Japanese bathing and kotatsu

A kotatsu used to be like a charcoal grill in the distant past, but nowadays, electric elements and heat lamps are the mainstream, and are capable of producing enough heat to warm the feet and legs. Two types of kotatsu are commonly used in Japan, both in restaurants and at home: one that sits directly on the floor, and the other, a “”horigotatsu,”” which sits on a recess in the floor and allows you to put your feet up in a space about 40 centimeters (40 cm) wide, which feels like sitting on a chair. The kotatsu is a cozy place to sit and read, chat, eat mandarin oranges, or take a nap. The warmth of the kotatsu transfers to your clothes and is held in place by the quilting of the table comforter or half-clothes, making it an inexpensive way to keep warm in a room without insulation. In Japan, after World War II, many people began to bathe at home. In the bathroom, there is an area for washing up and a tub for bathing. When taking a bath in Japan, people usually wash themselves with soap and rinse off their bodies well before getting into the bathtub.