Top five kotatsu restaurants and bars
A self-proclaimed ‘kotatsu café’, Stay Happy in Shimokitazawa is run by a cosmopolitan, English-speaking Japanese couple who travelled the world before opening their comfy base. They’ve got hammocks, communal tables and around half a dozen kotatsu for your snuggling pleasure.
It’s a little out of the way in Mitaka – and a five-minute walk from the station – but the Bunbuku izakaya is worth the trip. After all, where else can you sit outside under a kotatsu while indulging in rich nabe and appetisers that go superbly with beer?
An organic-focused casual eatery occupying an old house in historic Kamakura, Tsubame serves great matcha tea and has tatami mat seating – complete with kotatsu for those chilly winter evenings.
Boasting nine horigotatsu, or kotatsu with a sunken floor to dangle your feet in, Ryogoku Terrace Café combines the heating pleasures of the kotatsu with the warm goodness of nabe. It’s a very popular spot, so consider booking in advance.
This seafood-focused backstreet izakaya in Shimokitazawa is noteworthy mostly for the ample variety of seating options it offers. You can choose to nibble on sashimi and swig beers on floor cushions indoors, or opt for the stylish open-air seats up front – some of which are turned into kotatsu seats in winter.
Try some oden, too
Ten great places to enjoy one of Japan’s favourite winter foods