A-Z Popular Blog Architecture Search »
Architecture Guides
Architectural Materials

Related Topics
Architectural Elements

Night Architecture

Japanese Architecture


Modern Architecture

What are Tatami?

 , updated on
Tatami are traditional Japanese floors constructed with standard sized mats that have a rice straw core and a soft rush covering.


Tatami represent the traditional Japanese lifestyle of living and sleeping close to the floor. Tatami are associated with Japanese futon beds, a type of mat bedding that is laid out on the floor in evenings and put away each morning.
Furniture designed for tatami are lightweight so as not to damage the delicate mats. Tables for tatami are designed for sitting on the floor or on thin mats known as zabuton.
Tatami are considered to have much charm as a lifestyle and are popular at vacation spots in Japan. Traditional Japanese inns known as ryokan typically have tatami rooms. In some cases, modern hotels also offer tatami.
There are a wide range of Japanese manners and etiquette related to tatami with the most important being the rule that shoes can never be worn on a tatami floor.
Modern Japanese homes and apartments often have one tatami room that may be used as a living room or bedroom. Tatami are expensive, difficult to maintain and typically need to be replaced every 10 to 20 years.
Tatami are considered a cultural item in Japan and tend to trigger a sense of nostalgia. New tatami mats have a slightly woody scent that is considered pleasant.
Overview: Tatami
Traditional Japanese mat floors.
Tatami Sizes
Tatami are standard sizes that differ by region of Japan as follows.
Kyoto 0.955 x 1.91 meters
Nagoya 0.91 x 1.82 meters
Tokyo 0.88 x 1.76 meters
Tatami are generally 5.5 cm or 6.0 cm thick.
Room Sizes
Rooms in Japan are commonly constructed to be a standard size based on the size of tatami such as 16, 12, 9, 6 or 4 1/2 tatami rooms. In many cases, rooms that have western floors are also designed to these sizes.
Related Concepts
Next: Fusuma


This is the complete list of articles we have written about architecture.
Urban Design
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Japanese Architecture

A list of Japanese architecture styles, techniques and elements.

Fusuma vs Shoji

The difference between fusuma and shoji.

Wabi Sabi

A complete overview of the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi.


An overview of architecture with examples.

Architectural Technology

A list of common architectural technologies.

Night Architecture

An overview of night architecture.

Passive Design vs Active Design

The difference between active and passive design.

Universal Design

A definition of universal design with examples.

Passive Light

The common types of passive lighting.

Architectural Acoustics

The common types of architectural acoustics.

Parti Pris

An overview of parti pris in architecture with an example.

Genius Loci

A definition of genius loci with examples.


An overview of massing in architecture.

Compressive Strength

A definition of compressive strength.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map