Good morning everyone,

It's going to be cold again today with a high of only 6C. Tomorrow should warm up a bit, but unfortunately they are now saying it's going to rain on Friday. Saturday and Sunday are looking warm with daytime highs in the low teens, but clouds will roll in on Sunday and we may see some rain on Monday.

Japan is currently experiencing its most frigid temperatures of the year. When things get like this, there are two ways to cope: either heat yourself up from the inside with piping hot food and drink, or protect yourself from the cold by bundling up in warm clothing.

Many of those opting for the second strategy reach for a hanten, a thick, quilted half coat that chilly Japanese have been relying on for generations. But while hanten have a retro vibe to them, this particular model, from Osaka-based Kumagai Electric, has a very special modern upgrade.

Tucked inside the jacket is a length of micro carbon fiber. Running from the nape of the neck down to the small of the back, the fiber functions as a heater, drawing power from an included battery pack which is switched on by pressing a button located on the front of the garment. How cool is that? You can turn the heater on and off without having to open up the jacket!

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The heater can be adjusted to one of three strengths, and Kumagai boasts that on the lowest setting the battery can last for seven hours before needing a recharge. Two colors are available: navy or “wine.”

While ordinary hanten are primarily thought of as something to be worn while loafing at home, Kumagai recommends its heater-equipped version for forays into cold, snow-covered outside world as well.

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Because really, you can’t stay in the kotatsu all winter...or can you...it doesn't sound like such a bad idea...does it?

Have a great day!


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