House in Oiso / Atelier HAKO Architects

Courtesy of Atelier HAKO Architects

Architects: Atelier HAKO Architects
Location: Oiso, Naka District, ,
Architect In Charge: Yukinobu Nanashima, Tomomi Sano
Structural Engineer: Shin’itsu Hiraoka, Hiraoka Structural Engineers
Area: 8972.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Atelier HAKO Architects

Hanegi Shrine Gathering Place / Ishda Architects + Openvision

© Jun Kumagai

Architects: Ishda Architects + Openvision
Location: Hanegi, Setagaya, ,
Architect In Charge: Mamiko Ishida, Sachiko Tanaka
Area: 940 sqm
Photographs: Jun Kumagai

Veterinarian N House / Eureka + Atelier CHOCOLATE

© Ookura Hideki

Architects: Eureka + Atelier CHOCOLATE
Location: Kanagawa Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Inagaki Junya, Sano satoshi, Ohta Makoto
Area: 280 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Ookura Hideki

Shirasu Residence / ARAY Architecture

© Daici Ano

Architects: ARAY Architecture
Location: , Prefecture, Japan
Architect In Charge: Asei Suzuki
Area: 143 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Daici Ano

Why Japan is Crazy About Housing

House NA / Sou Fujimoto Architects. Image © Iwan Baan

Japan is famous for its radical residential architecture. But as Tokyo architect Alastair Townsend explains, its penchant for avant garde may be driven by the country’s bizarre real estate economics, as much as its designers’ creativity.

Here on ArchDaily, we see a steady stream of radical Japanese houses. These homes, mostly designed by young architects, often elicit readers’ bewilderment. It can seem that in Japan, anything is permissible: stairs and balconies without handrails, rooms flagrantly cast open to their surroundings, or homes with no windows at all.

These whimsical, ironic, or otherwise extreme living propositions arrest readers’ attention, baiting us to ask: WTF Japan? The photos travel the blogosphere and social networks under their own momentum, garnering global exposure and international validation for Japan’s outwardly shy, yet media-savvy architects. Afterall, in Japan – the country with the most registered architects per capita – standing out from the crowd is the key to getting ahead for young designers. But what motivates their clients, who opt  for such eccentric expressions of lifestyle?

M House / Facet Studio

Courtesy of

Architects: Facet Studio
Location: Niigata, Niigata Prefecture,
Design Team: Yoshihito Kashiwagi, Olivia Shih
Area: 188 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Facet Studio

Sugiura House / Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates

© Shinkenchiku-sha Co. Ltd

Architects: Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates
Location: Gujo, Gifu Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Yokogawa Ken
Area: 191.45 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha Co. Ltd, Ken Yokogawa

House in Tsurumaki / Case-Real

© Takumi Ota

Architects: Case-Real
Location: , Japan
Architect In Charge: Koichi Futatusmata, Yasushi Arikawa
Area: 61.2 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Takumi Ota

Sakurai House / Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates

© Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

Architects: Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates
Location: Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture,
Architect In Charge: Ken Yokogawa, Kazunori Yadomoto, Takamichi Kawakatsu
Structural Engineers: Ryozo Umezawa, Motonori Toyama
Landscape Designer: GA Yamazaki
General Contractor: Takuji Miyashita, Kazuki Shimomoto
Area: 267.29 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd., Ken Yokogawa

House at Komazawa / Atelier HAKO Architects

© Shinsuke Kera / Urban Arts

Architects: Atelier HAKO Architects
Location: Komazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo,
Architects: Yukinobu Nanashima, Tomomi Sano
Area: 31.92 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Shinsuke Kera / Urban Arts

Hayasaka House / Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates

© Shinkenchiku-sha Co

Architects: Ken Yokogawa Architect & Associates
Location: , Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Architect In Charge: Ken Yokogawa
Structural Engineers: Umezawa Structural Engineers – Ryozo Umezawa, Yohei Sekiguchi
Landscape Architects: Nakatani Koichiro Atelier – Koichiro Nakatani
General Contractor: DI Sanwa Corporation -Toshiyuki Inoue, Isamu Morisita
Area: 135.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shinkenchiku-sha Co, Ken Yokogawa

House of Awa-cho / Container Design

© Eiji Tomita

Architects: Container Design
Location: , Tokushima Prefecture, Japan
Architect: Takanobu Kishimoto
Area: 725.67 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Eiji Tomita

Arboleda / Naoko Horibe

© Kaori Ichikawa

Architects: Naoko Horibe
Location: , Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Area: 104.34 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Kaori Ichikawa

Roof & Mushrooms Pavilion / Ryue Nishizawa + Nendo

© Daici Ano

Architects: Ryue Nishizawa, Nendo
Location: Kyoto University of Art and Design, 2-116 北白川瓜生山 Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 606-8271,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Daici Ano

Archery Hall & Boxing Club / FT Architects

© Shigeo Ogawa

Architects: FT Architects
Location: Tokyo,
Architect: FT Architects / Katsuya Fukushima, Hiroko Tominaga
Area: 198.75 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Shigeo Ogawa

M Residence / Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Courtesy of

Architects: Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Location: Fukui, Fukui Prefecture,
Area: 182 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Villa Kanousan / Yuusuke Karasawa Architects

Courtesy of

Architects: Yuusuke Karasawa Architects
Location: Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture,
Principal Architect: Yuusuke Karasawa
Mechanical Consultant: gh9 co. ltd.
General Contractor: Eiger co. ltd, Noriaki Fujii, Yousuke Ozaki
Area: 87.69 sqm
Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Yuusuke Karasawa Architects

Small House / Unemori Architects

© Ken Sasajima

Architects: Unemori Architects
Location: Meguro, Tokyo,
Area: 67 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Ken Sasajima