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If you live in a house in Japan, is it Western style, Japanese style or a bit of both?

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Japanese, apart from the toilet and kitchen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A bit of both. We bought a second hand house from a family who lived with the husband's parents. Most of the house is Western, but the rooms where the parents lived are washitsu, including a really nice wooden carved relief above the door separating the rooms. I really like having the mix, although shoji doors are not the best idea when you have small kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

High rent, prefab crap, Tokyo style.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Had a house built two years ago, and we had a fair bit of input into the design. I'd say it's a western design due to the absence of traditional Japanese design elements like shoji and tatami rooms although there is a genkan, which houses where I come from generally lack.

It is generic in use of materials and bath/kitchen/toilet design, with a few touches that could be described as western, or Japanese. For example, some of the space in the living room is raised, and has tatami-like flooring. My wife generally uses it for tea and naps, although now it's mostly storage for our one-year-old's clothes and toys. The second storey has a typical narrow Japanese balcony for laundry and air-con compressors, while I insisted we also have a 'roof-balcony' for eating and drinking outside. Neither of us are particularly green fingered, so we paved over most of the outside (small section) which I am actually somewhat regretting right now.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

We looked at building a Western-style house with some Japanese touches, but the cost of a decent patch of land where we wanted to buy was prohibitive. The cost to build itself wasn't too bad in comparison.

So in the end we went with a good-quality used apartment that had been nicely renovated just a couple of years ago.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

90% Japanese, with some Western-style. Perhaps half of the windows have 'alumi-sashu' frames in a sort of double-glazing configuration, which helps get through the winter months.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

100% japanese, including regular Cockroach Visitors and damned cold in winter even the heater works full power.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If they don’t have heating and insulation they are Japanese style.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Luddite

It is not just insulation, if they don't have walls they are Japanese style!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

90% Western in exterior appearance. The Japanese carport is the most obvious JP style part outside.

The interior is about 50/50: JP style water closets for washlet toilets. Washroom with laundry leading to the ofuro room. Kitchen wiith tiny 3-burner stovetop (but real, if small, oven below), tiny built-in drawer-type dishwasher, genkan, tatami room, and JP style closets in 2 of the 3 bedrooms.

But, it's all modern from a reform 4 years ago. Heated cherry wood floors, open floorplan in the LDK, double-pane windows, and mostly Western style furniture. Our Japanese friends and relatives always comment how Western our house is. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or insult! :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We did a full reno of a kominka farmhouse. The exterior shape is very Japanese, but its half and half inside. We have a full slab foundation and the whole envelope is new, so it's insulated, draughtproof and earthquake-proof, the three most important things, and to be honest, pretty rare for kominka. Kominka without foundations will not survive a big earthquake.

I find that if you have a few Japanese touches in your place, most (Japanese) people will think it is more Japanese than it actually is. They will ignore all the full-height furniture, tv on the wall, woodstove, etc. and go "You've got shoji and shikui! It's so Japanese! (jun-wafuu)"

It is difficult and expensive to build in my country, the UK, where you normally have to pay full price for a house to knock down just to get a plot with planning permission. Compared to that, it's much easier in Japan. Designing and building your own place is a great experience and a real privilege.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does western style mean the house has that fake brick exterior?

pay full price for a house to knock down just to get a plot with planning permission.

Houses in UK and many other countries are built to last, perhaps for more than a century, and not just two or so decades, as in Japan. They even go up in price, and so can be seen as an investment. And don't get me started on Japanese 'insulation'. Noise and temperature never really figured in Japanese design.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Pukey

My (Japanese) house is 170 years old and I can see no reason why it should not last another 170 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@garypen

If you have washlet toilets then they are not JP style water closets. A Japanese-style toilet basically consists of just has a hole, of varying degrees of sophistication, in the floor where you do your business.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We did a full reno of a kominka farmhouse. The exterior shape is very Japanese, but its half and half inside. We have a full slab foundation and the whole envelope is new, so it's insulated, draughtproof and earthquake-proof, the three most important things, and to be honest, pretty rare for kominka. Kominka without foundations will not survive a big earthquake.

I find that if you have a few Japanese touches in your place, most (Japanese) people will think it is more Japanese than it actually is. They will ignore all the full-height furniture, tv on the wall, woodstove, etc. and go "You've got shoji and shikui! It's so Japanese! (jun-wafuu)"

It is difficult and expensive to build in my country, the UK, where you normally have to pay full price for a house to knock down just to get a plot with planning permission. Compared to that, it's much easier in Japan. Designing and building your own place is a great experience and a real privilege.

That sounds awesome! Would love to do something like that in the future, if I could convince the Mrs to move more than 10 mins walk from the station...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Western except 1 tatami room, lack of yard space and 1 meter space between houses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Half and half. Old house renovated inside. Tatami room and shojis, but wooden floor. Large wooden deck for barbecues and summer drinks, garden to grow vegetables, trees for shade. And a good size basement garage, with space for car, bikes and tools. Not bad for downtown Yokohama.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm renting an older Japanese style house. Its quite large for just a single guy like me, but I have lots of stuff so it works. It has a large tatami room on the main floor and upstairs it has two bedrooms. Wooden floors and lots of sliding glass doors. Only one bathroom, but a large shower area. I also have a backyard garden that keeps me busy. I grow my own veggies and some fruit. Its about a 15 minute walk from the station, but I drive to work. It has room for two small cars to park. Recently, both houses on either side of me had been torn down and two new houses are being built. So my house is kinda like an island right now on my street. Soon it shall be torn down also I imagine by the owner when I move out. Quite a popular area to build a new house at the moment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The wife said fusuma, tatami, washi, etc were too much trouble so when we built our house, she wanted none of that. Personally, I wanted a tokonoma but she nixed even that. Go figure - the Japanese person wanted a more Western house than the Western person!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If you have washlet toilets then they are not JP style water closets. A Japanese-style toilet basically consists of just has a hole, of varying degrees of sophistication, in the floor where you do your business.

I have to disagree. Japan invented washlet toilets so whether hole in the ground or warm spraying water, it's Japanese.

But that kind of illustrates the weakness of the original question. Instead of "western" it should be "modern". In "the west" too, houses built today are generally different from those built even 40 years ago.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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