When it comes to making the most of limited spaces, the Japanese never fail to amaze. An ultra-small house in Tokyo seen in this CNN report — built on a piece of land the size of a one-car parking space — is a case in point.

This type of arrangement is not for everyone (especially if it means living with your mother, as it does for 39-year-old Fuyuhito Moriya). But it’s interesting how the ultra-small model so quickly makes it clear what is necessary and what is not.

In this guy’s case, it was less important to have space to store possessions than it was to be in a place that offered certain amenities:

“Size is not that important,” he says. “More important for me is the atmosphere, the surroundings and the neighborhood. You reside in the building, but I’m focused on living in a particular area and environment. So the size of my home isn’t as important as that.”

To its credit, the CNN report makes it clear that in Japan, the trend toward tiny homes is driven by harsh economic reality more than any desire to live “sustainably.” It’s a good example of how people can adapt to a world of diminishing resources — the same world we all live in.

You can see more cool teeny-tiny houses in this NPR report, or find out about the American small house movement at Small House Style.