Japan Photo Essay: Chashitsu-goya

Building a small farm shed in an inaka area of Japan. The materials were mostly reclaimed and from what was on-hand on the farm. Incorporating elements of local architecture, the design allows farming tools and materials to stay on site at the field and provides workspace at a convenient height for grandpa. Affectionately named chashitsu-goya (teahouse-shed) as the open front makes it a good shaded spot to sit and rest while enjoying the views of the satoyama and mountain landscapes.

Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
Post feet sit on large stones found nearby. Limited joinery was used due to time and material constraints. As a side note, a couple of pieces of old tatara wrought iron showed up while preparing the site.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
The large beams came from an old house and had several existing mortises and tenons cut in them, likely some of the dust on them came from the Edo period! Bolts keep the base sturdy for storage of soil bags.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
Seasoned Hinoki Cypress poles cut from the mountain were used to supplement the timber supply.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
Even a bit of joinery increases the structural strength greatly. There is a Japanese word tekito which means something like, “as long as it works”, or as we say in ramp building, “straight enough to skate”.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
Split bamboo runs rain from the wood siding over the seam of the reclaimed totan galvanized sheet.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
At the base of an old stone retaining wall for shelter, oriented with its back to the majority of typhoon winds.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
The front of the floor area provides a raised workspace or seat while the back is for storage with a large middle shelf and smaller one at the top. The flooring was the only new material used in the project.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
A small shelf along one side, currently featuring some ancient pottery found on the site along with an antique hand forged kama that still sees regular use in the rice fields.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
Situated next to an ancient Cherry tree, the front edge of the floor under the extended eaves provides a shaded engawa style place to sit, drink tea, and view the garden while planning the next task.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
An conveniently-sized old sliding sheet metal door with wood frame stores along the side when not in use and closes up the front as a rain guard for the winter season. A couple of small tea bushes grow out of gaps in the wall.
Chashitsu-goya garden shed from reclaimed materials in Hyogo, Japan
View from the mountain across the gardens and rice fields. Thanks to all who helped, encouraged, and otherwise contributed to the project!

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