Tokyo's most expensive rental apartments

La Tour Aobadai
La Tour Aobadai

The Real Estate Economic Institute has released a report on the luxury rental apartment market in Tokyo's 23 Wards. Luxury apartments were defined as having a monthly rent of 300,000 JPY or higher. The findings are translated below:Read more

Nakagin Capsule Tower Building


The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building built 1970-1972 is a famous example of Japan’s metabolist movement. Now almost 39 years old, the deteriorating building is plagued with water leaks and asbestos problems.Read more

Asaya Department Store demolition to start later this month

asaya-department-store-ext2The Asaya Department store in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, is scheduled to be demolished with work expected to begin by the end of this year. The city purchased the site from the former owner and have plans for redevelopment.

The 3-storey art deco building was constructed by Yasuzo Kida and completed in 1934. The store was opened by the former owner's great grandfather and was the first department store in Gunma Prefecture. After the war it apparently had a ferris wheel on the rooftop.Read more

UT Building Project (Stalled & Foreclosed)


*Update: As of December, 2010, this building has been foreclosed on and is now up for public auction with a court evaluation price of 1,005,030,000 JPY (12 million USD).*

Located alongside Aoyama Dori Avenue, halfway between Omotesando and Shibuya Stations, this building has been 'under construction' for several years. Construction work stalled at least 2 years ago. Earlier last year there was a crane atop the building, but it has since been removed and there are no signs of life.Read more

Popular Myths about Japanese Real Estate

There is a lot of incorrect and misleading English information floating around about the Japanese real estate market. I chose this recent PR-type article from as a typical example of the type of misinformation.

"Japan real estate remains one of the priciest in the world. Tokyo came fourth in the Global Property Guide's 2009 survey of the world's most expensive markets, behind Monaco, London and Moscow. The average price for an apartment in Tokyo city centre is a staggering US$17,998 per sqm"


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TV Asahi to develop former Zaboo Onsen Site

TV Asashi Nishiazabu Site, December 2010


TV Asahi acquired the Zaboo Onsen in July, 2010. An 18 storey office building with a total floorspace of 18,000sqm and an event hall will be built on the 3,769sqm site . Construction is scheduled to start in Summer, 2010 and should be completed by Fall 2013.Read more

Aoyama Obayashi Building (aka Hanae Mori Building)

Hanae Mori Omotesando 1

The Aoyama Obayashi Building, commonly known as the Hanae Mori Building, is currently undergoing reconstruction. Demolition of the former building started in July, 2010 and is expected to be complete by February, 2011. Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in April, 2011.

The former building was designed by Kenzo Tange and was completed in 1977.  Tange also designed the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka which is slated for demolition in 2011.Read more

Japan's air-raid shelters putting local residents at risk

A sealed air-raid shelter in Kagoshima

During the war, underground air raid shelters were built in at least 9,850 locations across Japan. Currently as many as 487 of these locations are at risk of collapse, causing damage to houses above or serious injuries or death to local residents.

On November 29th, the collapse of a former Japanese army shelter in Tachikawa, T0kyo, caused serious property damage to the landowners house. The Tokyo District Court ordered state reparations to compensate the owner.Read more

Shibuya's Mitake Building/Mansion Reconstruction Project to start in early 2011

shibuya-new-mitake-bldgAn aging residential/commercial building just minutes from Shibuya Station is about to be torn down and replaced with a 17 storey condominium. The current building was built in 1959 by the Tokyo Metropolitan Housing Supply Corporation. Due to its age (it is now over 50 years old) and deterioration, it was considered at risk from earthquakes.

Initial discussions to rebuild began in 1999. The planning and administration company, UG Toshi Kenchiku and Nippon Steel City Produce, were selected to head the project in 2004. The new building will be mixed use with commercial and retail on the first 3 floors, and residential units on floors 4 to 17. Nippon Steel City Produce has acquired the reserved floorspace which will be sold as residential units from Summer, 2011.Read more

Ralph Lauren Building in Omotesando to be sold for USD350 million

ralph-lauren-omotesandoSecured Capital Japan and other investors are to buy the iconic Ralph Lauren building (also called Espoir Omotesando) along Omotesando Avenue for USD350 million in one Japan's biggest real estate transactions of the year.

The building is to be acquired by the end of the month. Along with Secured Capital Japan, other investors include Orix and Trinity Investment. The total purchase price is 31 billion JPY with the three investors providing 7 billion JPY and the remaining 24 billion JPY to be provided by Germany's Deka Bank.Read more