This Mini Retirement Community in Japan Looks Like an Elf Village

Shaunacy Ferro

A few lucky women in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture get to live out their golden years in what looks like a fairy tale elf village. Jikka, a small complex that architect Issei Suma designed for two older women, is made up of teepee-shaped huts huddled together in a cluster of trees.

The DIY retirement community (spotted by My Modern Met) was built for a pair of 60-somethings—a cook and a social worker—who wanted both a place to live out their later years and a place to care for the disabled and older people who need nursing care.

The five-hut complex includes a restaurant that’s open to the public and a guest room that has a wheelchair-accessible bath. There's also an on-site meal delivery service for elderly people who can’t leave their homes.

The wood-and-concrete design of the huts is designed to be as “unembellished as a primitive hut and something as holy as a chapel,” Suma tells mental_floss in an email. The arrangement of pointed huts is meant to evoke the jagged shape of a mountain ridge. Not a bad place to live out retirement, huh?

[h/t My Modern Met]

All images by Takumi Ota, courtesy Issei Suma