The Japanese government has sued the owner of a derelict hotel in Aomori Prefecture to demolish the building and return the state-owned land. The Towada Kanko Hotel sits on the shores of Lake Towada. It was founded in 1950 before closing in 2012. The owner filed for bankruptcy in 2014.
Back in February, Japan’s ABC TV ran a special program on problems facing one of the aging ‘new towns’ that were developed in far-flung, mountainous regions. These subdivisions were developed in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting an ideal lifestyle away from the hustle and grind of downtown Tokyo or Osaka. Decades later, the remaining residents are facing issues both with a declining and aging population, and a lack of access to basic amenities.
Supply of brand-new apartments across greater Tokyo between January and May has fallen to the lowest levels seen following the crash of the bubble in 1992. Rather than release new apartments onto the market, developers are focusing their attention on reducing unsold inventory.
According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, a total of 2,206 brand-new apartments were released for sale across greater Tokyo in May, up 55.2% from the previous month but down 10.4% from last year. This is the fifth month in a row to see a year-on-year decline in supply. The average apartment size was 68.16 sqm (733 sq.ft).
According to REINS, a total of 2,749 second-hand apartments were reported to have sold across greater Tokyo in May 2019, down 20% from the previous month and down 1.3% from last year. The average sale price was 33,250,000 Yen, down 2.2% from the previous month but up 0.6% from last year. The average price per square meter was 518,000 Yen, down 2.8% from the previous month but up 1.4% from last year. The average age of an apartment sold was 21.63 years.
The former Hyuga Villa annex in Atami is about to undergo a two-year restoration starting this July. The Bauhaus-style annex was built in 1936 and was designed by Bruno Taut (1880-1938), a renowned German architect. This is the only building Taut designed in Japan.
In 2018, 21.26 million tourists visited the hot spring resort town of Hakone, down 1.2% from 2017. According to the town, the drop was attributed to a particularly harsh summer between July and September which saw people limiting day trips.
As land values in Niseko skyrocket, investors have been shifting their attention to more affordable ski locations around Hokkaido. One of those destinations is Furano which is seeing an influx in foreign investment and foreign tourists. Located 110 kilometers north-east of Sapporo, or a 2-hour drive, the city is becoming increasingly known for its high-quality powder snow.
Construction giant Shimizu Corporation has acquired the historic home of Viscount Shibusawa Eiichi and will relocate it to an innovation center currently being developed on a manmade island in Tokyo Bay.