Can you believe there are 9 units of apartements in this box? OK, each unit is 194 square feet, which translates into about 11 and a half tatami mats. Ahh, now I can relate better. This is actually the standard size for an urban apartment in Japan especially for those who are single (or young couples).

My first apartment in Tokyo was exactly the same size. There were 6 tatami mats for the bedroom, and slightly less than 4 tatami mats for the dining and kitchen. the rest of 2-tatami-mat space was used for an impossibly small bathroom.

Back in the ’80s most of those apartments were floored with tatami mats. The colors of walls were likely to be beige or greenish gray. Those were just places to sleep or watch TVs. It was impossible to stay inside during the weekends.

Here, I can stay inside for a whole day. “Fudomae Apartment” was built in 2006, designed by a young firm called ISSHO Architects in Tokyo.

above images: © Koichi Torimura / Nacasa & Partners