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The Japanese tables symbolize the culture of Japan. They all come low and in trendy, simple designs. Since time immemorial, the Japanese have been doing their things on the floor.
Eating, sleeping, or other tasks were done while seated on the ground. The floor culture has been a way of life for the Japanese for an extended period.
The Japanese floor culture made them develop the kind of tables they use. What concerned the ancient Japanese about their tables was their purpose and not look or presence.
Japanese tables can be categorized into two types: those for summer and those for cold seasons. These tables also come in various designs and sizes. This guide is your go-to for everything you need about Japanese household tables.
You will also get a review of the best Japanese tables on the market in 2023.
Best Japanese Tables
AZUMAYA Folding Legs Wooden Kotatsu
Have you ever heard of a Kotatsu table used in all seasons? This AZUMAYA Kotatsu table does. You can see this design in a typical Japanese house.
With this, you can drink your favorite coffee while warming yourself. It comes with a simple, attractive design.
The natural rubberwood used in its making, with a finish done using the urethane stain coating, makes it look elegant. Its natural wood color makes it blend well with the interior décor of any room.
The table top looks shiny and beautiful, thanks to the walnut veneer used on its surface. With its small size, the AZUMAYA will occupy minimal space in your room.
The legs are foldable to collapse the table for storage when not in use, making it ideal for creating space.
It comes with an electric Kotatsu heater that uses very little power. As a result, you can save on your power bill.
The heater comes with an On and Off button and a temperature control knob. The futon or comforter are sold separately.
- Foldable design.
- Occupies small space.
- Looks attractive.
- It uses a low-power-consuming Kotatsu heater.
- Used in all seasons.
- You can control the heating unit’s temperature.
- It does not come with a comforter.
- The price might seem higher to some users.
AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK Legs Kotatsu Heater Table
- Kotatsu Heater with Folding Legs Wooden Table with All-Season as Coffee Table. This...
It comes with a removable tabletop to help easily convert it into a Chabudai. If you are looking for an ideal Japanese table to use at all times, the AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK might interest you.
When it’s cold, and you need to warm up, you only need to remove the tabletop and cover it with a comforter. Then put on the heater and enjoy.
The table is made of oak and finished with rubberwood. It is the reason the AZUMAYA ELFI-9010AK is sturdy, long-lasting, and attractive. Because of its small size, it will occupy just a tiny portion of your room’s space.
If you require more space, you only need to fold this table and keep it away. Thanks to its collapsing functionality.
It comes with a heating system that consumes less energy and is easy to operate. But you will need to buy the futon separately.
- You can use it to warm yourself or do other tasks.
- Ideal to use at all times.
- It sits in a small space.
- Foldable to create more space and for more accessible storage.
- Top-notch quality.
- Improves the appearance of your room.
- It does not come with a comforter.
YAMAZEN ESK-751 (B) Casual Kotatsu Japanese Heated Table
Unlike most Japanese tables, the legs of the YAMAZEN ESK-751 are not foldable. But this shouldn’t be a problem because it comes in a size ideal for one person only.
If you live alone, this is a suitable table to buy. With its simple and plain design, the table looks elegant.
It has an electric heating unit attached to a chord containing the On and Off button. You can quickly move this table from one point to another due to its small and weightless structure.
You get to say goodbye to hefty power bills with this table. Thanks to its heating system, it consumes less energy.
The table doesn’t come with a comforter, meaning you’ll have to source for one elsewhere or buy it separately. Also, the price might scare some users away.
- It warms you and the area around.
- Ideal to use by one person.
- It comes in a quality and robust design.
- It has an easy-to-operate heat unit.
- Simple but elegant design.
- It saves a lot on your power bill.
- You must search for a futon elsewhere or purchase it separately from the seller.
- Not suitable for many people.
Excelife 86150 Multi-Folding Wooden Korean Tea Table
It is a rectangular table that comes in an Asian style. This Japanese table is no different from ordinary tables found around the world. You can do anything about it.
For example, eating, studying, playing games, working on your laptop, etc. After working on it, you can quickly remove it or create space by collapsing it, thanks to its collapsable feature.
The Excelife 86150 has an attractive natural look attributed to the kalopanax wood used in its making. The wood material also makes it long-lasting and robust. The edges are designed safely to use.
You can easily move it around because of its portability. Though its height is slightly higher than regular Japanese tables, it doesn’t take much of your space.
Despite its unique features, the Excelife 86150 has a pocket-friendly price tag.
- It contains an enticing design.
- Foldable to create more room for other things.
- Has safe edges.
- Suitable to use for various things.
- It lasts long and comes with top-notch quality.
- Easy to move it around.
- Ideal for more than one person.
- It is not ideal to use during winter as it doesn’t have a heating system.
MustMat Warm Kotatsu Table
Is the cold season getting on your nerves, and are you looking for an ideal method to keep you and your partner warm without paying hefty power bills?
The MustMat Warm Kotatsu Table could be what you are looking for. It is a rectangular table made for two people. It has a heating unit attached to it to keep you warm throughout the cold season.
Because of the solid rubberwood used entirely in its making, the table looks charming and has an aesthetic appeal. Adding it to your interior décor will enhance your room’s look. It will also blend well with everything inside.
The table is sturdy and durable. Operating the heater is a piece of cake. It has an On and Off button and a cable to plug it into your power source.
What might blow your mind about this table is its usability. You can perform various functions on the MustMat Warm Kotatsu Table. For example, eating, playing games, reading, watching TV, staying warm, sleeping, and relaxing.
You will need to assemble the table when it arrives. But you need not worry because it’s easy. The heater unit comes attached, so installing it is unnecessary.
- Durable and robust.
- Easy to operate and maintain.
- Power-saving heating system.
- Occupies small space.
- Ideal for two people.
- Keeps you warm.
- Some users may regard the price as high.
About the Japanese Tables
Because the ancient Japanese loved doing their things while seated, they developed low tables for better usability. They would spread a mat known as a tatami to act as their chair while sitting around the table.
But as time went on, the tatami was replaced by pillows, cushions, and floor sofas.
The tables also have suffered a touch of modernization and civilization. They come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. The materials used in their making have changed throughout the years.
But despite all these changes, the Japanese tables are still categorized into two types.
The Japanese Table Types
I. The Chabudai
These are popular Japanese tables made close to the ground. The artisans make them small, explaining why they occupy less space. In the olden days, they used the tatami mats to sit around the Chabudai.
Because of their small size, you cannot use a standard chair with a Chabudai.
As the years went on, the Japanese evolved from mats to more comfortable floor seating platforms like pads, cushions, and pillows. Today, manufacturers have developed cozy floor sofas.
II. The Kotatsu
Though the Chadudai and Kotatsu tables come short-legged, they differ in purpose. The Kotatsu comes with a heating unit attached to its underside.
It also has a comforter like a futon or blanket placed over it to cover the table entirely. The primary purpose of a Kotatsu is to keep you warm during the cold season.
It explains why the Japanese use it during winter. A rigid tabletop usually gets placed on top of the comforter to make the Kotatsu usable.
The traditional Kotatsu used a lamp or charcoal fire as their heat source. However, the Kotatsu has been modified due to outside influence.
Currently, most Kotatsu tables use electric heating units. Attractive and durable comforters like duvets have also replaced the futons used in the olden days.
Like the Chabudai, people used to sit on a mat around a Kotatsu. They would then place their legs under the table to enjoy the warmth from the heat source.
The futon covering the entire table prevented the heat from escaping. Westerners have embraced the Kotatsu because it uses less energy to keep them warm. Also, their low nature and small size make them save space.
A Perspective on My Japanese Table Experience
I’m a fan of the floor/zaisu seating vibe, but I get it’s not everyone’s jam.
During my stay in Tokyo, Japan, I got a Kotatsu. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to cranking up the aircon for the entire room.
When I’m in chill mode for some video game action on my Switch or diving into a good book, you’ll find me cozied up in my kotatsu.
Having a cat turns it into a cat and human furniture – basically, my cat’s winter palace. It adds a playful twist to our interactions, like hiding toys under the Kotatsu blanket or staging surprise attacks from within.
The cool part? It seamlessly transforms into a coffee table during warmer months, so it doesn’t hog a dedicated space.
All in all, a stellar purchase in my book!
But how low are the Japanese tables?
The Chabudai’s height can range from 15cm to 30 cm. The Kotatsu is no different. Its height is approximately 14 – inches from the floor.
The only chairs suitable for seating around these tables are those made for the floor, like the Kotatsu sofas.
Though modern Japanese tables are becoming innovative, specific woods are used to make them.
Wood Used in Making Japanese Tables
The makers use stain, pine, and oak wood to make the Chabudai or Kotatsu. Some manufacturers still use them today.
But due to deforestation, these trees are disappearing. As a result, the makers are using other sources like steel metal.
In the olden days, the artisans could choose the wood carefully. They eliminated any wood with a small defect. The tables made were circular or round. What motivated the Japanese to create round tables was the need to bond as a family.
When people sat around the circular tables, they would sit close to each other due to the tables’ small size. Unlike the other table shapes, a round table can easily accommodate an extra person.
While they chatted or did activities like eating, playing games, or talking, it would bring them together. In the end, they got to bond.
Uses of the Japanese Tables
The Japanese tables come with various uses. No wonder the outside world is embracing them. You can use your Chabudai or Kotatsu to do the following:
i. Eating and Drinking:
You can dine or drink alone or with your loved ones on a Japanese table.
Enjoying a tasty meal on a Kotatsu while you warm up feels excellent if it’s during the cold season. You can also quencher your thirst while seated around a Japanese table.
If you own a Kotatsu sofa, you can use it to relax around a Kotatsu table. You can keep it in your lounge and enjoy watching your favorite movie on the TV.
You can also listen to your kind of music or just sleep or rest to relax as you warm up after a long day’s work.
The Japanese tables are excellent for catching up with friends, family, workmates, or loved ones. When seated around the table, you can engage with each other and talk about anything.
You know a person’s character, abilities, or problems through communication.
iv. Creating Space:
The small size of the traditional Japanese tables used less space. Today, the sizes vary, but their design helps in creating space. Like in the olden days, the Japanese tables have a foldable feature.
After using it, you can collapse the table and store it away to create space for other things.
If you are a fun person, the Japanese tables might excite you. There exist various games you can play on a Japanese table. Excellent examples are chess, cards, and video games.
vi. Other Tasks:
You can do almost anything a standard table is used for, such as reading, working, preparing food, etc. Any small task would do.
Because Kotatsu comes with a heating system, you need to be careful about using it so as not to interfere with the heating system. Otherwise, a damaged heating unit can burn you or start a fire.