Keeping Warm in a Futon

February 18, 2008 at 8:09 am 2 comments

Winter can be miserably cold. That’s why I decided to buy a futon comforter this year. It set me back $300, but then again it was half-off – a sure bargain. I’m not rich. I just appreciate good sleep in the dead of winter.


Back in Japan, I did everything I could to stay warm in my tiny, 8-tatami mat apartment. I’d take a hot bath and do jumping jacks just before bedtime. And when desperate times called for desperate measures I moved my refrigerator to the bedroom. It increased the room temperature at least two degrees.

Kerosene heaters are common in Japan, but I never enjoyed the lingering smell of gas after turning it off. So I’d wave around a match. (Not recommended.)

Eventually, I found a sports club a block away from home. Call me crazy but I paid the 30,000 yen (~$300) a month dues just to soak in their communal bath every night. Then I’d make a mad dash home and jump into bed.

Now I have my futon comforter which retains every degree of body heat I produce. It’s common for Japanese department stores to sell comforters for upwards of $2,000, so comparatively speaking my $300 blanket is a steal. It’s stuffed with bird feathers just like in the U.S., so it’s hard to say what the major difference is other than that with a Japanese one it’s like settling next to a toasty fire. And so while my friends complain about getting the sniffles I can’t help but to gloat about my big purchase. Some may see it as a bag of feathers, but I see it as a bag of gold.


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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Massage Therapy is on Every Corner « Japanizmo Staff Blog  |  January 10, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    […] Hour-long sessions are about 6,000 yen, which comes out to 95 cents a minute. Not exactly chump change, but still affordable. Back in the day when my Tokyo dorm rent was only $100 monthly (I miss being a student), I’d treat myself to a massage nearly every week. Especially when winter came around, I’d mentally write off massages as a necessary expense for my health. Regular visits boost circulation and keep you warm. […]

  • 2. Small Japanese Rooms « Staff Blog  |  September 5, 2008 at 10:01 am

    […] 3×6 feet. And in that one room, I slept, dined, watched TV and occasionally practiced jumping jacks to keep warm. At times I felt like a prisoner in my own castle. And unless you can afford a maid, […]


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February 2008


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