On February 5, Aman Resorts International announced that they will open Aman Kyoto on November 1, 2019. This will be the third Aman hotel to open in Japan. Aman had been eyeing Kyoto as a key destination for the hotel brand since 2006.
First Cabin, a Tokyo-based developer and operator of capsule-style accommodation across Japan, announced plans to open a cabin-style hotel in a traditional machiya-style townhouse in Kyoto. The new hotel will open on March 28, 2019.
More and more Tokyo-based software companies are establishing a presence in Kyoto city in an attempt to grab local talent. Tokyo has become a highly competitive market for sourcing young graduates, making Kyoto, with its many reputable universities, a hot spot for hiring.
On December 6, Keihan Real Estate announced plans to enter the machiya guesthouse business in Kyoto City. The company, along with Tokyo-based real estate flipper Intellex, plans to invest 2 billion Yen (approx. 18 million USD) in restoring 10 guesthouses over the next year.
On November 28 it was reported that Imperial Hotel, Ltd. is looking to open an Imperial Hotel in Kyoto City. A major contender for the new hotel is the historic 82-year old Yasaka Kaikan building in the Gion district.
A traditional townhouse dating back to the 1400s in Kyoto was demolished at the end of August. The Kawai Residence, located alongside the Tenjin River in Nakagyo Ward, was the oldest surviving townhouse in the city.
Home goods store FrancFranc will open their Masterrecipe branded flagship store in a traditional townhouse in Kyoto’s Gion district today.
As at the end of August 2018, Kyoto City had only received 129 applications for short-term letting under the new minpaku laws that were introduced in June. Of those, 33 are located in exclusive residential zones where properties can only be rented out to guests for a maximum of 60 nights between January 15 and March 15, with some exceptions allowed for traditional machiya townhouses and homes where the host also lives on the premises. This pales in comparison to the total number of 7,028 applications made nationwide. In Kyoto Prefecture, excluding Kyoto City, only 18 applications have been received as at September 14.
Kyoto City’s most expensive apartment building since 1995 is already close to selling out prior to the start of official sales. 90% of the apartments in The Kyoto Residence Gosho-Higashi have already been pre-sold to buyers, with the remaining 4 units offered in the first round of public sales held on October 13th.
This month, two companies that both specialize in operating short-term Airbnb-style letting, have been issued cease-and-desist orders from Kyoto City for providing accommodation without the required licenses or permissions. These are the first crackdowns in Japan since the new short-term accommodation law was introduced on June 15, 2018. Hosts found operating illegally now face fines of up to 1 million Yen (approx. 8,900 USD).