Modernist house-turned-restaurant in Shirokane closes its doors

Located in a quiet and wealthy residential neighborhood just minutes from Shirokane sits a small and unassuming modernist house. Until late last year, this home was the Kamikozawa-tei shabu-shabu restaurant serving small groups of customers. 

The house has a floor area of just 46 square meters (495 sq.ft), yet sits on a large 531 square meter (5,714 sq.ft) block of land – large enough for a small block of apartments. It wouldn’t be out of the question for this home to be worth anywhere upwards of 700 million Yen (approx. 6 million USD) simply due to the large land size. 

The single-story concrete block house was built in 1959, making it 60 years old. It was designed by Kenji Hirose (1922-2012) and selected by DOCOMOMO Japan as a ‘Modern Movement’ building. Hirose founded his architectural practice in 1952, designing his own home in Inamuragasaki, Kamakura, a year later (he would demolish and replace it with a new home in 1983). His signature style was light-gauge steel homes, typically of a single story and small in size. It is said he designed 67 of these homes. 

The original owners were a couple who wanted a simple home with a separate area for a piano room.

The Kamikozawatei shabu-shabu restaurant operated out of the house from 2008 to 2018. It is currently offered as an event rental space.