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Elegant Kyoto home celebrates city's coveted craft traditions

Iwakura House is a modern interpretation of a 'machiya' town house

Facade of Iwakura House: “This is my modern interpretation of an old machiya (town house),” says architect Hiroshi Nakamura. (All photos by Kohei Take)

KYOTO, Japan -- "The people of Kyoto value their privacy," says architect Hiroshi Nakamura, discussing the forbidding facades of the city's classic buildings -- think austere walls of latticed wood that reveal nothing of the delights beyond the front door. It's only when you step inside that you really understand what's going on.

"But once they let outsiders in, they want to entertain them properly and treat them well," he says. Nakamura borrowed from this traditional style for the new house that he has built. "This is my modern interpretation of an old machiya (town house)."

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