Few scents are as “Japanese” as the scent of opening the door of a tatami room. The scent of warmth during summer days and cool autumn nights is mixed with the sweet scent of hay. Tatami is the tatami used to cover the floor of a Japanese room. They are made of bundles of straw and covered with tightly woven rushes called “igusa”. Originally used in the Heian period, they were used for sitting or sleeping. The long edges of the tatami are covered with cloth, the colors and patterns of which were used to indicate the status of the family. The average tatami is about 90 x 180 centimeters in size, but tatami is slightly larger in the Kansai region and smaller in Tokyo. New tatami has a strong aroma of finely woven green rushes, while old tatami has a lingering aroma. The old tatami has a lingering scent of hay that matches the now brownish-yellow appearance of the tatami, which is faint but has a pleasant aroma.


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