For most Kyo-machiya, where walls stand side by side with the neighbors’, the garden is an indispensable part of the design. The garden not only better allows for more sunlight and air circulation into the house, but it also helps to incorporate nature into the living space.

NIWA / Garden


Small Inner Garden

In Kyoto, where houses stand so close together, it was difficult to secure a large plot of land. Most Kyo-machiya, therefore, have a small garden called “tsubo-niwa” (“Tsubo” is a Japanese unit of area measurement, where 1 tsubo is equivalent to 3.3 square meter.) In such a tiny space, a microcosm is created with trees and stones that are laid out in a balanced manner to evoke a much larger space in people’s minds.