60-yr old office building in Tokyo to be renovated rather than redeveloped 

Although Tokyo’s Marunouchi and Otemachi business district has been seeing multiple skyscrapers go up in recent years, one vintage building from the 1950s has been faithfully protected by its owner.

The 9-storey Otemachi Building built by Mitsubishi Estate in 1958 celebrated its 60th birthday this April. It served as their headquarters until last year when they moved across the street to the recently completed 140 meter tall Otemachi Park Building.

Renovating a 30-year old house into a zero-energy home

If you want a well-insulated house in Japan you usually need to build it yourself. If you are looking at an older house to buy or rent, insulation is usually lacking, unless the original owner decided to go the extra mile to create a home with insulation. For the majority of older homes, however, they tend to be built cheaply and can be cold in winter and hot in summer.

The construction and home building industry in Japan has come a long way in recent years with active efforts to create zero-energy homes. There are a lot of options now for double or triple-glazed glass windows, non-aluminum frames, insulation and thermal breaks.

These insulation options are not just limited to new construction, it is possible to renovate an existing home to make it a zero-energy home.

One of these projects was recently completed in Daizawa near Shimo-kitazawa Station in Tokyo.

Nara prison hotel to open in 2020

The 109-year old former Nara Juvenile Prison in Nara City will be converted into a hotel by 2020. On May 26, Japan’s Ministry of Justice announced that a group of 8 companies, led by Solare Hotels and Resorts, was the successful bidder for the project.  A total of 3 groups submitted bids back in January.

The prison was built in 1908 and is the only surviving example of the Five Prisons of the Meiji era. The red brick prison was designed by architect Keijiro Yamashita. Yamashita worked for the Ministry of Justice from 1897 to 1930, and designed many prisons across the country.

Homat Woodville converted to condominium

The former Homat Woodville apartment building, now called Woodville Azabu, in Nishiazabu has been converted into a condominium with apartments to be sold off individually as tenants move out.

Sales started in February 2017 with three apartments offered for sale. All three were immediately sold, including a 185 sqm (1,991 sq ft) apartment priced at 298,000,000 Yen (approx. 2.64 million USD). Additional apartments ranging from 141 sqm (268,000,000 Yen) to 178 sqm (328,000,000 Yen) were later offered for sale.

For Sale: 2-Bed apartment with designer renovation in Ichibancho

We have details on an early listing for a two-bedroom apartment with a stylish designer renovation in Ichibancho, Chiyoda-ku. The apartment will go on the open market later in the week.

Price: SOLD

 

The 114.95 square meter (1,237 sq.ft) corner apartment was given a tasteful and refined makeover by Kagami Reform in October 2016, and has a new kitchen, bathroom, wood flooring in the living/dining, tiled entrance and new carpeting in the bedrooms.

The living room features an open plan kitchen with plenty of storage, a pantry, dishwasher, oven, gas cooktop and bar sink. There is the option for the apartment to be sold semi-furnished.

Relocating a traditional Japanese house

chiba-kominka
A kominka relocation in Chiba. Image via Kanazawa Architectural Design Office.

Finding land with a traditional Japanese building for sale in the right location can be close to impossible regardless of budget. But, there are a number of these old traditional kominka available for purchase and removal across the country. If you find the right piece of land you may be able to relocate an old house of your choosing to the land.

These buildings can be bought for next-to-nothing. The real cost is in the actual relocation, although you may be surprised to find out that relocation costs may be similar to the cost of building a brand-new, average home.