architecture

Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation pilot) took their love of photography and coffee to the extreme, creating a one-of-a-kind cafe that resembles a Rolleiflex camera. It sits right next to their modest home, a juxtaposition of tradition and whimsy, and is nothing short of a scene out of a storybook.

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Travel through time from Shibuya

Travel through time from Shibuya

Most Japanese history buffs know that Kyoto is a must-see, but for those who prefer not to be one in a mob of tourists, it’s essential to find the hidden gems like the Kyū Asakura House. It is one of those rare places where you can experience what it may have felt like to live in another era—and this one is in the middle of Tokyo! Because it is relatively small and not too well known, visiting is a peaceful experience.

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China’s “paper building” looks like it would topple over if we pushed hard enough

China’s “paper building” looks like it would topple over if we pushed hard enough

It’s no secret that the apartments and houses in Japan are incredibly small, especially in saturated areas such as Tokyo. But even Japan’s tiny homes are no match for this extremely narrow “paper building” in Shanghai, China! How do people even live in there?!
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50 stunningly spooky scenes of abandoned sites in Japan 【Photos】

50 stunningly spooky scenes of abandoned sites in Japan 【Photos】

Even though abandoned buildings seem more appropriate for movie villains, there is something undeniably soothing about seeing the quiet and still remains of a place abandoned by people. These deserted places, called “haikyo” in Japanese, can be stunningly beautiful in their serenity.

After documenting rundown schools, forgotten amusement parks and abandoned hospitals in Japan for his blog Totoro Times, French photographer Jordy Meow has turned his urban exploration into a book, “Nippon no Haikyo.” From haunted hospitals and silent schools to deserted hotels and creepy fun parks, click below to check out 50 images of these amazing haikyo sites throughout Japan.

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Looking for a new pad? How about living in a refurbished love hotel?

Looking for a new pad? How about living in a refurbished love hotel?

When it comes to finding a new place to live, most people spend weeks, even months trying to find somewhere that’s just right for them. In urban Japan, where rented accommodation is usually both more compact and in higher demand than in the West, finding an apartment can be even trickier, and prospective renters often have to make snap decisions or risk missing a good deal; opting for a ground-floor apartment and paying a little less; choosing a place with an all-in-one bath, sink and toilet unit rather than separate facilities; getting a place a little further from the station if it means living in a nicer area–you see “close enough” and you grab it.

But would you really feel comfortable living in an apartment knowing that it was once used exclusively for sexy shenanigans every single night of the week? Welcome to the world of love hotel renovation!

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The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

The unfortunate implications of Seoul’s tsunami-shaped City Hall

Located right in the middle of Seoul’s central Jung District, the grassy lawns of Seoul Plaza provide residents and visitors alike with a respite from the hustle and bustle of the Korean capital.

Of course, the tranquility of your surroundings is heavily influenced by which way you’re facing, so if you’re really looking to relax, you might want to take a seat on the grass with your back to the building that looks like a colossal, deadly tidal wave about to crash down on you.

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What’s the excuse for China’s bizarre painted-on apartment windows?

What’s the excuse for China’s bizarre painted-on apartment windows?

There’s something to be said for keeping up appearances and making good impressions, but what underlying defect is this string of apartment buildings trying to hide by painting on pretend windows?! These high-rise housing complexes in China’s Shandong Province aren’t fooling any prospective tenants with their fake windows, so really, what’s the point?

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“Architecture for Dogs” gallery in Tokyo will feature bizarre DIY dog houses

“Architecture for Dogs” gallery in Tokyo will feature bizarre DIY dog houses

Architecture for Dogs is a collection of kennels and accessories for canines that are designed by many different architects, most of them Japanese. It is “a new medium, which makes dogs and their people happy” and features unique designs, all of which can be made at home. So if you’re looking for a dog stroller, Chihuahua bubble suit, or a cone that sits on top of your dog instead of going around his neck, you can check out all that and more in Tokyo this fall.

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Nara resident trying to build house stumbles upon forgotten ruins on five separate occasions

Nara resident trying to build house stumbles upon forgotten ruins on five separate occasions

In 2010, Nara City in Nara Prefecture celebrated the 1,300th anniversary since becoming the imperial capital of Japan. During its relatively brief time as capital, the city flourished in culture so that even today the area is filled with ruins and relics of it rich distant past.

To have such a city overflowing with cultural heritage representing a romantic period in the history of Japan is both awesome and, well, a royal pain in the butt for anyone who wants to develop land there.

Just ask one poor guy, who tried to build a home to start his life in only to be shot down five times in a row after ruins were found on his land. Distraught and with nowhere else to turn he posted his woes on internet advice site MyNavi News Q & A for help. Here is his translated post.

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How has your city changed in 26 years?

How has your city changed in 26 years?

People change and places change given enough time, but have you ever seen a revolution of a skyline like this? China’s growth in the world stage can’t be ignored, and this simple photo comparison  says it all.

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Family Mart: Master of disguise?

Family Mart: Master of disguise?

When setting up shop around famous landmarks, it never hurts to blend in. Especially in Japan, where tourism accounts for roughly five percent of the GDP. You wouldn’t want to destroy the tourist attraction by ruining the ambiance, right?

On the other hand, there’s not really very much that’s “traditional” about Family Mart convenience stores, so we had to wonder what kind of disguise would get slapped on their store near Ise Grand Shrine…

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10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour

10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour

Despite being known as the office video game nerd here at RocketNews24, one of my secret passions is architecture. But not just any old architecture, oh no; the only thing that interests me is kyoushou juutaku micro homes where, either for the sake of the environment or out of financial necessity, houses are designed to make use of incredibly small or narrow spaces, at once cutting their carbon footprint and making use of land that would otherwise be left open or swallowed up by other, more grandiose properties.

With more than 70 percent of Japan’s total landmass unsuitable for building on account of sprawling forests and mountain ranges, the country’s urban population pay through the nose for real estate. In spite of this, many Japanese aspire to the typical Western ideal of home ownership, saving their money to buy homes much larger than they genuinely need, complete with plastic facades designed to look like bricks and mortar. Some, though, are shunning the notion entirely and are turning the act of simplifying both their lives and homes into a fine art, designing houses that are not just small but intelligent and stylish.

Come with us now as we take a look at just a few of Japan’s incredible micro homes.

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China’s 10 weirdest buildings as chosen by foreigners, People’s Daily Building debuts at #1

China’s 10 weirdest buildings as chosen by foreigners, People’s Daily Building debuts at #1

Last year the netizens of China got together and voted on the most bizarre buildings in the “Outrageous Architecture Championship of China”. This event helped raise awareness about the ever-receding limits of Chinese design since the booming economy began.

This year, voting was held again. However, rather than Chinese nationals, foreigners were called upon to judge which buildings were the funniest, gaudiest, and most confusing of the lot. The results were presented by Ben Hedges in his program: A Laowai’s View of China. Let’s see what they were.

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Chochikukyo: Japan’s original eco-friendly house

Chochikukyo: Japan’s original eco-friendly house

Although just last week we took you on a guided tour of traditional Japanese homes that had been given new life, today’s quintessentially Japanese abode is a little different. This is Chochikukyo, an 80-year-old house located in Kyoto designed by the renowned early 20th century Japanese architect Kouji Fujii. It is so popular and well-loved that even the Japanese emperor made a special visit earlier this month!

But what makes it so special? Find out after the break.

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Meet the Buildings Used by Millionaires, Statesmen … and Naked Bathers and a Ghibli Movie

Meet the Buildings Used by Millionaires, Statesmen … and Naked Bathers and a Ghibli Movie

This collection of culturally important buildings, moved from their original locations in Japan and preserved in a park in Tokyo, gives us a glimpse into time periods from the Edo era (1603-1868) through to the early Showa era (1926-1945). Thirty buildings have taken up residence here over the past two decades, and each one is like a giant treasure box, filled with trinkets, memories and undiscovered gems. If their walls could talk, we can only imagine the stories they would tell. Come with us as we take you through the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Musuem and stop by some of the most interesting buildings Japan has ever seen.

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Japan’s Newest National Stadium Design is Decided, but is it the Best Choice?

Japan’s Newest National Stadium Design is Decided, but is it the Best Choice?

Since its construction finished in 1958, Japan’s National Stadium in Shinjuku, Tokyo has served its nation proud. It was the field of play for the 1964 Summer Olympics and survived the 2011 Tohoku earthquake unscathed.

However, with the 2019 Rugby World Cup scheduled, it was time for a makeover to the tune of (pinky finger to lips) a billion dollars!

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What Will Come Out of the Mysterious Stargate in China?

What Will Come Out of the Mysterious Stargate in China?

A Stargate has appeared in China and the Internet is abuzz with speculation over what will be the first object to emerge from the depths of its silvery ring.

Standing at 157 meters (115 feet) and weighing in at 3000 tons, this mother of all Stargates is large enough to accommodate even the wildest of imaginations.

Namba Parks Gets Rave Reviews from Overseas

Namba Parks Gets Rave Reviews from Overseas

Some photos recently posted on reddit of a shopping mall in central Osaka surprised those not living Japan some of whom wanted to live in the mall. This, in turn, surprised Japanese people who didn’t know it was that amazing to others.

The mall, aptly named Namba Parks certainly looks beautiful from this angle but there is actually function as well as form at work here.

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Traditional Japanese House Being Sold for 1 Yen on Yahoo! Auction

Traditional Japanese House Being Sold for 1 Yen on Yahoo! Auction

Interested in investing in Japanese historical real estate but don’t have quite enough to afford a medieval castle town?

Right now there’s a 150-year-old traditional Japanese thatched-roof farmhouse for sale on Yahoo! Auction for the unbeatable price of 1 yen (about 1 penny)!

Though by judging from the pictures, it may be a bit of fixer-upper…

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