The Most Amazing Japanese Earthquake Resistant Buildings

Japanese buildings need to be very earthquake resistant. This is because it is very common for the country to be hit by earthquakes. Even a small tremor can cause a building to have serious cracks that can doom it in a short time.

Thus, Japanese engineers and architects have always focused on how to make buildings that could be less structurally affected when there is an earthquake. This does not mean that a building or a house cannot fall, but that they will be stronger and safer than normal constructions.


Check out some of these inventive constructions here.

Japanese earthquake-resistant buildings

Japanese designers aren’t afraid to shake things up, and that innovative spirit also extends to the country’s construction of earthquake-resistant buildings.


Approximately 1,500 earthquakes hit the Land of the Rising Sun each year, so naturally local architects and builders are forced to keep resilience in mind when working on any project. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing these buildings, but their secret lies in their ability to absorb energy as the earth moves beneath them.

Thus, there may be several ways to make this impact absorbed.

And one of them was built over 1300 years ago, the five-story pagoda of Horyuji Temple is one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world and it has never collapsed. It is worth mentioning that in the east pagoda refers to a type of construction of a single building. Don’t confuse it with the Brazilian musical style.

Horyuji Temple, Nara.

Wooden structures have flourished in Japan for centuries, and their resilience owes a lot to the floor-to-ceiling central pillars. When a building shakes during an earthquake, the movement can be counterbalanced and minimized by using a mechanism that shakes out of sync within it. The central pillar of a pagoda is not directly connected to any other structure, but significantly increases the strength of the entire structure.


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But modern Japanese buildings can also be earthquake resistant. One of the wonders of Tokyo’s skyline, the Skytree Tower is the tallest structure in Japan. Built in a “neofuturist” style, this modern architectural masterpiece implements technology similar to ancient wooden pagodas. The Skytree has a central concrete tube that runs nearly the entire height of the tower, secured to the sides with NASA-designed fuel struts.

Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo. Engineers claim that the tower is capable of withstanding the strongest possible earthquake Tokyo can face and will reduce vibrations from any seismic event by 50%.

Japanese constructions: the houseboats

More recently, architects have been researching magnetic levitation for use in the building space. Japan’s bullet trains rely on similar technology, but the concept has not yet been applied to buildings. Although houseboats are not yet a reality, we would not leave the Japanese aside to be the first to start the trend.

Currently under development, the technology for raising houses above the ground during earthquakes has been conceptualized by several Japanese companies.

And would you have the courage to live in such a house?


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