A Tokyo-based real estate company has purchased a historic restaurant in Otaru, Hokkaido, with plans to restore the 120+ year old building and develop a hotel on an adjoining lot.
The former Kaiyou-tei Restaurant opened sometime in the early Meiji era. Although there are no surviving records, it is estimated that the current restaurant was built around 1896. In the early 1900s this was a favorite dining spot for top politicians and business people. The restaurant holds special historical significance for hosting the banquet following the Karafuto (South Sakhalin) Border Demarcation Meeting in 1906.
In 1985 it was designated by Otaru City as a historical property. The restaurant closed in 2015 and the land and building was sold in 2017.
Restoration work is expected to start next spring, with completion of both the restaurant and a new 7-storey, 40-room hotel scheduled for 2022.
Images via https://otaru-kaiyotei.jp
The Hokkaido Shimbun, November 15, 2018.