Muji Hut Is a Prefabricated Home That's Been Burned and Blackened to Japanese Perfection

"Baby!" "Yes, Boo?" "Let's go." "Where?" "Anywhere! I just can't live in these cities anymore." "But we need something to live out of, Boo. We need a home." "True, and I may have found just the thing. Check this out."
Muji Hut 8 photos
Photo: Muji / Ryohin Keikaku Co
Muji HutMuji HutMuji HutMuji Hut InteriorMuji Hut CladdingMuji HutMuji Hut Interior
You may have deduced that the couple above are talking about taking their lifestyle far away from the cities they grew up in. While that seems to be the case for countless humans, you can't just get up and go without ensuring some basic needs. Well, you can, but unless you're prepared to sleep on beach lounges for a week and wash with seawater, I don't recommend it.

To help you avoid getting dreadlocks as you live off the land, the Japanese architectural brand Muji has the Muji Hut to meet your essential living needs. Best of all, because it's a prefabricated habitat, all you have to do is tell Muji where you want it dropped off, and by the time you get there, your Hut will be up and running, ready to be called you home.

Now, if you're aware of Japanese living, you know that they like to keep things as simple as possible, and the Hut is no exception. The interior isn't furnished with anything other than a bed, a lamp for lighting, and a wood-burning stove for heating, possibly cooking. Talk about eco-friendly. Because all it offers is a place to rest your head, the level of intrusion upon the environment should be minimal.

Muji Hut
Photo: Muji / Ryohin Keikaku Co
Yet, the Hut itself is a little more complex than I make it sound. For example, you already know it's built out of wood, but what you don't know is how that wood is treated. After all, it needs to survive years of exposure to the elements. Based on traditional Japanese craftsmanship, the wood cladding of the Hut is treated by burning the cedarwood and then treating it with an oil stain finish.

This building technique is known as Yakisugi or Shou Sugi Ban, and if properly carried out, this procedure yields a pest, rot, and fire-resistant structure. Did I mention that it also functions as a natural water repellent and light-reflecting surface? It looks good too. Since this method is best applied to cedar, Muji held true to traditions, and the cedar grain is visible on the Hut's interior. This also means you can decorate it to your liking. Why not leave it bare.

Now, after a day's drive, you and your significant other have arrived at your blackened home sitting atop some hill. Because one wall is composed mainly of glass, natural light floods the space and illuminates the raw cedar I mentioned. At the entry into your habitat, a deck integrated into the Hut's construction awaits dirty shoes, clothing, and gear and is even suitable for a little coffee table and a couple of chairs. Imagine your mornings living out of this mobile home.

Muji Hut Interior
Photo: Muji / Ryohin Keikaku Co
The downside to this home is the lack of features like a bathroom or galley. Nonetheless, with a bit of cash and some handiwork, I'm sure you can figure out a way to bring a porta-potty along on trips, maybe even add systems like running water and a little pump. With some solar panels, there may be no limit to what you can achieve. Once you're ready to move to another area, call up the proper movers to help you relocate; the true beauty of prefabricated and mobile homes.

At the end of the day, Muji is asking ¥3,000,000 for this chic yet straightforward home, which isn't bad considering that equates to roughly $23,104 (at current exchange rates). A pretty neat price for a home that meets the simple needs and pleasures of the off-grid life.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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