Traditional Kominka put up for auction

A 90 year old traditional Japanese gassho-zukuri house was listed on an internet auction site with a starting price of 10 million Yen. However, the house failed to attract any bidders and the real estate agent said they may try listing it again in the near future.

The house (or minka) is located in the village of Gokayama in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture. It is designated as a World Heritage site along with the village of Shirakawa-go in Gifu Prefecture.

Under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties (1950), there are regulations and restrictions over extensions and demolishing listed properties, but there are no restrictions over the sale of these properties. Nanto City hopes that the house finds a buyer who understands its cultural significance.

According to the City’s Cultural Department, this is the first time that a house in the World Heritage designated village has been put up for auction. The house was occupied until the 1980s and has been vacant ever since. The current seller is a male who lives within the Prefecture. He has entrusted the sale to a real estate agent in Hyogo Prefecture.

Gokayama Village


The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 20, 2011.

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