Town to buy 300-yr old house for 38 million Yen

Matsuzaki Town in Shizuoka’s Izu Peninsula will be purchasing the 300-year old former Yoda Residence for 38.4 million Yen (approx. 337,000 USD). The town’s budget for acquisition and preservation of the property is expected to total 48.7 million Yen, which includes 10 million Yen to acquire the rights to a hot spring source.

The property includes the heritage-listed 300+ year old main house and warehouse. The Yoda family has been a landowner for many generations and found success in the silk industry during the Edo period. At one time the house was the family home of Yoda Benzo (1853-1925), one of Hokkaido’s early pioneers and founding settlers.

The house was operated by the former owners as an onsen hotel since 1961 and prospered up until the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. It fell into operational difficulties in recent years with debts of up to 400 million Yen and was put up for sale at a public foreclosure auction. Concerned that the property might be purchased and demolished by a new buyer, the Izu Study and Research NPO made the winning bid at the foreclosure auction and purchased the property for 32 million Yen in 2015. However, maintenance and management of the property proved too difficult and the NPO approached the town to purchase the property.

The town’s historic homes and warehouses are known for their grid-like patterned namako-kabe walls which served to protect buildings from both fire and moisture. The town currently has approximately 190 of these buildings, although the number has shrunk by 20 over the past 10 years.

The Mainichi Shimbun, February 21, 2017.
The Izu Shimbun, February 8, 2017.
The Sankei Shimbun July 9, 2015.
The Tokachi Mainichi Newspaper, February 22, 2013.