Japanese Treehouses

When you’re a kid, a treehouse is the one place where grownups aren’t in charge. If you’re a girl it’s no boys allowed and vice versa. Only those  deemed trustworthy are allowed up to the sacred space so that everyone can feel safe enough to discuss their hopes for the future – even if that only includes trying to get out of going to school tomorrow.

But treehouses become more than that when Kobayahsi Takashi makes them – a professional treehouse architect, he’s traveled around Japan and the world creating miniature spaces high up in the branches, brought to life by the fact that the very thing supporting them is alive. He writes, “…everywhere I’ve been, I’ve seen reflected in these largest and oldest of living beings the same nameless light that I’ve struggled to maintain within myself for so many years, the one that no one could tarnish and that never seemed to disappear. That comfort, that sense of calm, is something I’d like to share with as many people as possible. And it is with that in mind that I will continue with the one-of-a-kind rush that is treehouse creation, all the while carrying out my own personal dialogue with their hosts.”


Takashi is a member of the Tree People, both a company and organization that stands with trees and builds off them. Their website reads, “We who build these structures are not architects; our aim rather, through art and free expression, is to break down the feeling of separation that exists between humans and nature.”

Kobayahsi Takashi

Kobayahsi Takashi

I especially love this glass treehouse nestled in an Okinawa forest – just a little dome that transforms people into birds, letting them soar up high in the branches; plenty of windows for fresh air and with opening at the top towards the sky. This photograph was taken at just the right angle too – its obvious why they selected this tree as each side of its arms open wide, embracing and balancing the little glass dome held within.


See more Tree People treehouses in their online gallery.

Takashi also wrote a book called “Treedom” if you’re interested.