When people thing of Japan, they don’t normally picture an idillic cabin somewhere out in the woods. It’s more the hustle and bustle of big cities like Tokyo that gets all the attention. Today though we have travelled to Sakuho, to visit a downsized design that the countryside has to offer. B: Hello Daigo D: Hi B: Nice to meet you (VO) Daigo built this incredible tiny cottage alongside friends from school on some unused family land. The project started out as a get-away for the group but later on became a home for Daigo and his young family. This stunning project is entirely off the grid and was built largely from natural materials that were sourced from the nearby forest.
B: We’re quite remote right now, we’re in the mountains, what about things like electricity and water, where does that come from? D: There are no services, electricity is from the two solar panels, we can use lights and a small refrigerator. Water we get from a stream in the mountains. B: What about toilets and waste here, what do you do for that? D: It’s kind of composted. B: Ah, okay. Great, well can we have a look inside the house? D: Yes! B: This door is lovely! D: Yeah, it’s the mountain. You see that big mountain? The name is Mt Morei and here it’s the shape. B: Well, let’s have a look inside! This is so cosy! And we’re obviously in the middle of winter in Japan right now.
It is freezing outside but it is lovely and warm in here. Having that little stove in the corner is just like a little touch of magic here, isn’t t? D: Yes, it’s a very small one. B: The design of this, it’s almost European isn’t it? D: Yeah, that’s right. Because I stayed in Finland, I was impressed by Finnish design and after I stayed in Finland I came back to Japan and made the interior, so it’s Finnish design. So this house, here is the living room, and here is for study and work. B: Although I don’t know if you could get any study done when you’re looking out at that view. That is just beautiful! My eyes could never look at a computer screen when that mountain vista is in the background.
Majestic Off-Grid Cabin In The Japanese Mountains Photo Gallery
D: Yeah, work is very fun for me here. B: I bet! And a lovely dining area over here. D: Yes, kitchen, kitchen counter and dining. So we can eat and we can drink. B: I especially like how you’ve done the kitchen counter. That’s very unusual. D: Thank-you! Cooking is very fun.
My wife, my family they look at me and I cook here and I feel I’m master of cafe. I can cook delicious food here. B: So how big is this place actually? What are the dimensions? D: 5.4 meters and 3.5 meters. B: It’s actually a perfect size for a little cabin in the woods, isn’t it? D: Thank-you. B: And I notice over there you’ve got some hammocks as-well.
That’s a really cool feature! D: Yeah Set here, and here. B: Can I have a go? D: Yeah, of course! B: Okay. Let’s try. If I ever build a cabin in the woods I have to include one of these! I absolutely love it. So for sleeping you’ve got the area upstairs as-well. D: Yes. B: Great, can we have a look at that? D: Yeah of course.
B: Oh this space is absolutely lovely! When you think of a sleeping loft in a log cabin this is everything that you would hope the space to be, isn’t it? You’ve got incredible views out here, really cosy bed, you can still see down to the wood-fire though. Absolutely magic. D: Yeah, I like this smaller space. And when sleeping here we can see the stars through the window. B: Do you think that as time goes on in Japan more people will build homes like this? D: Yes, I think so. In Japan, in the countryside there is a lot of unused land, unused fields. I think many people will make a cottage like this.
I don’t have knowledge, it’s takes a long time but we can do it. B: And what about the cost of this home? What did this actually cost you to build? D: About $16,000. B: $16,000, that’s about ¥2,000,000. D: Yes, ¥2,000,000. B: That really is so affordable isn’t it? And it just goes to show that if you’re willing to be a little bit creative, you can build a really beautiful home for yourself without a lot of money. D: Yes, that’s right. It takes time but it’s very fun and I can show the people, society, that the house is very small but very happy and comfortable and very warm.
The relationship with my wife or with family is better than in a big house. B: Daigo, this home is really beautiful. As a cabin in the woods this is an absolute dream that you have created here. Thank-you very much for showing me around. D: Thank-you very much. B: Thank-you. Being here in this home, it’s impossible not to feel a wonderful and intimate connection with nature.
And when you think about it, that’s exactly what a small cabin is supposed to do. It’s a place where you can simplify, where you can retreat and when you think about the world out there and all of the craziness, it’s really nice to know that there are still a few places like this that you can truly escape to
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