Heh, we thought our apartment in New York City was small, well over in Tokyo where space is at a high premium, how about building a home big enough for 344 sq ft!
Small has always been beautiful in Japan, whether you think of the mini-component audio systems the country pioneered in the 1970s, its cultural love affair with miniaturized potted plants known as bonsai, or the current rage for small-engine mini-cars. Now you can add to the list the current home-design craze: ultra-compact micro-homes on plots so small they could fit into the garage space of your typical, sprawling McMansion in the U.S.
Living small is in, especially among younger Japanese with modest budgets who no longer want to cope with the grueling commutes by train from far-off suburbs outside Tokyo as their parents did. Demand for ultra-compact homes, known as kyo-sho-jutaku in Japanese, is likely a small portion right now of the $1.2 billion Japanese currently spend on homes designed by architects.
I can totally understand the desire to stay close to the center of it all. It’s one thing I love about Manhattan.
To be in the middle of it all, close to all the great and wonderful things that we humans create and do. Would I want to live in a home smaller than a normal garage? Nope. But I understand their reasoning.