Up close with a beloved Japanese architect

The first photo, shot brilliantly by @Travel Deeper with Gareth Leonard, perfectly captures the feeling of awe as you enter the Kumo-no-Ue-no Library

After removing my shoes at the entrance (required of all visitors), I felt as if I stepped into a forest. Feeling the warmth of the cedar floor relaxing my feet, I looked up at the “canopy” that was designed to express sunlight filtering through leaves of a forest

Home to just over 3,200 people (as of May 2023), the charming mountain town of Yusuhara is the perfect place not only to witness the realized vision, but also, enter the mind of architectural luminary, Kengo Kuma. In fact, the Kumo-no-Ue-no Library is one of several buildings he designed here

On the first floor of the Yusuhara Town Office nearby stands a stylized tea house, reminiscent of those used in the old days, serving as a symbol of warmth and welcome. The outer wall of Machi-no-Eki Yusuhara (community market and hotel) is inspired by local traditional thatched roofs. In addition to the unique look, the thatch enhances both ventilation and insulation systems, offering a more sustainable and nature-based solution to improved indoor conditions. Inside, the wooden pillars evoke a sense of being one with nature. In these ways, Kengo Kuma incorporates themes of local history, environment, sustainability, and more, in his designs

Kengo Kuma’s projects never fail to catch the eye as you scroll online or flick through magazines, but we highly recommend visiting Yusuhara in person to truly feel the warmth of his creations

Come visit Yusuhara and experience a living example of how great architecture can help build a great community

Read more about Kengo Kuma's designs and close relationship with Yusuhara: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/see-and-do/10029
  • Up close with a beloved Japanese architect

  • Up close with a beloved Japanese architect

  • Up close with a beloved Japanese architect