Japan is known for its dichotomy of unique tradition and state-of-the-art technology, so tatami mat floors that light up during a traditional tea ceremony should really come as no surprise. Although the photo above might look like an illusion or a Photoshopped image, it’s actually a real tea ceremony room in Yokohama, Japan. The eerie yet peaceful glow is thanks to a company that uses LED lighting to illuminate traditional Japanese flooring. And the results are absolutely stunning.

Called Hikari Tatami (lit. light-up straw flooring), there are three colour variations to choose from: brown, white and purple. The white design even allows for cool and warm light display options.




The LED bulb layout can also be selected for personalised interior designs. The floors are then set up through a wall outlet switch by a qualified electrician.


Each mat is hand crafted in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu, using local Japanese Rush Grass, which gives you the traditional fragrance of straw mat floors. When the mat is turned off it looks like regular tatami, only this type comes with a one-year warranty and is said to be stronger and more resilient.



While a single square mat with one LED bulb will set you back about 148,000 yen (US$1,519), restaurant owners are attracted to the durability and surprising energy efficiency of the unique flooring.



The LED tatami can be used anywhere, but the most dramatic effects are seen in low-light areas. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of these innovative mats in a variety of settings, from outdoor Noh theatre performances to autumn foliage light-up events. It’s a fantastic way to combine tradition and technology in true Japanese style.


Sources: Itai News Murakami Industries Rin Rd Shuhally