1930s House in Shinagawa

300,000,000 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.

Land and old shophouse in Taito-ku

130,000,000 YenLand with existing structure
Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo

This is a historic former shop-house located a 2 minute walk from Shin-Okachimachi Station and 1,200 meters from Ueno Station. The sale is for the land and the seller is prepared to demolish the shop-house and adjoining wooden house prior to delivery to the buyer, if requested.

Uroko-no-ie House, Kobe

The 3-storey turquoise-colored building has exterior walls tiled in fish-scale shaped slate shingles. At some point the grey slate has been painted over. A similar exterior can be seen on the Uroko-no-ie house in Kobe that was built sometime around the late 1890s and early 1900s. The 2-storey wooden house nextdoor is a simple town house.

The age of both houses is unknown.

We inquired with the Taito legal affairs office but the only property records they have on file go back to 1942 and there are no earlier surviving documents. The old property titles show the buildings were purchased 1942, but the age of the buildings was unknown and not recorded.

The structure of the 3-storey shop-house is described as ‘wood and concrete’. Local architecture blogs suggest this building could potentially date back to 1930 but we cannot confirm its age.

The buildings have been in the same family since at least 1942 and this is the first time this property is on the market.

Building 1 Floor Size (3-storey wood and concrete shop-house):

  • 1F: 44.62 sqm
  • 2F: 39.66 sqm
  • 3F: 14.87 sqm
  • TOTAL: 99.15 sqm

Building 2 Floor Size (2-storey wooden house):

  • 1F: 29.75 sqm
  • 2F: 26.44 sqm
  • TOTAL: 56.19 sqm

The neighborhood is a mix of small houses, apartment buildings and offices. Part of this neighborhood miraculously managed to avoid fire damage during WWII bombings. Directly across the street from the property is a small park and the Taito Designers College. The college is a space for emerging craftspeople and creative-types to lease workshops for a short period. They hold an open-day and street festival each year in May with many local shops participating. The college was originally the Kojima Elementary School which was built in 1928 as part of the reconstruction efforts following the 1923 earthquake. The Kojima park across the street is also one of the parks established after 1923 to act as a fire break and evacuation point.

Traditional Japanese house in Kamakurayama

498,000,000 YenLand: 3,697 sqm, House included
Kamakura, Kanagawa


This property is located in the historic and exclusive Kamakurayama hilltop neighbourhood – a lavish holiday-home estate developed in the 1920s and1930s for Japan’s elite.

The old house sits on almost an acre of freehold land and offers views towards Sagami Bay and Enoshima Island. The sloping block is between 85 and 100 meters above sea level.

Across the street is the small Kamakurayama Shrine which was installed with the support of local residents shortly after this subdivision was created.

The sale includes the land and two structures. One of the structures is a traditional Japanese-style home with tile roof. The buildings are to be delivered in their current ‘as-is’ condition with no warranty provided on the structures. They are both vacant.

Current land prices in this neighbourhood range from around 170,000 ~ 200,000 Yen/sqm depending on position and views.

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: Heritage-listed modernist house in Kyoto, c1929

Price: 200,242,000 Yen
(approx. 1.8 million USD)

A historic modernist house located across from the Biwa Canal in Kyoto is for sale. The house was designed by architect Seigo Motono (1882-1944) and completed in 1929.

This was originally built as the home of Tsuruichi Tsurumaki (1873-1942), the headmaster of what is now the Kyoto Institute of Technology. The 3-storey house was built with concrete blocks in the Nakamura Reinforced Concrete style which was made popular by Mamoru Nakamura in the 1920s. Between 1921 and 1933, 119 buildings of this style were built across Japan.

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 Japanese-style house for sale in Kamakura

Kamakura Traditional House 2

Price: 198,000,000 Yen

An 88-year old traditional Japanese house is currently for sale in one of Kamakura’s more well-known and older neighbourhoods. The two-storey, 216 sqm (2,323 sq.ft) home was built in 1928. It sits on a corner block of freehold land with a registered size of 543 sqm. There is a coach entrance and parking on the side street for up to five vehicles.

The home is located in the Nikaido neighbourhood, and is across the street from the Kamakura-gu Shrine grounds and a 10 ~ 15 minute walk from Hachiman-gu Shrine. The house is also just 500 meters from the original site of Minamoto-no-Yoritomo’s mansion and government offices. Yoritomo (1147-1199) was the founder and shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate.

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.

For Sale: Modernist heritage-listed house in Meguro

Tsuchiura Residence Kamiosaki 7

Price: 298,000,000 Yen

The 81-year old house of modernist architect Kameki Tsuchiura (1897-1996) was listed for sale over the weekend. This is a very rare property to see available.

Built in 1935, the house was designed by Tsuchiura as his personal residence. The two-storey, wood-framed residence has two bedrooms and a study on the second floor, a living/dining room with vaulted ceiling and kitchen on the ground floor, and a bathroom in the basement. The house has a registered floor area of 176 sqm (1,894 sq.ft) and is on a 285 sqm block of land. It is a 8 minute walk from Meguro Station on the Yamanote Loop Line and is 600 meters from Ebisu Garden Place.

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.