Unique Japanese Goods to Warm You Up This Winter
Escape The Cold
These cool Japanese gadgets will help you beat the winter chills.
As Tokyo temperatures continue to drop, I always remember the words of an old Russian friend of mine who once told me, “Russia’s winter makes your body ache, but winters in Japan always feel colder.” Coming from someone who has lived through the Siberian freeze, you’re inclined to hold back your laugh and trust him. Indeed, with the lack of central heating and the need to wait for at least 30 minutes until your room gets comfortable after switching on the heater, winters here can easily make you long for something that warms you up instantly. Luckily, in Japan they’ve invented some of the coolest and most efficient warming products in the world—and they come in all sizes and levels of cuteness. Here is a selection of five must-have goods to help you survive till spring.
USB Dual Heater Slippers
With this unique invention by Japanese gadget maker Thanko, you’ll never get cold feet again. Put on the dual heater slippers (¥2,980), connect them to your computer via a USB cable, turn the switch on, and then continue surfing the web or working as your feet get toasty. Though on the market for some time now, the most recent model gets an innovative power boost with double carbon heaters applied at the toes and heel that can warm your feet up to 45 degrees Celsius. Don’t worry about being stuck to your computer, though—if you’re in need of a quick bathroom or doorbell break, just remove the cable and wear them as you would ordinary slippers. On sale in medium and large sizes at most department and online stores.
PC Fingerless Warming Gloves
Personally, I can tolerate low room temperatures if I have to, but I don’t enjoy the touch of a cold keyboard or icy mug when I sit down at my computer. That’s why I’ve come to appreciate these warming gloves (¥2,580), also by Thanko, which can be used anywhere you take your computer—including the office. To achieve the comfort of typing away as gentle electric heaters warm your digits, simply wear the gloves and plug the included adapter into the computer’s USB port. These clever hand warmers can be found in most department stores or Amazon and other online stores.
Azuki no Chikara Red Bean Shoulder Pillow
The Azuki no Chikara red bean shoulder pillow (¥1,330) uses Japanese red beans to produce a rich and natural steam that gently and evenly warms up your whole body when applied to your shoulders. Heat the pillow in the microwave and place over your shoulders for a 25-minute steam bath effect. You’ll get a quick heating fix that will even ease stiffness in your neck and shoulders at the end of a long day. The best part is that—unlike many other warming goods available—this pillow can be reheated and used over and over again. Available at most drugstores, Loft and other general goods stores.
Kairo Heat Pads
A long-time bestseller, these self-heating pads come in all shapes and sizes, and are sold across the country at convenience and drug stores for around ¥50 apiece. These are a must-have item for anyone surviving the winter in Japan. The kairo pads, literally meaning “fire inside the pocket,” release heat through the oxidization of iron and take only a few minutes to warm up to 50 degrees Celsius after they’re exposed to air. Available with adhesive strips that attach to your clothes (for your back, stomach or even in your shoes), these pads are a perfect tool to combat cold weather without breaking the bank.
Groony Blanket Wear
Nothing warms better than a good old blanket—especially when you can wear it and still have your hands free. Perfect for late afternoon reading, working at home or even cooking, Groony’s newest selection of wearable microfiber blankets (¥2,990) are something of a cross between a blanket and a bathrobe, and feature recently developed hot pepper fabric technology for extra warmth. This unique winter item is available in 14 colors and three sizes, making it a perfect fit for each member of the family. Available online and in various department stores.
Do you have any warm-up goods you swear by? Share them in the comments!