There’s nothing like sitting down with a ほっこり美味しいスープ (hokkori oishii sūpu, steamy, tasty soup) on a cold winter’s day. And with the help of the incredible variety of ways to express yourself in Japanese, you can easily share those warm and cozy feelings with others.
Just like in English, there is a difference between being warm and being hot. But unlike English, there are two basic ways to write each: 暑い (atsui, hot) and 暖かい (atatakai, warm) usually refer to temperature that you can feel with your whole body, such as the air’s temperature, and 熱い (atsui, hot) and 温かい (atatakai, warm) are used to refer to the temperature of a physical thing, like soup or a hot plate.
You may have noticed that though the two pairs of words have different kanji, they have the same pronunciation. So while they can be confusing to write down, at least you can hide that confusion when speaking.