The flexibility of the traditional Japanese home is well known. A single room can be utilized as a study, dining room, living room, or bedroom in a single day. The American house, on the other hand, is clearly separated into smaller rooms by strong walls, each meant to perform a certain role. A traditional American house might have a kitchen, dining room, living room, and three bedrooms.
Traditional Japanese homes were built with natural materials such as wood and clay. They used post-and-beam structures with tatami mats for flooring. The interior decor was usually simple — colors were soft and pastels, and textures were smooth. Heavy use of silk wallpaper was popular in wealthier households.
Modern Japanese homes are also built with natural materials but they use steel and concrete instead. They tend to be larger than American houses and often have more than one floor. Appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines are commonly found in modern Japanese homes. However, these items cannot be walled off in a private room like they would be in an American house.
In conclusion, Japanese houses are different from American houses because they are flexible and allow you to divide up the space how you want to. These types of homes are easy to transform into different rooms later on if needed.
In a typical Japanese home, there are no chairs or beds. You sit on the floor and sleep on cushions and futon bedding. Before Western-style houses became popular, Japanese rooms were divided by sliding paper screens called shoji or fusuma rather than doors and windows. The most common shape of a Japanese room is a square or rectangle with a tatami mat in the center. There are usually no decorations other than perhaps a hanging scroll or two.
There are several reasons why Japanese rooms are empty except for a low table and some shelves. The main one is space conservation. In Japan, households used to be much smaller, so people lived communally in neighborhoods where everyone knew everyone else's business. Privacy was not important; if you wanted to keep something private, you hid it away somewhere safe. Today's larger homes mean that people can have what we call "personal spaces." They don't need to share their secrets with strangers!
Another reason is that furniture was rarely bought in bulk. Shops didn't carry items that weren't going to be sold quickly, so they didn't stock anything that wasn't likely to find a buyer. This is why you won't find many pieces of furniture in a Japanese room: they were all individual purchases by the owner of the house.
The only thing that usually stands between you and the floor is a low table.
Size. In general, Japanese apartments are much smaller than those in the United States. Why? Because Japan is a considerably smaller and more populous country (depending on where you reside), there is just less area for construction. Also, in Japan, high-rise buildings are rare. There's just not enough space!
Layout. An apartment in Japan will usually have a living room, a kitchen, and two or three bedrooms. If it has two bedrooms, they will be separated by a bathroom or a study. Most often, the separate rooms are needed because Japanese house owners like to keep their homes quiet at night. If someone else other than a family member lives in the house, then they would probably have their own private space.
Here's how the rooms of a typical Japanese apartment might look:
Living Room. The living room is where everyone gathers to chat, watch TV, read, or play music together. In addition, the couch can be pushed against the wall to make more space for dancing or playing sports. A table can be placed next to the couch for eating meals or playing cards.
Kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the apartment; it's where most of your daily activities take place. It's also one of the biggest rooms in an apartment, so you want it to be functional without taking up too much space.
In contrast to residences in much of Europe, including major cities like London and Paris, Japanese dwellings in major cities rarely include a garden (AmE = yard). By Western standards, the architecture is extremely conventional. The majority of new houses and apartment buildings are constructed of concrete. Sometimes they have wooden panels instead.
Even in older neighborhoods, you will usually find that the gardens have been replaced by parking lots. As with cars, this seems to have become almost mandatory for residents who can afford them.
The only exception I know of is Kamakura, which has many traditional townhouses built around inner courtyards. These tend to be quite small, though; often there isn't even enough room to put a lawn inside the walls of the house.
In smaller towns and rural areas, many people still live in traditional Japanese homes with tiled roofs and shoji screen doors. There may be gardens out front, but they're used for food production rather than for relaxation.
I think the closest approximation to a backyard in Tokyo would be an attached garage. But even those are rare now; most apartments don't have any space behind their buildings designated for anything other than parking.
In my limited experience with the interiors of modern Japanese houses, sliding panels are mainly restricted to the tatami room and closets, but some houses are still created that take use of their outstanding versatility. Western-inspired dwellings are uncommon, but not entirely missing.
Even if they are used only for decoration, sliding doors are a very important element in the interior design of a Japanese house. They allow visitors to see into every corner of the house without being invited in, which is typical for this culture. Moreover, they also serve as storage space, which will be useful if you ever need to expand your living area.
Sliding doors are easy to open from outside but difficult to close completely. This is because they usually have small windows or openings on both sides of the door, which makes it possible for insects to enter your home. To avoid this problem, try to buy sliding doors that are made of insect-proof material. These doors may be expensive, but it's worth paying more for complete security inside your own house!
The fact that most Japanese houses don't have any storage space behind walls or under floors means that they often need more space than what their size would suggest. This is why so many of them have multiple rooms instead of just one big one.
They all agree that residences in Japan are tiny, whether they are from the east or the west! Despite the tiny land area, the capital and main cities of Japan are densely populated. As a result, the dwellings become more tiny. Aside from that, many people in Japan are pleased with the housing situation. There are even ads showing happy couples sitting together in their own apartments.
Japanese buildings are generally low-rise. The average height is about five stories. There are no high-rises like in America. Even so, you can find large buildings in major cities such as Tokyo where space is very limited.
Most houses have separate entrances for each room they contain. This is not always the case but it is common practice for households with multiple residents. If there is only one entrance, then it will usually be on the side of the house closest to the street.
In conclusion, Japanese houses are small but well-designed. They offer just enough space for a family to live in.