My old kotatsu

Winter after Christmas is, quite frankly, miserable. Where I live, I get the added treat of it being cold enough to be horrible to venture outdoors but not cold enough for snow. The result? We get cold rain. A lot.

After years of enduring cold rain during the winter, I have decided it is my least favorite weather condition.

I had one weapon against winter, and that was the kotatsu. I had to get rid of it for space reasons, but when I did have it, my God winter was almost tolerable.

It’s a heater attached to the underside of a table. You put a blanket on the ground, put the table on the blanket, put a thicker blanket over the table and then sandwich it with a hard tabletop, as seen in the photo.

Many people in Japan endure winter in a kotatsu with mikan in hand and either some nice tea, a good book, the TV or a laptop handy. When I had my own kotatsu, I lived in it for the winter. I know some people sleep in one as well.

There’s an old TV drama called Nodame Cantabile that has an episode all about the glory of the kotatsu and the trap of not wanting to ever leave its warmth. The opening talks about the history of the kotatsu and how it is truly a wonderous piece of furniture:


I may not have my kotatsu anymore, but at least I still have mikans to enjoy.