The Toyohashi branch of the Nagoya District Court has issued an eviction order to the religious organization that is using the former Gamagori Fukinuki Sightseeing Hotel in Miyacho, Gamagori City. The court is ordering the land to be returned to its owner (Miyacho) and the building to be demolished.
The original hotel opened in 1939 and has undergone many alterations and extensions over the years. During its prime, the hotel was Miyacho’s leading hot spring resort. However, in 1998 the hotel filed for bankruptcy with debts over 3 billion Yen. It was later put up for public auction with a minimum bid of 956 million Yen. A buddhist organization purchased the building, but not the land, from Miyacho in 2004 and were charged an annual land rent of 3.8 million Yen. They demolished several buildings and refurbished the main hotel which had previously been damaged by fire.
From 2007, the land rent fell into arrears and in 2010 Miyacho sued the organization for unpaid rent. The court ruled in Miyacho’s favor, however, they never received the outstanding rent.
The leader of the Buddhist organization said they planned to rent out the facilities for training and funeral ceremonies but their plans were unsuccessful. From 2007, they started renting out the hotel rooms for 1,200 Yen/night. Currently, about 20 to 30 pensioners are living in the hotel. The leader said that they cannot ask the occupants to leave, and since they do not have the funds to demolish the building, their only option would be to declare bankruptcy.
A representative from Gamagori City said that they are worried that the dilapidated building is having a negative impact on the surroundings.
Miyacho is a hot spring resort area that was largely developed during Japan’s bubble economy in the 1980s.
The hotel has been a popular destination for explorers of ‘haikyo’ or ruins.
Source: The Chunichi Shimbun, May 15, 2012.
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