Japan’s Ultra Tiny Home

Several of my readers have sent this CNN article to me and I think it is worth sharing. Though way out of most of our price range it has some terrific space ideas and we can learn from it.

This half million dollar mini house was built on top of a single parking space in Tokyo, Japan.

(CNN) — Fuyuhito Moriya is 39 and still lives with his mother, but in circumstances you would call a tad unusual.

Moriya, an unmarried man, and his mother, Yoko, live in a house that’s built on 30 square meters, that’s the same as the size of a parking space for one car.

They live in what’s called an ultra-small house, a genre of single family homes bred of Japan’s economic stagnation and brought to life by architectural ingenuity.

Read the complete article and view more photos on the CNN website.

Video and photos CNN.

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Zero - November 18, 2010 Reply

I found this very inspiring — if you have the will, you can find a way. The small apartment you showed in New York was born out of a similar need.

Corby - November 18, 2010 Reply

Reminds me, in a way, of the bridge tenders’ structures that flank rivers. I always wondered what it would be like to live in such a place! It does look to be a bit larger than a single parking space, though.

Brand - November 18, 2010 Reply

Yeah, I don’t know where she got the parking space comment, because he pulls a car into one corner of the building. 30 square yards is about 325 square feet, so the house is definitely still tiny.

I like it, but I still like the European stacked container apartment the best.

    Benjamin - November 19, 2010 Reply

    The 30 square meters is just the footprint. It appears to be at least 2, maybe 3 stories, which would double or triple the square footage (less the staircase).

Joe - November 18, 2010 Reply


Thats a great book on the subject of tiny japanese buildings. Great little book.

Walt Barrett - November 19, 2010 Reply

I am in favor of tiny houses and micro apartments, but $500,000.00 is insane. I’m sure the high cost of the land in Japan had a great deal to do with the price. We need to all focus on less expensive homes.

    Zero - November 23, 2010 Reply

    So much of the country is mountainous, and he’s building a house in the capital city. It’ll make the morning commute a lot easier, I imagine.

Brand - November 19, 2010 Reply

@Walt: By that argument, we should all focus on less expensive *land*. Not gonna happen in places like Tokyo and New York.

Anyway, this was obviously a custom-designed home, so the architect might have been paid a lot. And I do wonder how a single guy living with his mom afforded $500K… maybe that’s what a decade of near-zero interest rates has done to Japanese prices.

wolf tree sanctuary - November 20, 2010 Reply

If you google the term “kyosho jutaku” you will get more houses like this one.

My personal favourite is Hiroaki Ohtani’s “layer house”.

Sólo en Japón: Las casas más pequeñas del mundo (ultra pequeña) | :: RetornoAnime:: - August 30, 2012 Reply

[…] Que opinan ustedes, ¿Les gustaría vivir en una casa así de pequeña? […]

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