1930s House in Shinagawa

250,000,000 YenLand with existing structure (house)
Oi, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

This is a historic western-style house located in Tokyo’s Shinagawa ward. The exact age of the house is unknown, although it appears to date from the early Showa period (around the 1930s).

The single-story wood-frame home is in largely original condition, although some additions have been added over the years. An extensive renovation project is required. The interior is a mix of Japanese and western style with all bedrooms fitted with tatami mats, while the formal dining and living room finished with wooden floors and wainscoting.

The house has a total registered floor area of 117.35 sqm (1,263 sq.ft) and sits on a 423 sqm block of freehold land. There is no garage or car entrance.

Large parts of the Oi neighborhood managed to escape damage during WWII air raids. The area was once home to grand houses on large allotments with big gardens, but rapid economic growth following WWII has seen many of these large estates subdivided into small homes catering to the growing middle-class. A single large home once sat next-door to this home on the western boundary, but has since been replaced with 15 homes and flats.

88-yr old building on 2.6 hectare site in Minato to be sold

Japan Post Insurance is selling their former Tokyo Service Center building and land in Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The potential sale price and date has yet to be confirmed, although it is expected that the property will be offered for sale by tender. With land of this size, the eventual sale price is likely to be in the 10s of billions of Yen (several hundred million USD).

Japan Post Insurance expects to report a capital gain of 30 billion Yen (approx. 270 million USD) on the sale, which, given their very long history of ownership of the property, may be a close indicator of their preferred sale price.

*Update: The property was sold to Mitsui Fudosan Residential in February 2018. Japan Post Insurance posted a capital gain of 85.03 billion Yen (approx. 780 million USD) on the sale.

The property is located along the street from the Australian Embassy and directly across the street from the historic Tsunamachi Mitsui Club – a members only club that was built in 1913 for the Mitsui family.

The Art Deco building was once theMinistry of Communications and Transportation Postal Life Insurance Building. It was constructed by Obayashi Corporation in 1929 at a cost of 4,350,000 Yen. In those days the annual salary of a doctor was around 4,800 Yen.

For Sale: 1930s half-timber historic home in Hayama


Update: No longer available

An 83-year old half-timber style house in the wealthy beachside town of Hayama, 60km south of Tokyo, is for sale. The two-storey home is located at the end of a sweeping driveway, and overlooks a large and sunny south-facing garden filled with weeping cherry trees (shidare-sakura) and crepe myrtles.

The English-style residence was built in 1933 for Tadashi Adachi (1883-1973), the 3rd president of the Oji Paper Company (some of Oji’s early paper insulation products feature in the home), 1st president of TBS Radio (now the TBS TV Network), and president of both the Japan and Tokyo Chambers of Commerce. Adachi had seven children, so the home was designed for a large family.

Historic Villa in Kobe searching for new owner

Okamoto Residence 2

The owner of a 93-year old European-style residence in Kobe is looking for a new owner to carry on the home’s legacy. Open days in June and July were arranged for the house by the Heritage House Trust. The conditions of the sale will require the new owner to preserve the structure.

The 2-storey home was built on a hillside position in Higashinada-ku in 1923. It was designed by architect Shichiro Kigo (1884-1955) and built for businessman Jiro Inabata. It was later used as a reception hall for the Miyaji Steamboat Company. In the 1960s, most of the hillside surroundings were subdivided into a housing estate called Okamoto Garden. It was at this time that the current owner’s family purchased the property.

Kyoto City auctions off historic villa

Kyoto Narutaki-ryo 1

Kyoto City has auctioned off a 3,200 sqm site of city-owned land in Ukyo-ku. The ‘Narutaki-ryo’ was built in 1939 as the residence of Kozo Ohwatari of the Kyoto Dento Electric Power Company. After WWII, the property was acquired by Kyoto City and had been used as a wedding and function facility.

The property includes a large landscaped garden, and a traditional Japanese style main house with a western-style annex, both dating from the 1930s. The city carried out large renovations and repairs to the property over a 10 year period in the 1990s, but the interior and exterior remains largely original.

290,000 USD will get you Fukuoka Prefecture’s oldest bank building

Fukuoka’s oldest bank building to be demolished if buyer is not found

Kitakyushu Wakamatsu Sumitomo Bank 1The owner of a 118-year old former bank building in Kitakyushu City plans to demolish the historic property in the new year in order to sell the vacant block of land.

The former Sumitomo Bank Wakamatsu Branch Building was built in 1897 and is the oldest surviving bank building in Fukuoka Prefecture. The bank closed its doors in 1967, just as the region’s coal mining industry was reaching an end.

The two-storey, wood and brick building fronts onto a covered shopping arcade and adjoins an open plaza that was once the site of the branch office for Sumitomo’s coal mining operations.

Sumitomo’s archival department do not know who the original architect was, although some experts suggest it may have been Magoichi Noguchi (1869-1915), an architect who designed many of Sumitomo Bank’s branches during that period, and who had also designed the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library.