10 Ways on How to Keep Warm and Save Money in Japan 2021

Japan may have a colder winter season coming soon. Majority of the homes in Japan don’t have proper central heating and if people use the heating feature on their AC, bills will be racked up. It’s common to layer up or use products that keep you warm. With that said, this blog will show you 10 ways on how to keep warm in Japan and save money.

Before you dig into the article, feel free to take a look at Japanese vocabulary words related to this blog’s topic:

Cold – 寒い (samui)

Winter – 冬 (fuyu)

Warm – 暖かい (atatakai)

Bundle up – 着ぶくれ (kibu kure)

Warm clothes – 暖かい恰好 (atatakai kakkou)

Heater – ストーブ (sutoobu)

Kotatsu (heating) table – 火燵 (kotatsu)

Blanket – 毛布 (moufu)

Sweater – セーター (seetaa)

Heating (on AC) – 暖房 (danbou)

Hot water bottle – 湯たんぽ (yutanpo)

10 Ways on How to Keep Warm in Japan

Table of Contents

1. Keep warm with an electric blanket

Japanese have heating systems but your electricity bill can become very high. At night, it can become uncomfortable, so an electric blanket may be the best way to keep you warm and cozy in Japan. You can simply plug it in, set the heat level and wrap it around you during the daytime or snuggle in it while you sleep during the night.

2. Keep warm with カイロ (Kairo)

Kairo may be one of the most inexpensive ways to keep warm in Japan. Kairo is a heating packet. When you pull it out of the packaging and it is exposed to oxygen, you can slowly shake it until it heats up. There are adhesive ones and non-adhesive packets which you can place in your coat pocket, your shoes, in the middle of your back or on your abdomen. Please note that you cannot place Kairo directly on your skin as it may cause a reaction.

3. Keep warm with Uniqlo’s HEATTECH apparel

In addition to Uniqlo’s summertime apparel known as Airism, they have a line especially for the colder months called, “HEATTECH”. HEATTECH apparel has materials that create a heating effect when it makes contact with the body’s moisture. They’re proven to keep you warm in Japan. They sell undershirts, coats, long sleeves, long underwear, and more.

4. Keep warm with a kotatsu

Kotatsu is a traditional Japanese dining table that has shorter legs, a blanket, and a heater underneath to keep your legs warm when it’s cold in Japan. They can be a bit costly depending on the kind of kotatsu you want, but it’s one of the most popular items that homes have in Japan.

5. Keep warm with a portable space heater

Another inexpensive item to keep you warm in Japan is a portable space heater. They come in a variety of sizes and styles. Compared to using a heating system for your home, a space heater may be a more affordable option.

6. Keep warm with a heated carpet

A heated carpet is another popular item in Japan that keeps you warm in the wintertime. The floors are usually hardwood in Japan, so they can become very cold when it starts to cool down. Keeping your feet warm is vital for your body as it helps the blood flow and maintains body temperature, according to a study from Research Gate. Thus, a heated carpet may be an item worth owning in your home if you have hardwood floors.

7. Keep warm with a warm drink from the convenience store/vending machine

Vending machines and convenience stores are everywhere in Japan. In each of them, they have heated drinks which are perfect for keeping you warm. In vending machines, you’ll find warm drinks with red labels underneath that say something like “あったか~い” or “HOT”, as shown in the image below. At the convenience store, they’ll have a section especially for warm drinks that will have a red border around it and are also labeled “あったか~い” or “HOT”.

fabrizio-chiagano vending machine japan
Photo by Fabrizio Chiagano

8. Keep warm with a hot water bottle

As we mentioned before, keeping your feet warm is important when it comes to keeping the rest of your body warm. Another affordable way to keep your feet warm is using a hot water bottle. Rather than using a normal water bottle, there are special bottles that have a more flat shape. To use it properly, you simply boil water in a pot or water kettle and you pour that in the bottle. Depending on the type you purchase, some come with a knitted cover. After the bottle is sealed, you slip it under the covers at the end of your bed, close to your feet. This may be one of the most eco-friendly ways to keep warm in Japan, as you won’t use electricity for a long period of time like a space heater, heated carpet, or an electric blanket.

9. Keep warm with a heated mattress pad

If you have a difficult time keeping your body warm while you’re sleeping or taking a nap, it may be worth the investment to buy a heated mattress pad. You simply lay it out on your mattress, plug it in, and set it to your preferred heat level. There are a variety of pads and some of them have timers for sustainability.

10. Keep warm with a heated sleeping bag

Heated sleeping bags are similar to heated mattress pads, but they can be great for keeping you warm and cozy while you’re chilling during the day while you’re watching TV or reading a book. This may be an ideal product when you have a guest staying at your place and you want to refrain from using the heating system. You may also put this under your bed covers for extra warmth.

Let us know if you’ve tried any of the methods above. If you have any other ways to keep yourself warm in Japan, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. Smiles hopes you stay warm and safe during the cold winter months in Japan.

Related articles:

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Funny Things you Need to Know about Umbrellas in Japan

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