Japan has some original places to stop for a cuppa, but this little oasis in an ancient tree is perhaps the most unique. It is set 10 meters up in the branches of a 300-year-old camphor tree that grows precariously on the side of a mountain.
Famous Japanese treehouse creator, Takashi Kobayashi has built over 120 lofty creations in the past 15 years, so he was the obvious choice to design Japan’s biggest treehouse complex at Risonare Resort in Atami. He contacted Hiroshi Nakamura, an architect from NAP, and together they set to work planning a construction that would not damage the tree in any way.
Hiroshi had always been fascinated by the way some bird species use coat hangers when building their nests. This led to them using a freestanding scaffolding structure that was built up from the roots but didn’t need to be anchored to the branches. Both lightweight and flexible, the construction even allows visitors to experience nest building by adding sticks from the mountainside into the walls.
The base trellis supports a few different structures, with the tiny tea room created to look like a swallow’s nest. Reached by a 120-foot-long pathway of lush foliage, guests can also enjoy a picnic area, walkways and zip lines.