In the typical Tokyo city-block discording buildings are packed close to each other carriyng few signs of adjustment to neighbouring houses in terms of size, style or program. Instead, a typical building is autonomous and creates a internal world separated from the whole. This idea is opposite to the common practice of the west where connecting and synergizing with the outside world is commonly considered as an unquestionable necessity and is a ruling school of thought.
One example of this difference in priority is that having a view to outside seems to be of little value and the windows instead serve mainly for the transmittance of light. Take a walk in any domestic area and you see most of the curtains are closed. In a similar manner: the main function of balconies is for drying clothes and not the ability to enjoy outdoors. Even when the opportunity is there, it does not seem to be appreciated. It seems to me that a main aim for living space here is to provide a private world which provide calm and control in the otherwise chaotic, noisy and demanding city.
This inward focus also presents an interesting architectural task where all qualities has to be contained and invented within the aquired space itself. It is up to internal connections, configurations, shapes and materials to provide beauty since we can no longer rely on the outside to provide with a view.