Kobe Maya Hotel seeking national heritage listing

A non-profit organisation is seeking donations to help preserve the 88-year old Maya Hotel and prepare it for a potential national heritage listing.

The art deco hotel was built in 1929 on the hills overlooking Kobe City. It has been closed since 1993 and has been left to rot and fall into ruin. In 2016, a local group obtained permission from the owner, an Osaka-based real estate company, to open it up for public tours.

The NPO, J-Heritage, along with an architectural group and the property owner have set a goal of raising 5 million Yen (approx. 44,000 USD) by the end of August. This money will cover the required research and documentation that must be submitted to the government when applying for a heritage listing, provide for some sheeting to cover the roof to protect the building from further water leaks, and to cover the security system set up around the property to protect it from trespassers.

Donations start from 3,000 Yen. Those who donate 10,000 Yen will receive a key holder that resembles one of the hotel’s former room keys, as well as a memo pad. A 20,000 Yen donation will provide a spot on a 10-person tour and up to 1 hour to take photos. A 100,000 Yen donation will provide a private tour for up to 2 guests for a 3 hour time span.

Donations can be made through the Readyfor crowdfunding site (https://readyfor.jp/projects/mayakankohotel). As at July 12, 176 people had donated a total of 3,790,000 Yen.

Source: The Kobe Shimbun, July 6, 2017.