all photos by Edmond Sumner

This is Tokyo Apartment by architect Sou Fujimoto. It’s as if he asked Marie Kondo to tidy up Howl’s Moving Castle. Completed earlier this year in April, the structure consists of 3 rental units and one owner’s unit, seemingly stacked haphazardly on top of each other.


Located in the Itabashi district of Tokyo and a 10-min walk from Kotake-mukaihara Station, the structure is an example of what Fujimoto has called “nebulous landscapes.” Put differently, the architect is known for encouraging a pattern of dwelling that he sees as being primordial, in which spaces are found and appropriated in the manner of animals or birds.

Rental units do occasionally come on the market. The best way to snag one is to meticulously check apartment listings, or become best friends with a real estate agent. The rental units typically go for about 140,000 – 160,000 yen (about $1,000 – $1,200 usd/month).