Watching a Studio Ghibli movie is always a great experience--the stories are heartwarming, the animation is beautiful, and all that food looks so delicious. Another big component of a Ghibli film is the intricate and beautiful scenery. They focus a lot of their stories on small-town life, so a lot of their movies also feature nice-looking, traditional Japanese homes. It is something that really separates these movies from other types of anime. The artists are really able to transport the audience into a magical, whimsical place.
While the houses in these movies are fictional, they were definitely inspired by the traditional homes that already exist in Japan. Here are a few traditional homes that are so pretty and calming that they might as well be the setting of a Ghibli film.
7 Nomura Samurai House
If you want to see the height of beauty in Japanese architecture, you will have to visit a samurai house. The samurai were high class citizens back in the day, and with all of the money they made they were able to build very beautiful homes.
The open floor plan of traditional Japanese homes helps the residents stay in touch with nature. There are so many beautiful plants surrounding this house that it's very nice to be able to enjoy them by looking through large doorways.
6 House In Kanazawa
This is another beautiful house with an open floor plan, and it's so pretty it doesn't even look real. Staring out of this home feels like you're being transported into a piece of artwork, even though it's real.
The design of this home and garden fit together perfectly. The house itself is very clean and geometrical, while the garden is more whimsical, and incorporates rounder shapes. Wouldn't it be lovely to wake up every morning and look out the window to just see this fantastical fairy land outside?
5 The Nakasendo, Kyoto
The Nakasendo is an old road that connected the old cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. This was a very important part of trade and communication centuries ago, since these are the two major cities of the nation of Japan.
Now, this road remains, and while it no longer serves as important of a role in transportation, it still remains as an important cultural relic. They haven't modernized this part of the city, and have tried to preserve the old traditional style. Walking down this road is like stepping into a time machine. Sure, modern people live in these homes, but it must be exciting to live in such a historical place.
4 Autumn Gardens
Like we've seen before, what really makes a traditional Japanese home is how it looks like on the outside. Japanese gardens are especially more aesthetically pleasing than any other kind of garden because they are meticulously designed. Every piece of the garden, every rock or shrub, has some sort of significance.
This garden is beautiful at all times of the year, but autumn looks especially nice with the leaves' color change. It must be so wonderful to open the screen doors of this room to drink some tea and look out to this wonderful outdoor sight.
3 Kamakura House
Unlike a lot of Western houses, traditional Japanese estates for large families also have wide gates surrounding the houses. This gate is quite ornate but also looks kind of intimidating--which was probably the intention.
This house looks like it's hidden a little bit in the woods, and that there's quite a walk between the gate and the actual home itself. It's like this family has their own private woods inside the property.
Like a lot of these houses, this one does look like it came from a Studio Ghibli movie with all of the trees and grandeur of the gate. It must be quite an experience to live in a place like this, to be able to reside in a place that is so visually appealing and calming. A house like this probably does not have to deal with rowdy next-door neighbors.
Kyoto is the old capital of Japan, before Tokyo took over as the primary place of government. Because of this, a lot of very beautiful traditional homes still remain here, since this is where all of the Japanese elite resided centuries ago. Citizens are also encouraged to keep the traditional style going, to promote this image to tourists--for example, women wearing yukata may get discounts at restaurants.
Modern architecture is beautiful in its own right, but traditional Japanese architecture is something completely different, and has a great calming effect. This house is a great example of that. The house is very geometric and simple with its paper doors, but there's also quite a beautiful garden in the center of the house.
This is another beautiful garden home in Kyoto. This one is surrounded by a lot more water, which for some people can be even more calming. There is something about a shallow pond that is very relaxing and enjoyable to look at. While this home is very beautiful, the garden is even more so. As long as the weather is nice, there's no question that whoever lives here spends a lot of time outside.
1 Traditional Street
There are a lot of things that separate most anime from Ghibli movies, but the setting is the main difference. A lot of anime now focuses on city life, so they feature neon lights and crowds of people with tall buildings surrounding the landscape. Ghibli movies, though, like to focus on small-town life or traditional homes.
This street may look a little plain, but that is some of the beauty of it. These houses look very similar to each other, but they have a simplistic elegance to them. If this street was illustrated, it wouldn't be surprising to see some children drawn in the Ghibli style playing on the street.
Also, while it looks plain on the outside, it is certain that there is some beautiful greenery on the other side of the door. Just look at that tree coming out the balcony.