4. Dec 2022 | Lifestyle

Hokkaido Trivia – The Kerosene Stove

We’ve finally entered winter in Abashiri – the temperature has dropped to minus degrees centigrade and although it doesn’t stay to pile up yet it’s been snowing now and then. (After I wrote this, I woke up to see my parking space completely covered with snow!)

The heating appliance that is usually used at home is kerosene stove which sends out the heat by a “fan heater” generated by electricity.  Some houses might also have firewood stove. Since the 2018 earthquake in southern Hokkaido, when the electricity in the entire island went out for days, many households bought firewood stoves to be prepared for another such “blackout” that could happen in winter. 

Travelers often ask me how we supply the stoves with kerosene.  They think I carry 20L tanks of kerosene every time as people in Honshu do. Well, thank goodness, that’s not the case. Each house and apartment is equipped with fuel tanks outdoor. The fuel company comes on a monthly basis to fill them up. The tanks are usually between the size of 200-1000L depending on the maximum liters regulated by each town or city.  It’s said that an average household uses more than 1500L per year since water heating system in Hokkaido also uses kerosene. 

I know it’s a trivial matter, but it seems to be one of the “wonders” to the travelers from outside Hokkaido.

Well, now you’ll know what those tanks are for when you pass by the residential areas during your exploration of the towns in Hokkaido!

rf. 2020 Energy Consumption Research Report, Hokkaido Consumers Association
rf. Daiken Corporation website

This is the kerosene stove (kind of an old type with the top uncovered) that I used at my house at the farm I used to work.
My cat knows where’s the most warmest spot in the house 🙂
(Picture is the type of stove with the top and sides covered)