Japanese treehouse

Posted: April 26, 2007 in creativity

TAKASHI KOBAYASHI, a clothing buyer turned professional treehouse builder who lives in Kamakura, Japan, was not to the treehouse born. “Japan doesn’t have a tradition of treehouses,” said Mr. Kobayashi, 49. There’s little private land with big trees.But that didn’t stop him from building his first treehouse in 1993, on a piece of land he rented in Tokyo; since then, he has built 25 more, most of them for elementary schools. In September, Dentsu, an advertising agency in Tokyo, hired him to design a treehouse for a Nescafe commercial now running on Japanese television; it shows Mr. Kobayashi and a well-known actor, Toshiaki Karasawa, talking and drinking coffee in the tree. Using driftwood gathered in Obihiro, on the northern island of Hokkaido, Mr. Kobayashi built an oval bird’s nest of a house, 12 feet high and 9 feet in diameter, reached by a circular staircase, for about $38,000. The house is located on a field there owned by the town of Kamishihoro, where it remains an enticing, if off-limits, gift from Nestle, the makers of Nescafe, to the people of Hokkaido. According to Momoko Nakai, an account planner for Nestle at Dentsu, visitors can look but not climb the treehouse. “The treehouse itself is safe”, Ms. Nakai said, but “you never know what happens. People might peek over too far.”

Via New York Times


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