What are some ways to keep my apartment warm in the winter?
Apartments in Japan may not have the same level of insulation found in your country, so you might find yourself colder than normal in your own home. Here are some suggestions for staying warm.
Kotatsu – The kotatsu is a table that is low to the ground and has a heating device underneath. The top of the table comes off so you can put a blanket between the top and bottom of the table and trap the heat produced by the heating device on the underside of the table. Once you’ve set up your table, all you need to do is just plug it in. It is not advisable to sleep under the kotatsu at night.
Cooking – Cooking a meal on the stove is a great way to keep warm because not only do you get a hot meal, but it heats your apartment, too! Experiment with some new recipes to warm you from the inside as well!
Portable Heaters – Portable heaters are another way to keep warm in Japan. Many of them come with automatic shut off features so you do not inadvertently harm yourself or damage your apartment. Regardless of whether or not your heater comes with an automatic shut off feature, it is not safe to sleep with your portable heater on!!!
Heater – If all else fails, you can always use the heating/air conditioning unit in your apartment. If you are concerned about your energy bill or just want to save energy, your unit likely has a timer that you can set to turn the heat off after you’ve gone to sleep or turn the heat on before you wake up. If you use the timer feature, it is a good idea to have plenty of heavy blankets on hand to use when you sleep. Another way to help keep your bill is reasonable is to keep the temperature low. If a lower temperature makes you feel cold, I suggest using a blanket. You can also purchase some heavy, comfortable clothing to wear indoors, or you simply layer your existing clothes.