Advertising giant Dentsu Group is selling off two large estates in Tokyo and Kamakura for a combined 30 billion Yen (approx. US$271 million) to an undisclosed buyer. The Tokyo property includes one of just two surviving Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in Japan.
A prominent jewelry company has been selected to open a jewelry-themed art museum on a 43-acre estate in Kamakura. The city-owned land was originally owned by the Nomura Research Institute (NRI) and was donated to Kamakura City in 2002.
Sales in a high-end condominium in the heart of historic Kamakura City are scheduled to start in late August. The Parkhouse Kamakura is a 5-story luxury condo currently under construction alongside Wakamiya-Oji Avenue which leads up to the Hachimangu Shrine. It is the first condo to have been built within a 5-minute walk of Kamakura Station in the past ten years. This is also the first condominium developed by Mitsubishi to feature their full, underfloor central-air system.
On October 9, the Kanagawa Shimbun newspaper reported that the former residence of author Jiro Osaragi (1897-1973) in Kamakura is for sale. The 100-year old traditional thatched roof house is designated by the city as an important scenic structure. The owners are hoping to find a buyer that will continue to preserve the culturally significant and historic home.
Despite welcoming over 20 million annual tourists, Kamakura, a historic beachside city an hour by train from central Tokyo, has a surprisingly small number of hotel rooms. The mountain resort town of Hakone, also in Kanagawa Prefecture, has the same level of tourists but as many as 8,000 hotel rooms. Kamakura has just 980.
After a lengthy refurbishment and retrofit, the former Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, will officially re-open as the Kamakura Bunkakan Tsurugaoka Museum on June 8. The iconic modernist building was designed by Junzo Sakakura (1901-1969) and opened in 1951 as Japan’s first public museum of modern art.
Kamakura City is preparing to open a museum in a former private residence designed by Norman Foster. Starting next year, the public will be able to step inside a landmark property that has been off-limits for the past 12 years.
The one-of-a-kind property is located a 9 minute walk from Kamakura Station in the Ogigayatsu neighbourhood. The house was donated to the city in 2013. After some interior alterations, the museum is scheduled to open in April 2017.
Kamakura City is considering introducing an ordinance that would allow owners of historic buildings to bypass some of the regulations under the Building Standards Act that normally apply for renovations, extensions and changing the use of a property.
When making structural additions or alterations to older buildings, it can be very difficult to make the building comply with the Building Standards Act while still retaining the original features. In many cases property owners simply give up and either rebuild or leave the property to deteriorate. As a result, the neighbourhood begins to lose its character over time as the older properties are demolished.
Located between the mountains and sea, Kamakura is an ancient city located 50 km south of Tokyo. The city came to prominence in the 12th century when it was home to the Kamakura Shogunate. Unlike some of the more urban cities in Japan, Kamakura has retained much of its traditional character. The city is characterised by its traditional streetscapes, numerous temples and shrines, and lush mountainside. In fact, 40% of the city is forest and greenery.
Nowadays, much of this character is preserved through numerous strict building and zoning codes enforced by the city, along with efforts by local residents.
The owner of the historic Murakami Residence in Kamakura’s Nishimikado neighbourhood is preparing to donate the residence and land to the city. Based on the land size, the property would have a market value of approximately 420 million Yen (approx. 4 million USD).
Although official records have been lost, the traditional Japanese house is estimated to have been built sometime prior to 1939. In 1941 the residence was acquired by Chosuke Murakami. The house was later inherited by Murakami’s wife, who, prior to her passing in 2014, had requested that the house be donated to the city. She also made arrangements to leave 10 million Yen (97,000 USD) in cash to go towards the maintenance of the property.