8 Distinct Ways of Living in Japan

8 Distinct Ways of Living in Japan

Size doesn't matter when these homes push the conventions of building and living in Japan.

From narrow lots to bold and angular forms, no two homes are alike in this collection of Japanese homes. These residences certainly push the boundaries in both form and function. While practicality is essential, the homes are expressive and each display their own personality. So whether you're daydreaming or considering some new ideas to spruce up your place, it's hard not to be inspired by the various styles from neighborhoods around Japan. 

The distance between site and structure is more dramatic in the evening when light shines through the sunken glass living room.

The milky-white, one-and-a-half-inch thick polycarbonate plastic panels keep its inhabitants from being seen from the outside (unless they stand right up against the wall). From inside, urban surroundings become a pleasantly blurry backdrop.

In the open living and dining room of a hillside family home in Japan, Eames shell chairs surround a custom walnut table by Kagura. The upholstered seating is by Arflex. The architect, Masahiro Harada of Mount Fuji Architects Studio, also designed the custom kitchen island and stove vent.

Concrete planters frame the facade—a union of monolithic slabs that offers privacy and compositional integrity to the building. The exterior is a plaster finish over insulation and concrete.

Imai House by Katsutoshi Sasaki + AssociatesThe narrow profile of this home covers just over 750 square feet, but still manages to provide an airy environment.Photo provided by Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates

Large clerestory windows face the street at the Higashibatas’ house in Tokyo, optimizing both privacy and natural light within.

Nakada works from an Alvar Aalto table in the living and dining area, adjacent to the kitchen. He saved on some elements, such as the plywood cabinetry, and splurged on others, such as the Finn Juhl chairs and Vilhelm Lauritzen lamp. A skylight beneath the angled roof allows in a sliver of constantly changing light.

The structure is an elegant riff on the boxy apartments and school that surround it.


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