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Minimalist 778 Sq. Ft. Japanese Family Small House

If you’re into tiny living but just need something with more space long-term than you might really enjoy this 778 sq. ft. Japanese family small house designed by Alts Design Office.

It’s a simple and minimalist style home that’s perfect for a couple that’s planning on having children or already has small children. I can also see this space working well for a professional that works from home.

778 Sq. Ft. Japanese Family Small House by Alts Design Office


Images © Alts-Design.com

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I wish I was able to show you more of the kitchen (above) but those are the only shots I was able to share.

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You can check out the floor plan of the ‘ritto House’ below:


Images © Alts-Design.com

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YOUR Thoughts on this 778 Sq. Ft. Home?

What do you think about this minimalist style 778 sq. ft. small home in rural Japan? Would you live simply here? (Yes/no in comments and if you want.. why).

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Terrie Williams
    June 25, 2014, 10:55 am

    Oh that;s a YES!! I love minimalism because at heart I am a Utilitarian. I could easily live in this small house and be very happy. No clutter! One has all they need in this house bed, couch, kitchen and bathroom. But the most important element is family. If one has that, one has everything.

  • Kathy
    June 25, 2014, 11:59 am

    I love this. It is such a great starting point for seeing what you need. Beautiful!

  • Beth DeRoos
    June 25, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Love the minimalist style. Still to big for my taste. 400 sq ft is the max I can live with. The living dining area is to big and shows to much unused space. But I love the design and the zen style outside area.

    • Bill Burgess
      June 25, 2014, 2:27 pm

      Beth I feel the same. I have been to Tiny Texas Houses and am in total agreement on a lot of what Brad and Mackey are doing, although I am no longer as interested in building the second floor as stairs are no longer in my maneuver range. Take a look at the 4Fathoms Designs site as I am getting close to offering a series of design books for the 400Sq.Ft. format.

      • Rebecca
        August 13, 2014, 1:09 pm

        I love the 300 – 600 size range. This is definitely a family home size, a beautiful house, and would be decorated differently depending on who lived there. I have 840 now and it is too much. My design is now 576 but 1/4 has become an interior greenhouse/zen garden for these long mountain winters. I go for comfortable seating. I would like to incorporate the tatami mat area and entry bench. I have a deep bath open to the garden and closed to the toilet/sink. This has great ideas in it. I like the moving bird… whimsical.

  • Anna
    June 25, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Beautiful, serene house. I’d like to see photos of that pristine interior *after* the small children… Can we say “canvas?”

  • Ruthellen
    June 25, 2014, 11:03 pm

    Lovin’ this one especially with the all on one floor layout. I also like the Idea of the “Japanese” room as a place for ritual and celebration.

  • Sharon Leigh
    June 26, 2014, 8:59 pm

    It’s not the size of the house that’s the problem here, it’s the attitude. Minimialism isn’t of greater worth than sterile massiveness should be. These people don’t have a comfy home to raise their kids in, they have a thing they cherish for photos. I don’t envy their kids any more than I envy kids who’s parents have a McMansion and lots of stuff.

    • Alex
      June 27, 2014, 10:40 am

      Never thought of it that way Sharon. Thanks.

  • Comet
    July 3, 2014, 3:48 pm

    Wow—don’t these people own–ANYTHING? Any-THING? Not a dish or a pot or even a bedroll? Do they sleep on the bare floor? Where are their CLOTHES? Do the kids have ANY possessions?

    Now I agree–we own too MUCH stuff. But—surely even THE most minimalist of the minimalists owns at LEAST a spare pair of underwear? A-book? An iPod? Keys?

    The one raven circling the rooms–too much The Birds for me–and I LIKE ravens!

    And the furniture altho interesting has a certain uncomfortable “Waiting room” look to it–off putting.

    The house—yes. The wood work–yes. If this is actually LIVED in instead of some “set design” sort of photos–NO.

    • Lisa E.
      August 14, 2014, 1:55 am

      The Japanese are masters of minimalism but they do own things, too, but they are kept out of sight. There are several doors (sliding shoji panels and solid sliding all wood doors) either of which could be a closet for storage. If this is a traditional Japanese family, then they sleep on the floor on “futon” that are folded up and put away in the closet each morning. Each person may have a storage box for their belongings that is also stored behind the sliding shoji panel on the left hand wall. The Japanese just don’t get into clutter the way we in the West do.

  • Liane
    August 13, 2014, 11:07 am

    Please people! Walls can be painted, pictures hung. Furniture, bookcases, shelving brought thru the front door. Closets and cupboards filled to capacity if one wants. This is a very nice design for a small home that one could build and fill with their own stuff.

  • Lisa E.
    August 13, 2014, 12:44 pm

    I like the front entry as an enclosed mudroom. You come indoors and sit on the bench to the right. The crushed gravel leads to the earth for rain and snow runoff. You take off your footwear and leave them tucked nicely and neatly under the bench and enter the house in stocking feet. Keeping floors clean is back-breaking work. The Asians have the correct idea; take your shoes off and either go in stocking (tabbe) feet, or jump into a pair of house slippers (preferably the washable kind with buffers on the soles.) This keeps the house clean and organizes all of the shoes, boots, geta outside the living area. I’m down with minimalist housework.

    • Rich
      August 13, 2014, 10:06 pm

      Yeah! Someone who understands this most Japanese (and practical) of customs 🙂

  • Cooper Lavallee
    August 13, 2014, 2:15 pm

    A tad bit big for my taste, but I would love to live there regardless. I absolutely am in love with the style of that home. The minimalist design/style just makes it feel so much bigger. Thanks, Alex!

  • Charlie
    August 13, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Nice floor plan although I’m not sure what a “Japanese room” is. Not apparent where the utilities room is either. Not wild about the gravel front yard. More practical than a lawn but other wise, pretty much unproductive. A vegetable garden would be more practical. And of course, much more comfortable furniture.

  • Keith G
    August 13, 2014, 4:42 pm

    It’s an immaculate home that is beautiful in its simplicity. Could I live in it? Not on your life. I have stuff, I do things, and I don’t always finish one before having to jump to another. I sometimes need to lounge around. Living in a house like this would make me feel like I’m waiting to die. Everything utterly in its place. Waiting. {Shudders.}

  • Brian
    August 14, 2014, 3:42 am

    Just love the clean and simple lines of the Japanese inspired tiny house.
    Thankyou so much for sharing. Cheers from Australia

    • Jenn
      December 28, 2021, 11:39 pm

      This is my future home. I love the layout: the sliding doors to the den/guest room/japanese room, the bathroom individualized, book shelf bench.
      The only thing I would change is make it a boring square and use straw bale as my main building material. Might put in a wood burning stove or fireplace for warmth. I live in a cold climate.

  • August 14, 2014, 11:11 am

    hi, i like the sensibility of smaller homes and i understand why people want to save money by getting a home 1/4 or 1/5 the size of normals.
    For me i need more space to move around in, otherwise the existing space is incredibly jammed and crammed to accommodate everything, or the bathroom is about the size of a plane’s bathroom. The teeny homes on wheels that are about 250 to 500 sf are much too small for me. I could handle this nice japanese one or even up to 1000 sf and make the space more open floor plan and feel i could move around in it and not bump into everything. I believe in buliding with only environmentally friendly materials and i seem to notice many small/tiny homes do not usually share that concept. Pressure treated lumber, virgin woods, particle board, plastic or nylon cabinets countertops, etcetera and many other materials you find at the home depot etcetera are not good for the environment yet even tiny homes are building using them. building a tiny house on wheels seems wonderful to save materials, but if you drive 15,000 miles around the country with them the environmental cost of a heavy load and the gasoline seems counterproductive and wasteful. Look at the whole picture…..namaste’, rachel

  • Peter Kelly
    February 8, 2021, 5:51 am

    Does anyone know what type of wood this is?

    • James D.
      February 8, 2021, 6:49 pm

      They don’t say but it looks like Japanese Cedar…

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