Non-Japanese applicants also being accepted for unique housing program from interior goods brand Mujirushi.
It’s hard to find a much classier town in Japan than Kamakura. Located on the coast of Kanagawa Prefecture, the city is most famous for its Great Buddha statue, seen in countless travel and cultural guidebooks, but that’s only the most well-known of the many historically significant sites in temple– and shrine-studded Kamakura. The close proximity of the mountains and the sea make the town a great place for nature lovers, yet it’s still less than a half-hour by train from cosmopolitan Yokohama, and even Tokyo is under 45 minutes away.
But perhaps the greatest thing about Kamakura is that, if you’re lucky enough to be chosen by interior goods company Mujirushi Ryohin (also known as Muji), you could live there for free.
Mujirushi already sells a wide variety of houseware and appliances, and in recent years it’s dabbled in housing, with its Mado no Ie, or “Window House,” residences that make the use of natural light a major design theme. The company will soon be building a new Window House (similar to the one shown in the video below) in Kamakura, and is looking for someone to live in it.
You’ll notice we didn’t say “someone to buy” or “someone to rent” it. That’s because the selected applicant will be living in the home for free for two years. You’ll still have to pay for your own utilities and groceries, but you won’t need to give Mujirushi a single yen for use of the house itself.
While the exact floorplan is yet to be finalized, many of the other details are already set. The wood-frame detached home will be two stories tall and have at least 80 square meters (861 square feet) of total floor space. It will be located roughly 15 minutes on foot from Kamakura Station, and include a garden and parking space. Oh, and of course it comes fully furnished with understatedly stylish Mujirushi-brand furniture and appliances.
In exchange for living rent-free, the home’s occupants will be asked to participate in photo shoots, presentations, and feedback programs regarding the project. Mujirushi offers its assurances, however, that the residents’ privacy will be respected, and that no hidden cameras or other monitoring devices of that ilk will be placed in the home.
Mujirushi is also being extremely inclusive regarding who can apply for the home. Families or singles are welcome to throw their hats in the ring, as are groups of friends wanting to live together and pet owners. The company has also stated that non-Japanese applicants are also welcome, although they will need to be proficient in the Japanese language.
Applications can be made here between now and August 31, with the successful candidates moving into their Kamakura home next March.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s mentally cataloguing the many, many things in his home that come from Mujirushi.