An onsen resort that cost 4.17 billion Yen to develop during Japan’s bubble years sold last year for just 11,000 Yen (approx. US$100 at the time).

Why did it sell for such a low price?

Demolishing the previously city-owned aging buildings would cost the city several hundred million Yen, and refurbishing the existing buildings would cost just as much, if not more. In fact, the buyer is expecting to spend around 1 billion Yen (approx. US$7.1 million) to refurbish the facility into a 30-room hotel with outdoor rotenburo hot spring baths, with a planned autumn 2023 opening.

The new hotel and renovations will be designed by Ken Okuyama. The restaurant will be overseen by Chef Masayuki Okuda, owner of Italian-fusion Al-che-cciano in Tsuruoka, Yamagata.

The former Hygeia Park Nanyo is located in Nanyo City in Yamagata Prefecture. It opened in 1992 as a hot spring resort with restaurant, function rooms, and an outdoor pool. The revenues varied, with some years in the black and others in the red. The city closed the resort in early 2021, and put the property up for sale. 

Sources:The Kahoku Shimbun, August 29, 2022.