This Minimalist Tiny Home for 5 Is Nestled Within Japanese Nature

by Simplify

Nestled within the serene landscapes of mountains, rivers, and rice fields in Heguri, Nara is a beautifully designed single-story home. Yousaka Tsusumi from Arbol Design has brought this 45 square meter dwelling to life, keeping the family of five and their love for nature at the heart of the concept.

A Unique Approach to Space and Design

This house unfolds starting from the wooden gates visible from the street, made up of four individually movable doors. Beyond these lie a parking space, garden, and a galvanized steel house that is only revealed when the doors are opened. The entrance doubles as a porch and outdoor living space, shielded by a roof for year-round enjoyment and a wooden box-bench offering convenient shoe storage.

Harmonious Living Spaces

The main living area combines the living room, dining, and kitchen, fostering a sense of togetherness. Raised one step above the kitchen, the living and dining spaces are brightened by long, narrow windows on either side, designed to invite extra light. At the heart of this space is a large dining table, functional both as a meal spot and a kitchen prep surface, accommodating the family's favorite chairs. Below, there's storage for essential kitchen appliances and utensils.

Like here, the entrance doubles as a porch and outdoor living space.

Efficiently Designed Kitchen and Bedrooms

The house features two bedrooms: a main bedroom for the whole family and a secondary room currently used as an office, slated to become the children's room in the future. Both rooms include built-in closets for extra storage.


Tsusumi's design emphasizes going back to basics, encouraging the family to live more minimally. This philosophy is also reflected in the Never Too Small Essential Guide to Your Living Room, an affordable resource for transforming small living spaces into places you love spending time in.

Join the conversation
  • Interesting. I need to see photos of the interior to appreciate the functionality. What is provided in the video is not representative space wise. My hat collection alone wouldn't fit. Forget about the rest of my clothes. And my home is small by American standards. They obviously do not have corporate jobs or commute. When I was young, I could have done this, but now? Plus there is no mention of a bathroom. Where does one bathe themselves or use a toilet? With three little kids, that is a health concern for me. And obviously no pets.

    • Carol de la Fuente Carol de la Fuente on Jul 17, 2023

      There are photos of the inside of their home in the video above. They do have a complete bathroom also.