Invest In Good Winter Futon

A good futon can help in achieving optimum sleep regardless of what season it is in the year. In Japan, there are two classifications of futon, one is designed to keep you cool in summer and one to keep you nice and cozy in the dead of winter. A complete futon set consists of different layers such as the mattress, mattress sheet cover, comforter or quilt, fitted sheet for the comforter, and the blanket which is typically used in summer. If you have all of these with you in your bed, then your winter nights won’t be as dreary as you would imagine it to be. It also helps if your apartment or house has heated floors as this can increase the temperature by a lot.

Buy a Kotatsu Table with a Blanket

A staple in most Japanese homes especially in the middle of winter, this table paired with a thick blanket cover, which is unique to Japan, is sometimes all it takes to get your legs cozy and comfortable. This table has a heater attached to the top of the table from the inside, combined with a weighted blanket as well as a rug to complete the experience. There are 3 different types of blankets you can choose from depending on your tolerance for the cold but they are typically, the thick weighted blanket, thin, and space-saving blanket. The Space-Saving Blanket has a slit that takes up less space than normal. If you love using your computer or reading a book while sitting on the floor, this is your best buy!

Buy Heattech Innerwear

Heattech, which was popularized by Uniqlo, is now available not only in the store mentioned but in almost all shopping centers and clothing stores like Muji, GU, AEON shops, and more. This innerwear is made of ultra-fine fibers like polyester, acrylic, and rayon which convert moisture to heat and are extremely stretchable and comfortable when used with layered clothing. You can buy different types of Heattech products from shirts, leggings, to socks and cycling shorts. It makes it possible to go out even in extremely cold weather wearing only 1 or 2 layers of clothing as it greatly reduces the freezing feeling. Almost all Japanese people use this as well as foreigners in Japan who are originally from warmer climate countries and can attest to the benefits of wearing this type of innerwear. Of course, it is a no-brainer to always buckle up and put on as many layers until you feel the most comfortable.

Dress For the Season

Make sure that you have enough layers on you regardless if you are at home or outside in the cold. Buy a down jacket or a nice winter coat, scarf, wear boots if it snows a lot in your area, have your mittens, thick socks, and a beanie or a fleece-lined hat and some leggings ready in unexpected conditions. Children can wear ear muffs to keep their ears warm and always have a small umbrella in hand as it gets worse when it rains. Influenza also becomes extremely contagious during this time so if you are up for it, put on a mask as well!

Buy Heat Pads and Yutampo

These tiny pads can fit in the pockets of your jackets, pants, and you can even put it it under a layer of clothing. You can buy this at any store such as Don Quixote, Matsumoto Kiyoshi and other drug stores as well as 100 yen shops! Just be careful not to put it directly on your skin and don`t sleep with it either. You can use a small water jug containing warm water called Yutampo that is tightly locked to make sure no water spills while you sleep.

Buy Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are in every way a necessity especially if you live in an older Japanese building that has poor insulation. They help not only in winter to keep the cold out but also in summer to keep the heat out and make sure your AC cools up the room in its best capacity. If your residence has large glass windows as well as very thin walls, it is most likely going to be freezing if you don`t have your heating on. To improve the situation, it is strongly recommended to use blackout curtains so you can keep the interior of your house warm whilst using the heater for several rooms. If your apartment or housing has shutters, it is also best to keep them closed in the wintertime. In addition, covering up any gaps with seals and stoppers that allow draft to enter your house can be of tremendous help!

Take A Warm Bath

Ofuro, a Japanese term that means bathtub or Japanese traditional bathrooms, is an integral part of Japanese culture. Japanese people love to soak in hot water that is around 40 degrees C or even higher no matter what season, even in the peak of the summer heat! In addition, it is worth noting that taking a hot bath in your home or the onsen can significantly help keep your body temperature warm as you soak up the fragrances that you can even add to your water. Taking a warm bath at night ensures a restful time and sleep and helps relieve stress and body muscle aches. Take that bath and immerse yourself in serenity.

Drink Something Warm

If you are a very active person and love always being on the go, then chances are, getting cold is the least of your worries. Engaging in different activities generates body heat and will keep you crisp and happy but not without your favorite beverage in hand! You can buy hot drinks like tea, coffee, and several types of juices that are preheated not only in supermarkets or convenience stores but also in most vending machines all across Japan. On the other hand, if you love to stay home and enjoy solo activities in the comforts of your home, it is always great to have some hot tea in your cupboard for a nice afternoon movie marathon under the blanket or when you invite some friends over. Hot Cocoa with marshmallows and some white powder in the mix is a good choice for this season.

Try To Heat Only the Room You Are Using

Since electric and gas bills become the most expensive in the cold months, it is important to be mindful of the heating you use and how long you usually do. If you are always in your bedroom and live alone, then it is nice to have the heating running only in that particular room. Central heating is not a thing in a majority of houses in Japan aside from the newly renovated ones, so it gets pricey once the heater is on and cannot sustain it due to bad insulation. It is good to have you or your family be in one area of the house to share the heat, even some families in Japan stay in the same bedroom for this very purpose. If you love cooking, you can also spend more time in the kitchen during this time as it usually gets warm quickly after just a few minutes after you turn on the stove.

Use A Humidifier and A Heated Blanket

Other than making you shiver nonstop, winter in Japan can be extremely dry and can result in cracked lips or dry and flaky skin. It is recommended to have a humidifier in your household to balance out the cold as well as the hot air coming from your heater. Having a humidifier is a wonderful alternative since moist air is mostly to be considered warmer. If you do not wish to use a portable or a regular wall heater AC in your room, it is good to add a heated blanket with you together with your futon and humidifier for a combination of moist warm air that helps soothe your skin.

So there you have it! These are just some simple things you can do at home to make sure you are in your best element no matter what temperature it is in Japan while also keeping your electric bills down. Hopefully, this guide helps you in navigating your life here in Japan while basking with joy in this wondrous white season!