The hidden roof (野屋根, noyane) is a type of roof widely used in Japan both at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. It is composed of a true roof above and a second roof beneath, permitting an outer roof of steep pitch to have eaves of shallow pitch, jutting widely from the walls but without overhanging them.
Japanese architecture (日本建築, Nihon kenchiku) has been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs.
Traditional Japanese homes are called minka, and are often what people picture in their heads when they think of a Japanese style house. This includes tatami flooring, sliding doors, and wooden verandas circling the home.
A traditional Japanese house has an area called engawa, the so-called edge of the house. Used as a type of veranda, an engawa has the role to connect the inside of the house with the outside.
tokonoma, alcove in a Japanese room, used for the display of paintings, pottery, flower arrangements, and other forms of art. Household accessories are removed when not in use so that the tokonoma found in almost every Japanese house, is the focal point of the interior.
A tokonoma (床の間), or simply toko (床), is a recessed space in a Japanese-style reception room, in which items for artistic appreciation are displayed. In English, a tokonoma could be called an alcove.
Essentially, a kotatsu is a heated table that keeps the lower half of your body warm with a space heater as you dine. The table is fitted with an electric heater in the center, so the diners' legs are close to (but not touching) the heat source. A floor-length blanket hangs over the tabletop to trap the heat.
Minka, or traditional Japanese houses, are characterized by tatami mat flooring, sliding doors, and wooden engawa verandas. Another aspect that persists even in Western-style homes in Japan is the genkan, an entrance hall where people remove footwear.
Genkan (玄関) are traditional Japanese entryway areas for a house, apartment, or building, a combination of a porch and a doormat.
Aburi Engawa: seared halibut fin topped in caviar. Engawa is a thin muscle of the dorsal fin which is located on the side of the Halibut and has a higher fat content which makes it a delicacy.
The Yosemune style roof is popular with Japanese farmers. The roof slopes down 4 sides, usually built on horizontally rectangular houses. The slopes of the roof form the rectangular shape on the long side of the house, and form the triangular shape on the short side of the house.
Japanese architecture has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Sliding doors (fusuma) were used in place of walls, allowing the internal configuration of a space to be customized for different occasions.
East Wind Higashi Kaze is focused on bringing authentic Japanese-inspired homes to the US. The firm designs and builds custom Japanese homes in California and other states.
Curved roofs were commonly believed to ward off evil spirits because evil spirits hated curves and that they would also fall off of the roof due to its drastic angle. Thus, curved roofs are very commonly used in Chinese and Japanese architecture.
Japanese contemporary architecture is often admired for its simplicity, attention to detail, contemplative atmosphere, and palpable emphasis of material lightness and/or gravity (see my recent article “Learning from the 'Red' and 'White' Schools of Japanese Architecture”).
The materials of roofs for traditional Japanese buildings are mostly thatch, tiles, bamboo, metal and stone. Although modern Japanese architects rarely have thatched roofs, they were common until the early 20th century.
The front door usually opens outward, which is opposite of in Western houses. This is because Japanese people do not wear shoes in the house, they take off and line up their shoes at the entrance. If the door opens inward, the shoes will be in the way and could cause you to be not able to open the door.
Japanese have developed the custom of eating meals sitting on tatami mats, not on chairs. They also roll out the futon on which they sleep on the tatami floor. Therefore, they take their shoes off when entering the house to avoid getting the floor dirty.
A cultural tradition, the bathtub in Japan is known as ofuro (お風呂).
Unlike in other countries, homes in Japan rapidly depreciate over time, becoming nearly valueless 20-30 years after they were built. If someone moves out of a home before that time frame, the house is seen as having no value and is demolished in favor of the land, which is seen as being high in value.
It is common practice in Japan to sleep on a very thin mattress over a tatami mat, made of rice straw and woven with soft rush grass. The Japanese believe this practice will help your muscles relax, allowing for a natural alignment of your hips, shoulders and spine.
In the summer, the blanket may be removed, and the kotatsu used as a normal table. It is possible to sleep under a kotatsu, although unless one is quite short, one's body will not be completely covered.
In the past, the futon covering the kotatsu had a risk of catching fire if left on for too long, but those days of worrying are over. Nowadays, all kotatsu are made so that, no matter what conditions occur, a fire will not break out.
Should you want to buy a kotatsu heated blanket table, you'll discover that it's quite affordable. You can buy the base table for as little as US$180, while package deals—which include the table, transformer, and a futon—come in around US$378 and up.