Owning a castle in Japan? A possibility or a pipe dream?

Inuyama Castle Aichi Prefecture
Inuyama Castle, Aichi Prefecture. Japan’s last privately owned castle until 2004.

Europe is dotted with historic castles that can be bought and lived in, but what about Japan? Can you buy an authentic castle in Japan?

In short – probably not.

The overwhelming majority of castles in Japan are owned by either the national or local governments. Osaka Castle, for example, is owned by Osaka City while Himeji Castle is owned by the national government.

There were once as many as 25,000 castles and forts dotted across the country. There was even a castle near Shibuya Station that drew upon the Shibuya River for its moat. The castle was destroyed in the 1500s and a partial stone wall in the Konno Hachimangu Shrine is the only remnant left.

Golf courses converted to solar farms across Japan

The Japanese government introduced a system whereby electric utility operators are obligated to purchase electricity produced by solar farms, and other renewable sources, at fixed prices. The system started from July 1, 2012. In order to benefit from the program, suppliers must obtain approval by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Under the feed-in tariff (FIT), utilities will enter into 20-year terms to from solar power suppliers. The purchase price of solar power is expected to be set at 42 Yen per kilowatt-hour.

Nagoya’s Orchid Garden to be sold

The management of Nagoya’s “Ran no Yakata Orchid Garden” is under serious review and the grounds may be put up for sale as the city reviews its budget.

Situated on a 1.6 hectare site, the gardens opened in 1998. In that same year, over 370,000 people visited the gardens, but by 2011 the number had dropped to 130,000. Nagoya City has been paying 110 million Yen annually to the managers of the gardens. In a budget review in October 2011, it was decided that the city should consider abolishing the program and privatize the gardens.

New buyer found for Yubari Melon Castle

“Melon Castle”, a liquor distilling facility in Yubari City, Sapporo, will be sold to a wholesale/retail company called Base Create. The facilities will be used to package and store goods.

Yubari City had previously agreed to sell the facilities to another buyer, but the sale was canceled in March as the buyer did not make payment. In April, the property was advertised for sale at a reduced starting price of 28,800,000 Yen (360,000 USD). Base Create was the only applicant, and based on their financials and business plan, their offer of 28,900,000 Yen was accepted. The new buyer plans to hire several local residents to help run the facilities.

[Foreclosed] Japanese Castle in Hokkaido

*NO LONGER AVAILABLE*

Bidding started from 16,663,000 Yen

This foreclosed property in Akabira City is a replica of a traditional Japanese castle. The 6-storey reinforced concrete structure was originally called ‘Tokugawa Castle” and was a doll museum. It was owned by the only festival doll manufacturer and supplier in Hokkaido, and the company used the space to display and sell their wares. The doll company still seems to be operating, but they have not used this building for the past five years. It has not been maintained during recent years and has some broken windows and roof damage.