Don’t laugh! The humble
haramaki is making a comeback, because nothing—and I mean nothing—keeps you warmer while sitting at your desk fielding endless zoom calls than this legwarmer for your midriff.
I didn’t believe it until I tried it, but it turns out that once I started keeping my midsection warm, I didn’t need the little space heater under my desk anymore!
Once found only in shops like this big red underwear store that cater to the kind of over-60s who are quickly sliding into cranky unclehood…
…the humble stomach warmer now comes in designs for both men AND women that you don’t have to hide under your zoomwear! They come in all-over patterns like cute winter snowmen and those adorable rice balls
Or more traditional designs…
Or a stomach bonsai (which can stretch into into a full-sized tree as you enjoy your holiday feasting)
There are manly wave & Mt. Fuji designs…
fearsome kabuki makeup…
and lucky cats…
or appealing fishing bear and meowface tummy toasters
Some are obviously made (and sized) for women
But anybody can wrap themselves up like a Japanese wedding present!
I found this amazing selection at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya…
…but you can buy them online outside of Japan as well. (Here are just a couple of the results if you search for “haramaki” on Amazon) They’re pretty stretchy and forgiving, but just be warned that if you buy ones that actually come from Japan (like those pictured here) they’ll be Japanese size S, M & L. If you’re bigger than the average Japanese person, order a larger size than you would in Western stuff
And in case you thought I was kidding about being a happy user myownself, here are MY winter deskweapons of choice!
Major tip o’ the blog beanie to my journalist friend Helen Foster from Down Unda, who reminded me that it’s
haramaki season again! Her recent post on Not Your Normal Health Blog is all about the health benefits of wearing a stomach warmer and why they work so well.
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it… read more
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.”
Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
7 thoughts on “The best winter gift of 2020? A Japanese stomach warmer!”
These are genius! Sadly all the cute designs are just kid sizes, on Amazon. One could also make one out of a sweater from Goodwill, if one was leaving the house. Or from an old sweater with moth holes if one had such a thing. Use the sewing machine to finish the edges and you’re set.
Loved this. Am checking out the haramaki on line. Merry Christmas to you. Hoping you get to Japan in 2021.
Sent from my iPhone
I’m so sorry that all the cute ones still available seem to be in sizes not too appropriate for Western adults! Maybe there will be better ones in the new year. Meanwhile, wishing you and yours a lovely and cozy holiday, and looking forward (as always! YUM) to seeing what you cook up to celebrate!
I’ve been wanting to try one for some time and the pictures you put are very cute ! 😁
I wish they sold more of the cute ones outside Japan! The ones available from Western suppliers look a little…orthopedic ><;;
That’s the one part of my body that doesn’t need to be any warmer 😉
Oh my, I’m so sorry your comment slipped past me and it’s taken so long to reply! But ha, you’re lucky if you’ve got a naturally warm stomach, Japanese would see that as a sign of prosperity and luck!