Sunday, January 14, 2007

Heating in Japan

There are a few things that we have done here that I have regretted, but putting in our fireplace is not one! The majority of heating here in rural japan consists of kerosene heaters or airconditioning units. The smell of the heaters as they are turned on or off gave me headaches for years (as well as the increasing cost of fuel...) until we finally gave in and converted one of our cupboards into a fireplace. Now we have a really nice warmth (in our living room anyway) all winter long.
The only problem is that very few other people have fireplaces here. Which means.... you can't just call up the firewood place and order a trailer-load of wood. So every year around this time we start collecting wood and chopping it ready for next year's winter. My husband contacts the different road works companies, electricity companies etc. and when they need to cut down trees they contact us and we go and collect them. Environmentally friendly and free! Of course once the wood is obtained the real work begins.... here's hoping we can get lots of visitors to Kiora Cottage soon who really want the once in a lifetime thrill of chopping wood!

One of the other big problems with Japanese heating is that the houses are so badly insulated (if at all...) that all the heat that is generated is immediately lost through the walls. To deal with this they have made a great invention though - for anyone interested see the next blog entry!

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