Japanese Houses Interior. Minimalism in Everything.

The classic Japanese houses interior is surprisingly empty, by our standards. Space in which, at first glance, there are almost no pieces of furniture.

Minimalism in everything. There can be only a tea table in the room, and a tatami mat laying in the corner. So where do the Japanese store their things?

Japanese Interior

It’s not even a matter of furniture, but of Japanese cultural traditions built on the principles of Buddhism and Shintoism. Emptiness, lack of clutter is one of the three characteristics of existence in Buddhism.

japanese house interior© DepositPhotos

A clean house in Shintoism is the key to good luck and favor of the deities. Among the meanings of the word “kirei” are both “pure” and “beautiful”.

Lack of room in apartments taught the Japanese to create space in a humble dwelling. Frequent earthquakes led to the preference of light and mobile furnishings.

The Japanese never buy anything superfluous, they spend their money as rationally as possible. For example, if a Japanese lives in an apartment alone, then he or she has only one plate and one piece of cutlery.

japanese house designs

But the Japanese still have furniture. The raised floor, a traditional part of Japanese interior, is actually a very spacious storage place.

Floor hatches and drawers can accommodate the most necessary things, and the rest of the items are hidden in built-in wardrobes, painted in the color of the walls.

japanese-style house© DepositPhotos

Japanese Furniture

For as long as anyone can remember, the Japanese slept and sat on futons — special mattresses. Only after many centuries the Europeans brought beds, sofas, armchairs and chairs to the islands.

japanese houses interior© DepositPhotos

Even now, the Japanese rest on small pillows, woven and fabric mats which you can easily remove from the room at any time.

japanese house interiors© DepositPhotos

Traditional Japanese doors made of translucent paper and a thin wooden frame (known as shoji) help fill the room with light and create a feeling of spaciousness.

japanese minimalism© DepositPhotos

The Japanese interior design offers its own special option for furniture familiar to European one. If you saw off the legs of an ordinary chair, and shorten the legs of a table by about 10 inches, you get a perfectly traditional Japanese dining set.

decluttering with Marie Kondo

Marie Kondo, the author of best-selling books on organizing household, is confident that if people can become much happier by getting rid of unnecessary things.

The clean, uncluttered space in which a person lives can significantly improve his or her emotional state. My favorite piece of advice is this one: “If you haven’t used the thing for a year, throw it away or give it to someone”.

“Less is more” is definitely is the philosophy of the Japanese interior. There’s nothing fancy here, no flashy colors and unnecessary details.

Psychologists note that the apartment decorated in Japanese style has a calming effect on all its inhabitants and helps you relax.


Like many people nowadays, I love to explore new places. My favorite type is slow travelling, when you can really blend in with locals and learn about new cultures and languages. But I think there are also perfect times for enjoying freshly baked pastry, a cup of fragrant coffee, and a good movie in the comfort of your own home. I guess I'm kind of a cultural omnivore, and I watch different types of movies, but the ones about art and food inspire me the most!

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