The Zen of treehouses: Japan's treehouse master Takashi Kobayashi

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Takashi Kobayashi / Treehouse People

credit: Takashi Kobayashi / Treehouse People

Nasu Tea Treehouse

Kobayashi himself and his design-build company, Treehouse Creations, are big proponents of the growing treehouse phenomenon, having built over 120 treehouses in Japan and elsewhere since the early nineties. Using salvaged woods found right on his building sites, along with Kobayashi's innovative design philosophy, his treehouses are meant to also focus on raising awareness about the decline of forest stewardship, especially in Japan. Kobayashi explains how treehouses could fit into the bigger picture:

We are not ecologists in the traditional sense of the word. Our job is to excite people and re-ignite their interest in nature. In the long term, this will serve to focus more attention on the forests themselves. In the short term, it will fulfill a need in city residents to re-experience the raw excitement of the outdoors. We know from personal experience that nothing can meet this need better than climbing into a treehouse. It is a form of amusement free from all systems or ideology.

Above: Interior of Nasu Tea Treehouse, built for Niki Club, 2011