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Using Kerosene (or Paraffin) Heaters in Japan
Researched By Cornelia [22 Dec 2011]

Kerosene Heater Kerosene heat is a common option used in many homes in Japan. Particularly after the earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear power plant accident of March 11, 2011, many people in Tokyo have bought kerosene heaters to bypass heating through the Tokyo electric power supply. The primary advantage is that kerosene oil is cheaper than electricity. Currently the cost of a liter of kerosene oil is about 84yen (December 2011) if one goes and fills up at the petrol station. One can also have it delivered at a mark-up.

New kerosene heaters come in a variety of colors and about 3 designs. Pictured is a very common style. Old heaters are also for sale through various second hand markets. There have been incidents of elderly people dying of carbon monoxide poisoning, so it is a good idea to understand how kerosene heaters work, and use them correctly.

There is information on safety available in abundance. Common sense helps! The heater pictured is used in combination with a fan to distribute the warmed air efficiently throughout the room. It requires an electrical outlet. Don't block air intake (on the back) and air output (on the front). Here are some links that might be useful:

Todd's instructions. Todd gives you a great overview, but if your internet connection is too slow for youtube videos, this may not be much help.

Sample pricing for new kerosene heaters. A selection of kerosene heaters available through Amazon Japan.

Overview of heating in Japan. Wikipedia's take on this topic

Guide to heating in Japan. A useful comparison guide to the various heating options, but there might be one or two errors.

Here are some instructions for filling the kerosene reservoir. Everyone has their own variations, but this should get you started down the right path.

Kerosene Heater: Remove Canister

Remove empty canister.

Prepare to Re-fill Canister

Newspaper soaks up tiny spills well. Unscrew the top of the canister only just before you are ready to re-fill (to prevent any debris from getting in).

Kerosene Heater: Transfer KeroseneRe-fill using a cheap make-shift funnel (this one was made from an empty bleach bottle).

Kerosene Heater: Fill MarkCheck the fill mark on the canister. Wipe off any spillage with a tissue.

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