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The best winter gift of 2020? A Japanese stomach warmer!

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.

Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer at big red underwear store Akapantsu in Sugamo
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!
Big red underwear store Akapantsu selling haramaki Japanese stomach warmer
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…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmers on sale at Tokyu Hands
…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
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer traditional swirl design
Or more traditional designs…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer bonsai tree design
Or a stomach bonsai (which can stretch into into a full-sized tree as you enjoy your holiday feasting)
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer Hokusai wave and Mt. Fuji design
There are manly wave & Mt. Fuji designs…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer kabuki design
fearsome kabuki makeup…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer Daruma design
daruma bellies…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer lucky cat design
and lucky cats…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer fishing bear and cat face designs
or appealing fishing bear and meowface tummy toasters
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer plum blossom design
Some are obviously made (and sized) for women
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer o-iwai wedding envelope design
But anybody can wrap themselves up like a Japanese wedding present!
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmers on sale at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya
I found this amazing selection at Tokyu Hands in Shibuya…
Haramaki Japanese stomach warmer available on Amazon
…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
Author Jonelle Patrick wearing haramaki Japanese stomach warmer
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.

And if you need a good book to cozy up with in your new stomach warmer…

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

7 thoughts on “The best winter gift of 2020? A Japanese stomach warmer! Leave a comment

  1. 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.

  2. Loved this. Am checking out the haramaki on line. Merry Christmas to you. Hoping you get to Japan in 2021.

    D🎄⭕️😷❌🤞🏻🍣🍵

    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!

    • 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!

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