We now know exactly where we want to spend the entire winter.

Depending on what evaluation criteria you’re using, the Japanese kotatsu, a low table with a heater attached to its underside, is either the greatest or worst piece of furniture mankind has ever conceived. On the plus side, they’re incredibly comfy, wrapping your lower body in a compact world of warmth, especially when you cover your legs with a blanket to trap the heat.

▼ Kotatsu

On the other hand, kotatsu can be so comfortable that it becomes impossible to pull yourself away, which means that once you sit down, you’re pretty much stuck there for the rest of the day. Stick around the same place long enough, and you’re likely to get bored.

Luckily Japanese online retailer Rakuten, via interior products seller Charisma, has a solution for the kotatsu paradox, with a kotatsu that’s packed with storage space.

The table top is hinged, and opening up the panels reveals compartments measuring 77.1 centimeters (30.4 inches) wide by 37.8 centimeters long and 3.6 centimeters deep. That gives you space to stash a laptop or tablet, or magazines and manga if you’re a print media fan. Keeping some snacks in there would also be a wise choice, since now that you’ll be both warm and entertained, it’ll be even more mentally difficult to leave the futon to make a run to the kitchen when you get the munchies.

The kotatsu is available in two colors of wood, and its simple, elegant design means that even when winter is done, you can remove the blanket and continue to use it as an ordinary coffee table.

The storage compartment kotatsu can be ordered here through Rakuten, priced at 22,800 yen (US$204), which is 2,000 yen off the regular price thanks to a limited-time sale (blanket sold separately). Should we find enough yen under our couch to buy one for ourselves, and you don’t see us until spring, you’ll know where we’re camping out.

Source: IT Media
Images: Rakuten/Charisma

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s thinking of doing what the bears do and just eating a bunch of salmon and then sleeping until spring.