As holiday and New Year season come to full bloom, you can feel the shivery winter get colder and colder, day after day. Have you ever thought about apartments in Japan getting very cold? Doesn’t it disturb you walking on the cold floor when you wake up in the chilly morning? Well, it disturbs me. And I will assume that the people who came from the warm countries where they don’t experience the cold season at all or not in extremity must be feeling the same way. Living in Japan can get expensive, especially during the winter season. Turning the heater on and taking a hot bath alone, can really raise your electric bill way higher than it would be in the summer. So how can we live through the winter without raising our costs in bills? If you’re already living in Japan, you may have once visited or heard of a “100YEN shop” or 100YEN “like” shops like Daiso. Yep, 100YEN or about $1 (USD). There are lots of items that can keep you warm and make your lifestyle in the Winter much more pleasant. Here are 5 MUST BUY items that will cost only 100YEN.
Most of the cold or winter problems that occur probably first come from your window glass and your floor. Even though your windows are shut and sealed to godly perfection, that cold temperature will still come inside through your windows’ glass. Nobody wants that for sure, but there’s one item that will help clear it all out. Have you ever used or heard of ‘bubble wrap’ before? You might have used it when moving to another house. Normally it’s used to protect stuff that is fragile. Well, bubble wrap can also be used to block the cold temperature coming in from your windows as well. All you have to do is tape and cover all your windows’ glass with it. But remember to place the bumpy side to the window, so that it will collect the cold air and it will not be released into your room.
The next problem is the floor. Unfortunately, in Japan, most apartments do not have a mattress flooring but wooden floor. Although many people put carpets on the floor this may not be enough to reduce the cold. So my advise is to get an aluminum sheet and put it under the carpet. Sometimes there’s a dedicated one sold for the carpet but if you can’t find one, the normal aluminum sheet will do just fine. And if you cannot find any aluminum sheet at the shop, cardboard will perform the same task as the aluminum as well. That simple? Yes, it’s worth trying.
Have you ever heard of ‘Yu-tanpo’? It’s ‘hot-water bottle’ in Japanese. The shape might be a bit different than you are probably imagining it to be but, this makes you sleep so comfortable that many Japanese people love it, especially in the old days when many people did not have heaters installed inside their bedroom. All you have to do is pour hot water inside the bottle and put it inside the bed. Oh my goodness! This is so comfortable, you have to try it. But here is a tip. I recommend you to put the Yu-tanpo inside your bed at least 30 min before you go to bed. The reason is that Yu-tanpo can be very hot sometimes and may cause you to get burn. Anyway, wouldn’t it be more delightful if your bed is warmed up when you are ready to get in for bed?
Do you wear slippers inside your house? If you have been in any or quite a few Japanese homes, you may have realized that many Japanese wear slippers when entering inside the house. Is it because they’re cold? Not exactly, since it’s normal to wear it any time of the season, but hey, that’s a big hint! Why not wear it so as to prevent the cold from getting to you and just to keep warm. If you visit a 100YEN shop, you will most likely see a lot of slippers with different kinds of design and color. There are even fluffy ones! My recommendation is the fluffy one if your plan is to keep warm in this cold season. It is way warmer than the normal one. But still have a look at the other styles, you might find your own special slipper to wear.
Your room is getting warmer and warmer so far but there is one more thing missing. You may have realized that when you go to use the restroom, especially in the mornings, that your toilet seat can be very cold. Nobody wants to sit on that chilly seat! Even though you warm up the seat with the electric heater that’s connected to your toilet, it can raise your electric bill. Well, don’t worry there is a perfect item just for fixing that problem. Did you know that they sell a cover for your toilet seat? This is a must-have item and it is absolutely worth buying it. There is a lot of design to choose from as well, making it a great way to decorate your restroom.
Although I’m Japanese and have been living in Japanese cold for a while, I dislike winter very much and hated getting out of my bed every morning to feel the chilly air. In fact, I did have a heater but I could not keep spending the immense amount of money for the electric bill. However, now that I have implemented these items into my life during the winter, a lot has changed in my bills and it only cost me just 500YEN in total to do so. Being smart sure can change a lot of things! So if you are having a hard time with the amount you are spending this winter, well I would advise you to implement some things I have put into these lists. you go. You now know what to buy.
Let me know in the comments how you combat the winter cold!