Chokotto Oasis Tower Pot (image sourced from my Instagram)
みなさん明けましておめでとう！ Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a safe/happy holiday. I enjoyed my two week break immensely and ate too much food. Today I want to talk about this fun little thing I bought a few days ago. What is this? It is a humidifier. Where Japanese summers are unbearably humid, the winter can be just as brutally dry. It is not only harsh on the skin, but it makes sleeping uncomfortable at times as my throat gets really dry when sleeping, resulting in morning sore throats that fade throughout the day.
I knew I needed to buy a humidifier, but the cheapest ones I had been finding in the stores were running at about ¥4500 on the low end and upper ¥12,000 on the high. Recently, in stores such as Loft and Tokyu Hands, I have been seeing these Eco-humidifiers. You basically put water in the pot and then open it up. Here is a link to the product's website. This particular one only cost ¥980. You unscrew the top of the main dish (you can see the line on the bottom part) and fill it up about halfway (do not fill it up to the brim). Then you screw it back on and pull the tower up to standing. It is really quite attractive. There are quite a few differently designed ones which are quite cute and larger than this. I believe browsing the site you can check out the different options. You can also order a new filter (the blue part, and I believe are made of polyester) for ¥630. The packaging says it can last for up to 6 months before needing a new one. Back on track, the filter absorbed the water immediately. After 12 hours it still has a good bit of moisture to it as well. Sleeping overnight with it next to my bed has greatly improved my sleep. No more uncomfortable sore throat! I also notice that the general area around the pot isn't as dry either. I bring it down to my desk when I'm home using my computer.
Overall, I am happy. It's not too expensive, attractive, and doesn't use electricity at all. It's light-weight and easy to carry around if you are going to travel somewhere. Also, it comes in green and pink. I wanted something just for near my bed, and it has solved my problem. I would say, however, if you are wanting to humidify your entire room or apartment, this might not do that.
I'm tempted to buy one of the more "plant-like" ones as they come with scented oil options to add a flowery scent. They might also have more humidifying capability as they are larger. I hope this is helpful for anyone looking to save some money on humidifiers. I couldn't find any English reviews on the products, only in Japanese.