Take a Peek Inside Tokyo’s Tiniest Guest Houses

And you thought your bedroom was small…

by Nicole Walsh
22 August 2015, 12:30pm

Ai (Japan). Images via

Brooklyn-based photographer Won Kim presents Enclosed: Living Small, a photo series in which he explores Tokyo's tiniest guest houses and the clever ways visitors utilise small spaces. “The Japanese are well-known for making efficient use of small living areas, a necessity of their high population density. I myself often find the womb-like qualities of these spaces comforting, not confining” Kim tells The Creators Project. It was this feeling of comfort and security that drove Kim to capture the people living in these minute rooms.

The Japanese hotel which hosts these rooms takes up all but one floor of an office building. All of the rooms, none with enough headroom to stand up, are separated only by unfinished plywood and contain no windows or doors. “Some of the people in these images, whom I’ve shown surrounded by their possessions, stay at the facility for a relatively short time. They may be visiting Tokyo, waiting for a job to come through, or saving money for a better place to live. For other residents, these tiny cubicles are essentially permanent homes.” Ranging from the neat to the overloading, these impermanent residents decorate their little spaces in their own ways, each imbuing that individually homey touch.

"In each case, the sharply-defined space and its contents tell something about its occupant’s personality, and his or her ability to function in such a strange, enclosed environment."

Kento (Australia)

Hanad (Finland)

Kaku (Japan)

For more on Kim and his works, check out his site.


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