Breathtakingly Beautiful Japanese Tiny House on Wheels

It’s possible that this is one of the smallest homes that we have visited on the show so far and yet without doubt it is one of the most spectacular in it’s design. Japan is a country already world-famous for it’s small space designs, and so it should come as no surprise that when Japanese master-craftsman Tagami Haruhiko turned his attention towards the tiny house movement, amazing things would happen.

The home is crafted wherever possible from locally sourced and natural materials, predominantly cedar. There is an architectural edge to this tiny house on wheels which seems to draw inspiration from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, yet which has been given a unique and bewildering touch of Japanese-design.

Impressively, this tiny house is amazingly lightweight (weighing only 500kgs) and unlike many tiny houses on wheels, is designed to live most of it’s life on the road. This aspect was essential for the home’s owners, Rumi and Katrina, who are constantly traveling throughout Japan, working for their company Be Genki.

Inside, this small house is truly mind-blowing. The walls mirror the outside and again are covered in the most majestic of natural timbers. Beyond the aesthetics though, lies a true design marvel as the home is able to transform and reshape itself to suit the needs of it’s inhabitants. Seamlessly, the house is able to shift from being an open space to an office, an office to a kitchen, a kitchen to a dining room and a dining room to a bedroom. This principle of transformation is largely inspired by the traditional and multifunctional Tatami room, found in so many Japanese homes.

Down the far end of this tiny house is a small, yet functional kitchen which includes a faucet and sink, as well as two gas hobbs for cooking. Despite some objects being on display, the storage in the house is largely designed with the concept of items being kept out of sight to reduce any potential for the space to become cluttered.

True to it’s purpose of a home that can travel with you, this Tiny House is completely off-the-grid and powered through a house battery which is charged through the alternator of the towing vehicle. The need for power consumption in the house is very low, and limited to lights, a small fridge and whatever phones, laptops or other devices require charging.

In Japan, the concept of a tiny house on wheels is still very new and the home attracts a lot of attention from interested on-lookers. Currently, Japanese regulations make living in the home relatively simple and there are many beautiful camping grounds throughout Japan for the home to park, as well as Michinoeki (Roadside Stations) where the house can rest up for the night.

“It’s incredibly spacious. There is room to move around that I was surprised about when I first started living here… Although it seems like a small space from the outside, when you come inside it’s incredibly expansive.” says Katrina.

Rumi and Katrina chose not to include a shower in their tiny house and instead take full advantage of the numerous Onsen (hot springs with bathing facilities) which can be found all throughout Japan. A small portable toilet is carried in the home’s towing vehicle, however is seldom used thanks to the abundance of public toilet facilities found throughout Japanese towns.

With this home, builder Tagami Haruhiko and his company Tiny House Japan have achieved a certain kind of perfection. The house is as functional as it is beautiful and poetically meets the needs of those who occupy it. It is complex and clever in it’s crafting, yet simple and elegant in it’s function. Truly, who could ask for more?




Posted on by Bryce Posted in Tiny House Tours

About Bryce

I'm a film-maker with a passion for small space design, permaculture, and downsized, eco-friendly living. Join me on my travels as I meet people from all over the globe who are living big lives in wonderful tiny houses!

14 Responses to Breathtakingly Beautiful Japanese Tiny House on Wheels

  1. Matteo

    What a fantastic video, I have discovered tiny houses by watching it! It looks so authentic… I love the footage, thank you Bryce. I am becoming a fan of mister Tagami’s work. Definitely a lovely couple. May they enjoy this warm fire forever!

  2. Leo lee

    I would like to build a tiny house like this one I just need the plans and I think I can build it alot cheaper than they did and keep the quality and space. Love it…

  3. Suzanne

    Lovely and inspiring! I live in Japan and we have been thinking about getting a travel trailer for weekends on the road. Just stunningly beauiful and so in keeping with aesthetics here. Other campers we’ve looked at are just so “commercial” feeling. This video is such a treat and has expanded my thinking about living on the road in Japan”. Thank you Bryce.

  4. Kate Smiley

    This is amazing. I loved the interview and the footage. Keep up the good work. I’m going to become a “patreon”!

    • Bryce

      Thanks Kate! Glad you enjoyed it and thank-you for helping to support our channel by becoming a Patron. 🙂

  5. Faith

    Also is this type of whare Legal in NZ?
    like the dimension’s for transportation on our roads?

  6. Faith

    Hello.
    I really love this house. I wish there was more dimensions of this house, because I would love to live in this.
    when I look at tiny houses I always have to see if there is a fire place. Living in New Zealand it is a house must have. I love the roof to this whare, the way it can go up and down. the transformation looks abit too much for my lazy life style, but adapting is good. I really want to build this. I just don’t know how to do that. anyway thank you for this. I have a lot of things to think about

  7. Zoey

    Bro it’s 2 a.m. in the morning and I need to figure out how that lifting roof was put together, it’s been bugging me for weeks. I’ll take anything hints, basic schematics, Ikea instructions. Whatever help u got. I just need to know how Tagami Haruhiko tiny roof is put together. Thanks heaps

    • Bryce

      Haha. Fair enough! It’s actually done really simply. The windows are designed to all fold in, and the roof is designed to simply come down on hinges. There is a hydraulic arm in place to take the weight of the roof and assist with lifting and lowering. It’s that simple! Works great too. 🙂

  8. Lance NZ

    The most beautifully crafted tiny, tiny home of all time. What a privilege it must have been to see it in the flesh. And what an amazing couple. Thank you for sharing this masterpiece with the world. Arigato!

  9. Greg K in PA

    If I recall correctly, Frank Lloyd Wright took inspiration for much of his signature style from Japanese architecture, so it is sort of coming full circle here. Beautiful house!

  10. John Young

    Wow such a beautiful and thoughtfully designed house. Very clever and elegant. Such amazing work from a master craftsman.

  11. Joanna

    Very interested in this. Thanks.

  12. Leo Sigh

    Gorgeous. Really enjoyed this video. Their house is beautiful, so gorgeously designed, and where they get to park it is stunning.

    One of the best videos you have done so far I think. Thank you.

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