Learn to See the Difference

You can certainly enjoy just looking at pretty Japanese architecture without any knowledge and call it a day. But if you learn a bit about Japanese architectural elements and their subtle differences and meanings, you are guaranteed to have much more meaningful architectural experiences on your visit.

Architectural Elements

The basic building blocks of architecture-roofs, columns, walls, and floors-are the same in function anywhere in the world, and that’s why it’s so easy to miss profound meanings hidden in details and materials choices of each architectural elements. Did you know square columns are more formal than round ones in Japanese architecture?

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architecture elements-shishi


Can you guess which is heavier, torii gate at Itsukushima shrine or an African elephant?

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learn temple&Torii


Can you guess which kind of store it was before by just looking at latticework of the storefront?

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learn machiya

Tea House

Did you know tatami mats used in a tea house are bigger than the standard tatami mats in a house?

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learn tea house kettle


Did you know the Japanese castles were not for living unlike their western counterparts?

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learn-castle-Okayama Castle