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Wooden School Den

As a big fan of the Ghibli movies and more specifically of their environment, I love Japanese countryside, especially the little green hills with either a few trees or rice-fields on them. I was therefore more than delighted by this location. Right next to an old tiny village, there was a hill recovered by a verdant bush of trees. On its side it has little stairs made of rocks going up. It was like going to the heart of some magical forest. We followed it and only two minutes later, the little school appeared.

With such a powerful ambiance, we could feel how life was really like here. The students going up those stairs, in a neat row. Everyone had the same bags, inherited from their family. During their first day at school, they learnt how to set-up theirs books and pencils on the desk, to stand-up, to sit down, to take notes and ask questions. Questions that they would actually never ask later. In Japan, you do not interrupt the teachers during their classes. Lunches were eaten in those little classrooms; the students all had different bento – lunch box – prepared by their families and shared them willingly with each other. No doubt that the mothers were challenging each other to make the best bento for their kids.

Those little countryside schools were like a second house and family for the students. The Wooden School Den was abandoned in 1970 and the few students left were sent to a much bigger and newer school, further away.


– Good lighting
– Tables and chairs
– The tilted floor


  • 192x – 1970