031: Interior

Village Hinohara
in the mountains

A residential working space in Tokyo’s last undeveloped area

Hinohara, the last village in mainland Tokyo, lies at the headwaters of the Tama River system only fifty kilometers from the center of Tokyo. Its clear streams, beautiful mountain greenery, small population (around 2,000) and traditional culture are attracting teleworkers, workcationers and other urbanites seeking alternative lifestyles.

Many of these visitors are staying at Village Hinohara, a local hilltop building where guests work alongside each other, interact with locals and create new value. The facilities were established by the surrounding village, and are being leased and operated by Anadromus General Incorporated Association as part of a public-built, privately operated project.

Most local buildings were constructed on level land carved out from the mountainous terrain. But Village Hinohara was built in three function-specific levels to naturally fit the terrain and minimize environmental impact. A large terrace extends from the top-level work space toward the neighboring river and large windows on three sides bring the mountain greenery inside.

Wood on the outer walls was harvested from trees grown in the surrounding village. When you open the front door, a cedar stairway appears with a fireplace at the top that burns brightly in winter. Ambient temperatures are about 5 degrees lower than in the center of Tokyo and the mortar floor of the entrance hall would look cold and uninviting if not for the soft, warm impression of Ultrasuede® covered walls.

Slender shelves extend from floor to ceiling between exposed wall studs and display local travel information as well as the works of visitors. Warmly colored Ultrasuede® on the walls and ceilings complement the natural greenery beyond the windows.

A diagonal bedroom on the lowest floor accommodates up to 10 guests who are soothed to sleep by the sound of Akigawa River flowing just below the hill. Since this floor is closest to the river, its outer walls are covered with galvalume steel sheets that block moisture. Permeable Ultrasuede® on the inner walls further reduces humidity and gives the entire room, including ordinary bunk beds, a look of softness and high quality.

People living in cities tend to see nature as something out of the ordinary. But daily contact with nature could enrich their lives. Members of Village Hinohara, only a commute away from central Tokyo, enjoy easy access to beautiful mountains and rivers. By interacting with nature, as well as community residents and visitors, they can acquire the skills necessary to live in the country.

Village Hinohara is serving as a model for village revitalization and renewed interaction between cities and mountainous areas. Such interaction cultivates new perspectives and inspires daily work.


Anadromous General Incorporated Association /Kiyota Naohiro

This company is dedicated to revitalizing rural communities by encouraging urbanites to travel from cities to villages just as “anadromous” fish like salmon and sweetfish leave their homes in the sea to spawn in the upper reaches of rivers. The company currently spreads information on Village Hinohara, attracts companies and human resources, rents satellite offices in the surrounding village (since 2022) and is transforming Village Hinohara into a regional base and community.

Mountain House Architects Akira Yamage

Born in Mie Prefecture in 1980.
After graduating from high school, he worked as a hairdresser.
Fascinated by architecture, he entered Musashino Art University and aspired to become an architect.
He worked at TORAFU ARCHITECTS from 2010 to 2013 and was in charge of various projects including architecture projects, stage design for TV commercials, and the design of furniture and products.
He founded mountain house architects inc in 2013.
He designs various items related to daily life and cherishes daily awareness.

mountain house architects