Japan’s first winery to be leased for ¥4.62 million a month

Ushiku City in Ibaraki has agreed to lease a historic winery for 4,620,000 Yen (approx. 42,000 USD) per month. Ushiku Chateau (formerly Chateau Kamiya) was opened in 1903 by Denbe Kamiya (1856-1922) and was Japan’s first winery.  In more recent years the winery was receiving as many as 400,000 visitors a year when it was open to the public. It closed last year, prompting locals to lobby the city to find a public use for the property.

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Jiro Osaragi’s former residence in Kamakura on the market

On October 9, the Kanagawa Shimbun newspaper reported that the former residence of author Jiro Osaragi (1897-1973) in Kamakura is for sale. The 100-year old traditional thatched roof house is designated by the city as an important scenic structure. The owners are hoping to find a buyer that will continue to preserve the culturally significant and historic home.

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Nara soy-sauce brewery to become boutique hotel

Nara-based Nanto Bank has set up a 1.5 billion Yen (approx. US$14 million) fund that will restore historic kominkas and convert them into tourist accommodation. Nara Kominka Machitsukuri Partners will start operations next month. The first project is a soy sauce brewery founded in the Edo period. The former storehouse will be converted into overnight accommodation.

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