Eco Homes

和様玄関 Japanese Farm Home Entrance

February 1, 2010 by · 2 Comments  

日本語 We retained and restored the original massive beams of the house, but added glass in all the right places to light the interior and showcase the structure.  Here the “genkan” entrance was pushed out 3 feet to accommodate a larger area for coming in out of the rain and taking off your shoes.  The kitchen sunroom faces south over the gardens.

See house details and pricing at….   Shojiko High Village Houseshojiko.  high village house.  livingroom.  entrance and kitchen.

Zen Meditation Room

January 27, 2010 by · 1 Comment  

The second floor of our Shojiko Minka Restoration has a small south facing tatami room that was originally used as a meditation space.   The beautiful view overlooks the Japanese garden and frog pond, and down to lake over the rooftops of the village.  New sliding glass doors are double pane glass to maximize solar gain.zen room 2F. The house is for sale now.

More House    details at

掘り炬燵 – Hori Kotatsu – Traditional Fire Place

January 25, 2010 by · 2 Comments  


The center room of the newly finished Shojiko house has 150 year old 2ft wide floor boards surrounding a traditional horikotatsu fireplace.  Perfect for sitting around drinking sake and roasting kuri and yakiniku with friends.  The home is offered with a collection of rare and beautiful antiques from Meji and Edo period Japan.   The house is currently for sale, with a 2,000,000 yen discount for families who enroll in the local schools.

See house details and pricing at….   Shojiko High Village House

shojiko.  high village house.  antique room

Kitchen Reform Process

January 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment  

Just to show you some of the work behind the scenes.  We started with an old un-insulated wall and a lot of circa 1975 cabinets.  Demolition of the walls, added a new post for support, pushed out the south end 2meters and put in sliding glass doors, polished the beams, uncovered some old thatched roof supports that were hidden in the ceiling and decided to leave them in as an accent.   Then custom cabinets, track lighting, a beech hardwood floor with heating……

New pictures of the finished room coming soon…..high village house.  kitchen.  before & during

Cedar Heated Floors 杉床暖房

January 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment  


The living room in the High Village House has a new floor of 100% Japanese Cedar with electrical heating installed.  Really cozy, especially when you are watching the snow fall out the windows in the village.    The house is currently for sale and we are offering a 2,000,000 yen discount for families who enroll in the local schools.      See house details and pricing at….   Shojiko High Village House

shojiko.  high village house.  heated cedar floor

Shojiko Thatched Roof Restoration 藁葺き回復

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment  

日本語 The upstairs loft of the High Village House at Lake Shojiko was traditionally used as silk raising room.  The silk moth caterpillar were tended here in winter and fed mulberry leaves to keep them happy and producing.  We have restored the thatched ceiling, keeping the 60cm of original straw as a super insulation, added a wide plank Japanese cedar floor, a clear double paned window over looking the kiwi and shiitake mushroom garden, and added new wall outlets and track lighting.  Perfect for an artists studio or big family room.

More details on the house here….   

Shojiko High Village House


high village minka restoration.  loft before . after.

Japanese Cedar Soaking Bath at Shojiko House

January 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment  

Another custom designed and built MASTERPIECE by Akaike-san for the Shojiko Traditional house reform! We requested a round bath with a sloped side for gazing at the garden while bathing.  But we also needed a more straight side in case grandma wants to enter in slowly, so we added a seat along the left side for sitting while swinging your legs in.  No standing and slipping involved!  The resulting egg shaped bath was a departure from Akaike’s line of round baths, and he actually had to build it three times just to get the angles right and the boards sealing water tight.  The underframe is made from custom welded steel and mold proof wood planks.  The whole installation is cedar and gives the rooms an beautiful country smell.   The round Japanese style soaking baths are available for order pre-made and in kit form as well. Will ship overseas.      Contact us at….    high village .   bath. before & after.

Steel Security

December 12, 2009 by · 1 Comment  

The average front doors on the market in Japan just dont give a feeling of solidness and safety. To disprove that old truth “They just dont make them like they used to”, we asked Akaiike-san to build us an entrance door in the tradition of the great Japanese Edo castles. He came back to us with this custom built beauty; steel exterior on and wooden frame with 2inches of internal insulation. The interior is faced with a smooth cedar and the window is actually….(this is a secret), a set of pyrex glass oven dishes from Ikea. Built to last 100years.

custom steel door

Traditional Japanese Home Restoration

November 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

They say you never really know a house until you have seen it in every season.  The High Village House restoration at Lake Shojiko proved it this fall as the maples in the yard slowly turned to match our new red roof in splendor.  The house is currently on the market and awaiting its new family. We are offering a $20,000 discount for any family who enrolls a child in the local schools. For more details on the full renovation of this classic Japanese farm house, visit Minka Restoration 3japanese traditional farm house restoration. autumn colors

Eden Homes – Pre-fab Ver. 2

October 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

Wow! I did this new sketch in about 2 hours. Josh has convinced me to make the shift in software to Sketch-up. The whole world of design just shifted to a global community! It’s becoming an open-source planet very quickly.

Eco Container Home.  STACK 1.1   J.Reiner

Eden Homes – Pre-fab Urban Eco Home

October 25, 2009 by · 1 Comment  

A project that has been slowly simmering for the last few years in finally getting close to reality. We just got funding and are starting construction on our demo “Mini Eco Home” which will be based on a shipping container format for strength, durability, mobility and affordability. The model will be ready in Spring 2010 at the Lake Saiko Lodges Tokyo Container. 7 location with small farm lots for sale. We are also talking to partners about building a demo site with rentals in Tokyo in the coming year.

Insulating Pipes at High Village House

October 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

Masaru, ever dilligent, is here wrapping the pipes in the wall with heated tape to keep us from ice skating in the bathroom all winter. This wall will also be fully insulated and hold our sink vanity and washing machine in the cedar changing room.

insullating pipes

New windows and weather proofing

October 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

The High Village House at the Shojiko Traditional Village is getting an all new exterior. Our weather proof moisture barrier paper is being laid over insulation, and will be covered with Japanese Sugi cedar siding. The outdated windows have been replaced with double paned sashes and enlarged to open views of the Japanese garden and Lake Shojiko.

japanese traditional farm house restoration

Japanese Thatched Roof Team

October 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

Our carpenters have been building thatched roof homes with traditional techniques for the Iyashi Sato Village near Lake Saiko for the last 2 years. Thatched roof was a dying art just 10 years ago in Japan, but the superior comfort, insulating qualities and sustainable nature of the materials has generated a renewed interest in this time tested technique. Learning from the last generation of men who still practice the old methods, our team has become expert at the process and has established a new generation of carpenter who can continue this great tradtion.

Japanese thatched roof

Annual Rooftop BBQ

October 15, 2009 by · 1 Comment  

The Earth Embassy’s investment and marketing group met for our annual Autumn BBQ on the roof of JIL-Studio next to the Tokyo 4 Seasons.  Our long time advisor Jay Graves flew in from Australia,  leaving the Arete anchored in Brisbane Harbor to join us  for the weekend gathering. Niel Garscaden, our Tokyo media consultant, also attended. Many thanks to our gracious hosts, Yuriko Kobayashi and Josh Lieberman.  Visit this link to see Josh’s cutting edge architectural photography.  JIL-StudioEE Investment & Marketing Group

Shojiko Traditional Village

October 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment  

The new Shojiko Traditional Village restoration project website is up!!!
Featuring photos, videos and the newly finished High Village House. Visit the site for more information on available homes, investment opportunities and to arrange a viewing.

shojiko village NEW WEBSITE copy

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