What is Tatami?

Tatami is the rice straw flooring used in traditional Japanese rooms.

The rice straw core is tightly woven with a soft rush (another type of straw).

The tatami mat is a standard rectangle size. So you’ll find Japanese room sizes are measured in how many tatami mats would fit.

Tatami is often used instead of carpet because of tradition, but also because tatami absorbs humidity. 

Making it a good fit for the Japanese climate.

Despite these properties, you’ll find tatami is used less these days. Likely due to the price and how easily damaged they are. Can’t place legged furniture easily on the tatami.

The history of tatami also brings with it another thing foreigners quickly learn about Japan.

One must take their shoes off when entering a house.

This is because sitting on the floor, especially the tatami floor, is common.

And the Japanese consider the home sacred.

RECOMMENDATION: Stay at a Traditional Ryokan to Experience Real Tatami

And of course, an amazing traditional Japanese experience.

Spend the night in a cozy Japanese tatami room at Komatsu Ryokan and explore the local neighborhood. Enjoy a sumo show, including a traditional chankonabe lunch, or experience traditional Japanese culture through authentic Aizome fabric dyeing.


  • Experience a traditional ryokan in central Tokyo
  • Explore the local neighborhood in Ueno
  • Visit nearby Ryogoku or Asakusa to watch a sumo show and eat chankonabe
  • Visit nearby Asakusa to experience traditional fabric dyeing

Learn more and make reservations here (in English)

Tatami mats turned out to be progressively similar to the ones today in the Heian time frame. The heap of straw got thicker, and the quantity of sizes got standard. By the Muromachi time frame, with the presentation of engineering called Shoindukuri (書院造), which ^is appeared in the picture, the rooms were completely spread with Tatami mats. By the Edo time frame, Tatami mats became mainstream that there must be an occupation where you are charge of Tatami tangles just when building houses and palaces. —TsunaguJapan

The essential structure of tatami is basic, including doko (base), omote (spread), and heri (fringe). The base (tatami doko) is made of multilayered rice straw, firmly attached, and packed. The spread (omote) is normal igusa (surge). Tatami comprises fundamentally of a base, omote and heri edges created into a square shape. While this is an extremely basic clarification there are various other multifaceted components utilized. —KyoTatami

Today, conventional Japanese-style rooms are still extremely predominant around Japan. Visitors have the chance to medium-term in one by remaining at a ryokan, minshuku or sanctuary dwelling. On the other hand, you can see an assortment of perfectly safeguarded notable tatami rooms at destinations, for example, sanctuaries, manors and tea houses. —JapanGuide

A tatami room is an installation in washitsu, or customary Japanese inside structure. When the sign of honorability, current tatami rooms fill in as study territories in sanctuaries and as living or dozing zones in homes. The tatami room, with its straightforward decorations and open environment, can bring the Far East into any Western home. —Hunker

In the sixteenth century, the tea master Sen no Rikyu refined the Japanese tea ceremony, building up the utilization of little, rural tea rooms utilizing provincial and regular materials, including tatami. Rikyu was instrumental in promoting wabi-sabi, discovering excellence in effortlessness, which became related with the tea ceremony. —ApartmentTherapy

Watch a master craft tatami the old way