The use of a kotatsu is a unique Japanese way of heating a room. It is placed on a quilt mat and covered with a blanket or quilt to keep the heat in. A square board is placed on top of it so that it can be used as a table. Many people like kotatsu because it uses much less energy than other heating appliances, and it is especially relaxing to lie down and stretch one’s legs under the warmth they radiate. Traditional Japanese architecture can be described as an uncomfortable atmosphere, at least from a Western perspective. The temperature indoors is the same as the temperature outside, uncomfortably hot in the summer and unbearably cold in the winter. In mountain villages in the European Alps and in the north of Norway and Finland, it’s not uncommon for people to struggle to open their windows because of the use of triple glazing, rather than double glazing, for winter insulation.