The Japanese kitchen is traditionally arranged round the stove and hearth. This is because Japanese usually cook in pots over a stove modeled from earth or clay called kamado. A kamado is just like a modern cook top; but only without the use of gas and electricity, just open fire. Another important part in Japanese kitchens is the irori; this is a sunken hearth used like that of a microwave. It looks like a square pit on the floor and is lined with stone. It is also equipped with a pothook used as a holder for heating with the use of kettles or pots. What makes irori essential is that it provides warmth and light to every Japanese household.
Traditional Japanese cooking methods include boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, and steaming. These methods are very much the same as the western’s way of preparing meals, but the former’s is duly integrated with original techniques of cooking.
The linchpin of the customary kitchen, which is the kamado, has been replaced by western-inspired and local-designed gas stoves. These gas stoves usually come with an integrated broiler. Contemporary Japanese kitchens now have refrigerators, microwave ovens, rice cookers, and oven toasters.
However, having all these appliances may overcrowd the kitchen. Therefore, in order to give more space, appliances are now hooked on cabinets. For instance, dishwashers in the form of countertop models are now available in home appliance stores. In fact, new-fangled homes even have sophisticated, functional, and space-saving kitchen system in which appliances like stoves, broilers, and dishwashers are housed into cabinets.
Today, Japanese kitchens are already influenced by modernization and their designs are more likely adapted from other developed countries. Nonetheless, there are still few homes, mostly in provincial areas in Japan, which preserve the traditional way of modeling a kitchen. This is not only preserving design; this is also upholding culture.