Kotatsu | Traditional Low Table to get warm in Japan, Guided by Japanese webmaster !

This page is about ….

  • What is ‘Kotatsu’ as traditional item in Japan
  • History of ‘Kotatsu’ in Japanese society
  • Bits of knowledge about ‘Kotatsu’ in Japan
  • Brief comments by webmaster
This page is to help the people :

  • Who like Japan !
  • Who are interested in Japanese culture
  • Who want to enjoy life in Japan

In this page, I would like to introduce ‘Kotatsu’ as traditional item in Japanese life.

You may get basic knowledge about ‘Kotatsu’, after reading of this article. Have fun !


SHINTA+ / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.


What is ‘Kotatsu’

‘Kotatsu’ is very traditional item in Japan. It’s kind of low table, putting coverlet on the table and placing top boards on it. There’s a heater inside of ‘Kotatsu’. So we can keep warm air inside of ‘Kotatsu’, and can have a tea, and some snacks with sitting around ‘Kotatsu’. We can get ‘Kotatsu’ in furniture stores, electrical retailer, etc.

Basic knowledge of ’Kotatsu’

  • Traditional item in Japan
  • Kind of low table, coverlet and top board are on the table
  • Heater is set inside of ‘Kotatsu’
  • Available at furniture store, electrical retailers

‘Kotatsu’ is really nice to get warm in Japanese Winter !

History of ‘Kotatsu’

It’s unclear when ‘Kotatsu’ was developed, however, it’s said that there was ‘Kotatsu’ in Muromachi era, in 14-15th century in Japan. And custom to use ‘Kotatsu’ was developed in Edo era, around 17-18th century. At that time, source of heat was charcoal. In middle of 20th century, it was changed to electric power.

History of ‘Kotatsu’

  • In Muromachi era, in 14-15th century, there was Kotatsu already
  • In Edo era, in 17-18th century, Kotatsu was spread widely
  • Heat source was charcoal in the past
  • In 20th century, heat source was changed to electric power

‘Kotatsu’ is very traditional item in Japan !

More information about Kotatsu

Japanese use Kotatsu mainly in winter. So we can associate Kotatsu with items in winter, like Mikan as mandarin orange, hot Japanese tea, and Cat getting warm, etc. On the other hand, in off-season, Kotatsu can transform into low table, with removing coverlet. We can use Kotatsu whole year.

More information about ‘Kotatsu’

  • Kotatsu is mainly for winter season
  • Kotatsu is associated with winter items,
    • Mikan (Mandarin orange)
    • hot green tea, hot pot
    • cat getting warm, etc
  • Kotatsu can transform into low table in off-season

‘Kotatsu’ & ‘Mikan’ is perfect combination in Japanese winter.


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

What is ‘Kotatsu’ in Japan

  • It’s kind of low table, coverlet and top board are on the table
  • More than 500 years of history in Japan
  • ‘Kotatsu’ reminds Japanese cat, hot green tea, and mandarin orange


Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !