Japanese Style Home (日本家屋)


This post explains the basics of a traditional Japanese house;

  • Entrance:Genkan(玄関)
  • Japanese Room:Washitsu(和室)
  • Bath: Furo(風呂)

These are important cultures for Japanese people.

What is a traditional Japanese House?

Traditional Japanese houses are characterized by tatami-mat floors, shoji screens, and fusuma sliding doors.


Tatami mats are covered with woven soft rush straw.


Shoji consists of wooden frames covered with thin Japanese paper (washi (和紙)).

Shoji is a kind of door that leads to rooms from the house’s hallways.

Genkan (玄関): Entrance of Japanese house

A traditional Japanese house has a sliding door that clatters when you open it.

You need to take off your shoes, and then step up on the raised wooden floor.


Washitsu (和室): Traditional Japanese-style room

Traditional Japanese-style rooms are laid with tatami mats, and these rooms are called “Washitsu” meaning traditional Japanese-style rooms.

“Wa(和)” means Japanese-style and “Shitsu(室)” means a room.

Japanese-style rooms are separated by the sliding doors (Shoji(障子)) so that the doors could be removed when a larger space is necessary.


When you enter the Japanese-style room, you may find Tokonoma(床の間).

Tokonoma is a rectangular space raised from the floor levels.
Sometimes, an ornament or flower vase is placed with a painting hung on the wall.


Oshiire (押入れ)

Oshiire is a built-in space where bedding items (futon mattress and pillows, etc.) are stored.

Sometimes, people store the items that they do not usually use.


Japanese-style toilets(和式トイレ)


In most countries in the EU and America, people sit over the bowl in the toilet.

In Japan, most toilets are similar to those in Western countries, but you may find traditional Japanese-style toilets.

In the traditional Japanese-style toilets, people squat over the bowl with their back to the door.

For men to urinate, they can stand over them.

People may feel shocked for the different styles since they are used to the Western-style toilets.


Furo(風呂): Japanese-style bath

In the traditional Japanese house, the bath had been made of wood and/or stones, but recently these baths disappeared.

You need to wash out of the bathtub, whereas you can sit and feel relaxed in the tub.

Comment Comment