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624 Sq. Ft. 3-Story Small House in Japan

Check out this 3-story 624 sq. ft. house in Japan. The architects, Takahashi Maki and Associates, call it the “White Hut and Tilia Japanica”. Set in a older residential community this small house sits much higher than it’s neighbors.

The large windows of the home give the owner views of the surrounding area. Heading inside the house you would find on the ground floor the bedroom with space for a small desk. On the second floor you will find the kitchen, dining and living area.

The top level would be my favorite. Along not pictured here that is where you would find a large and luxurious bathroom. Would this type of small house design work for you?

624 Sq. Ft. 3-Story Small House in Japan


Images © shigeta satoshi/nacasa & partners inc

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Images © shigeta satoshi/Nacasa & Partners inc


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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Ruth
    November 20, 2014, 9:24 am

    This is most interesting! My first thought on seeing the lead picture was
    “too bad it has to be located right near high power electrical lines….very poor choice for one’s health.” Sorry….

    • Lon
      November 20, 2014, 7:22 pm

      ha! it’s not high power lines it’s common black spaghetti poles – just cable, fibre-optics, telephone, electricity and whatever comes along crowded onto the same poles … found nearly every 20~30 yards down every populated street …

  • Fred
    November 20, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Interesting design, but it wouldn’t work for me. I’ve been living in a 3 story 2,100 square foot townhouse for the last 30 years. When our last adult child finally moves out, I’d like to build and move into a simple, shed-roofed, circa 700 square foot rectangle 1 story, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, open floor plan, super-insulated and/or earth-bermed, long tall side glassed and facing south.

    • Bonnie Lynch
      November 20, 2014, 7:38 pm

      Fred, that’s exactly what my husband and I want to do when we sell our 1600-sf home in Portland, OR. If you have any great designs to pass along, I’d love to see them! I have a few I can share too.

      • Paul
        November 21, 2014, 3:22 am

        Bonnie & Fred, you should have a look at Nils Pearson’s cottage @ 800 sq ft.

        To me, and many others, it is Fab. You. Luss.

        See: http://www.green-building.com/projects/river-road/

        • Bonnie Lynch
          November 21, 2014, 12:06 pm

          Thanks for the link, Paul. I agree that the home is fabulous! If money were no object, I might go for that design, but I am actually hankering for one like this: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/23/garden/freedom-in-704-square-feet.html?_r=0
          The simple roof, open floor plan, and space for home office and books are huge for me.

        • Paul
          November 30, 2014, 1:25 am

          Interesting… that design leave me cold. I just could not live in that place. But hey, that’s me, and just because it doesn’t suit me, well, no matter, it’s what suits you that counts. For you. Of course. : )

  • Julie
    November 20, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Better hope no one needs to use the restroom urgently or in the middle of the night. Talk about a nightmare! Put the bedroom on top, the bath in the middle for fair access day and night, and main living/eating area on the first floor.

  • Anne
    November 20, 2014, 6:14 pm

    Counter-intuitive given how most currently live, it’s true. But practical. After all, where is the first place most of us head when we walk in the door? The bedroom – – to change clothes. Makes perfect sense when you think about it.

    The bathroom so far from the bedroom, otoh . . . .

    • Julie B
      November 20, 2014, 10:44 pm

      In my case I’m usually running to the little girls room first when I get home, then to change, then to the kitchen to make some food! So let’s see, bathroom on the bottom, bedroom in the middle and kitchen on the top! HAHAHAH

      • Alex
        November 21, 2014, 10:20 am

        LOL, lots of working out I guess 😀

    • Robert Ellazar
      March 12, 2022, 5:25 am

      You come, you walk past the living room and walk into your bedroom.

      So, living area combine with kitchen area in 1st level, bathroom and bedroom 2nd floor.

  • Doc
    November 23, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Let’s see…. Very nice finishes and good use of space. Its taller than the surrounding structures so it has commanding views of the area. It only makes sense then that the best views be reserved for time spent on the throne!?!?
    I prefer the layout mentioned above. Entering the living area for a more traditional home feel. Seems better for entertaining.
    Put the bath on the next level for the same reasons.
    The the bedroom on the third level. Great sunrise/sunset views as you begin and end your day. It would also keep people from traipsing through your sleeping area. I’m more private the way. If you had to have the bedroom on the main floor it would make more sense if the bed were a Murphy style or some other hideaway type.
    Oh yes, that 1/2 bath attached to the bedroom is a must. The little woman rises multiple times in the night. Two flights away would mean those stairs would have to be washable in the other layout!
    But alas, the stairs would have undone us. We just moved to a smaller place on first floor to preserve her two new knees! So ultimately, no it wouldn’t work. But again, very well done home for the space they have to work with.

  • Jeremy
    November 26, 2014, 1:47 pm

    Looks like the Japanese have done it again. They are the masters of efficient living design.

  • Josh
    December 5, 2014, 11:42 am

    Was just going to say how intriguing this design was, then I saw it – the bathroom. A two-story trip to the toilet in the middle of the night is both a pain in the neck and a significant hazard. Your exhausted, you’re drowsy and half-asleep stumbling up and down stairs – one misstep and, well, then it really will be a pain in the neck.

  • twocrows
    April 17, 2018, 5:31 pm

    When I’m at the grocer’s and the attendant asks if I want help out to the car, I say, “Only if you’ll come home and put them away, too.” I hate carting groceries to the kitchen in my 1-story home. Up a flight of stairs? Um, no.
    And then, in the middle of the night, faced with 2 story climb to the bathroom? Seriously?
    Yes, I know the Japanese lifestyle is different from the American one — but the body functions aren’t.

    And none of the above even gets at the fact that the plumbing all goes to the 2nd and 3rd floors — for more building expense.
    Kitchen on 1st floor, bath on 2nd and bed on third makes so much more sense when building and when living.

  • Peggy
    April 17, 2018, 11:53 pm

    Let’s see. The bedroom on the first floor and the bathroom on the third floor. This arrangement might work for some, but most people like to have a bathroom handy for middle of the night trips.

  • Tammy-Lynne Elder
    November 21, 2018, 11:40 pm

    would this not be hard to transport…powerlines ect??? i guess u would have 2 build on the spot and not move it! ??

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