Artist’s atelier in Tokyo to be demolished

The residence and atelier of Iwami Furusawa (1912-2000), surrealist painter and Japan’s Dali, will be demolished. A farewell party was held in late March by local volunteers.

Furusawa made his residence in Tokyo’s Itabashi ward after WWII, building his private art studio from a salvaged barn from a nearby farm. At the time, the neighborhood was a mixture of small workshops and homes. 

New apartment starts in 2017 reach lowest level in 7 years

Apartment starts in the greater Tokyo area in 2017 reached the lowest level seen in seven years. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), apartment starts were 57,591 units, down 12% from 2016. The Ministry cites an early rush by developers to get large-scale projects off the ground in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics and difficulty in securing sites for residential developments as the two contributors to a recent slow down in residential construction.

Tokyo’s Koto ward to restrict development of family-type apartments to limit population growth

While some regional districts in Japan are suffering from an ageing and shrinking population, urban centers are struggling with the growing pains from an increase in the number of younger residents. In an attempt to limit the number of children in the ward, Koto in Tokyo is introducing restrictions on the development of family-type apartments. A surge in the population of young families, due in part to a boom in the construction of high-rise apartment towers in the Tokyo bayside area, is putting a strain on the ward’s nurseries and elementary schools.

Japan’s high-rise apartment market from 2018 to 2022 onwards

According to the Real Estate Economic Institute, there are currently 108,757 apartments in 294 high-rise buildings planned for completion across Japan from 2018 onwards. This is an increase of 9 buildings and 2,436 apartments from the previous survey point in March 2017.

73.8% of these apartments are centered in the greater Tokyo area, a 4.8 point decrease from 2017. Tokyo’s 23 wards accounted for a 51.1% share of the nationwide total, a 2.5 point decrease from last year. Chuo ward has the largest forecast supply with 12,514 apartments planned in the coming years, 22.5% of the total. This supply is limited to just 14 buildings, with an average of 894 apartments per building. Minato ward was in second place with 11,401 apartments planned in 33 buildings (an average of 345 apartments per building).

Wacoal’s Kyoto Machiya guesthouse to open tomorrow

Wacoal Holdings, a lingerie company, will open their first traditional machiya guesthouse in Kyoto on April 28. The 92-year old townhouse is located 800 meters west of Nanzen-ji Temple and 500 meters south of Heian Shrine. The two-storey wooden house has a total floor area of 91 sqm (980 sq.ft) and can sleep up to six guests. Nightly rates range from 60,000 ~ 180,000 Yen plus tax, depending on the season and number of guests.

Kasumigaseki Building turns 50 this month

Kasumigaseki Building, Japan’s first skyscraper, turned 50 on April 12. To celebrate the half-century anniversary, the exterior of the building has been lit up with an art display that runs in the evenings until the end of May. A beer garden has also been set up outside the entrance for the duration of the event.

Built in 1968 and with a height of 147 meters, this was the first building in the country to be over 100 meters tall. Nowadays it is flanked by a taller neighbor – the twin tower Central Government Building No. 7 – which was completed in 2007 and is 156m and 176m tall.

Bulgari Hotel to open in Tokyo in 2022

Italian jeweler and luxury brand Bulgari will open a Bulgari-branded hotel in front of Tokyo Station in 2022. The hotel will feature interiors designed by Antonio Citterio, 98 spaciously sized guest rooms, a bar, restaurant, spa, pool, ballroom, chapel and Bulgari’s signature chocolate shop. Bulgari Hotels & Resorts will manage the hotel, with nightly room rates expected to exceed 80,000 ~ 90,000 Yen (approx. 740 ~ 835 USD).

The hotel will be located in the Yaesu 2 Chome North District Redevelopment on the eastern side of Tokyo Station. In contrast to the large city blocks and wide avenues of Marunouchi and Otemachi on the opposite side of the station, the Yaesu side is a densely packed district of narrow, older buildings and small streets, and is a prime target for large-scale redevelopment.

Construction of the project is scheduled to start in November 2018 with completion by August 2022. The 45-storey building will be approximately 240 meters tall, with the Bulgari Hotel to be located on floors 39 ~ 45.