warm and can also be used in heat therapy.

Yutanpo is cheaper than other heating gadgets and costs less to use. On the other hand, this traditional thermostat does not require electricity or fire to generate heat, so there is no potential for a fire hazard, it does not contaminate or dry the inside air, and it is very easily transported around. People.

However, when using Yutanpo, caution must be taken because there have been examples of mishaps owing to the bottle body being fractured due to degradation or the lid being damaged; in addition, prolonged contact with the skin can cause burns at low temperatures.

Yutanpo bottles with heat-retaining components that can be used in microwaves and electric chargers have lately arrived on the market.

Warm pads

Today, the warming patch is regarded a small device that can be simply used to warm up anywhere, anytime, and is a terrific assistance to battle the cold of the tough winter.

These heating pads work in a method that oxidizes metals to generate heat. The basic elements of the warm patches are iron powder, salt, activated carbon, and water, which are sealed by non-woven fabric. As soon as the package is opened, the patch will start to heat up.

Via Zenbird

Most warm patches have an average temperature of 40 to 60 degrees Celsius, and they can last for about 15 hours depending on the product, both sticky and non-stick.

These stickers can be used for many different subjects, from children to the elderly. However, to avoid causing skin burns, they should be taped to clothing rather than directly on the skin.

On the Japanese market, there are many brands of quality warming patches, such as Kairo, Salonpas, Jikabari Hisamitsu, Okamoto,…

Kotatsu heating table

“炬燵 – Kotatsu” is a heating appliance with a history lasting more than 500 years. This gadget has a pretty simple structure, consisting of merely a low wooden table with a heat source from a heater put under the table and covered with a cotton blanket or futon mattress on top to prevent heat from escaping.

Kotatsu heaters are claimed to come from the practice of using Irori stoves in traditional Japanese dwellings. These stoves are typically used for cooking and are a source of heat to keep the whole house warm.

Via Flickr

The first type of the Kotatsu heating table originated around the 14th century, named Horigotatsu, with a structure of a wooden frame and a cotton blanket placed on top, utilized as a fireplace situated in the center of a dwelling.

In the past, charcoal and other fuels were utilized as heat sources, but currently electrical appliances have steadily replaced them. Kotatsu is now portable and an essential tool in every Japanese household.

Via Flickr

The whole family sitting around a Kotatsu, having supper, and watching TV together is a warm, traditional way to spend a chilly winter in Japan. In recent years, small Kotatsu for one person have become accessible.

Hibachi Charcoal Furnace


“火鉢 – Hibachi” is a ceramic, metal, or wood utensil that has been used in Japan since the Nara period around the 700s for heating, boiling water, and cooking simply by inserting ashes and burning charcoal within.

People are utilizing hibachi braziers less and less as heating technologies such as electric stoves grow increasingly common. However, the crackling sound of burning coals, the peculiar perfume, and the beauty of the brazier for delivering mental peace have prompted some Japanese to buy them at flea markets and antique markets and start using them again.

Kimono Dotera


They are especially beneficial in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region, where the climate is severely cold. This warm kimono is still routinely given at Japanese-style inns.

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